Ken Blackburn addresses the audience at the Rivercity Players theatre Saturday where he unveiled his latest works.

Gasps greet unveling of Blackburn exhibit

As the lights were raised, Blackburn carefully removed the cloths that covered each of the seven major groups of works

Ruth McMonagle

Special to the Mirror


The Rivercity Players theatre was packed Saturday.

A spoken word dialogue with a “crow” warmed up the crowd. Five powerful vignettes telling stories about Ken Blackburn’s “awareness moments” in various parts of the world set the stage for the dramatic unveiling.

The violinist drew people in, and accented the drama.

As the lights were raised, Blackburn carefully removed the cloths that covered each of the seven major groups of works.

The audience gasped, mesmerized by the brilliant colour and patterns, and broke into applause. The lights raised and lowered on each work in turn.

People charged onto the stage even before the talking ended to more closely see the works done entirely with Japanese printed paper.

Five things made this art opening amazing. It was participatory, with the audience invited onto the stage to discuss and dialogue with Blackburn and others. It was full of all kinds of people: youth, older art collectors, elected officials, little children, and other professional artists from Campbell River. Many had never been to the Rivercity Players Theatre OR to an art show before.

The show brought a wealth of understanding about the meaning of art through various art forms: spoken word, story telling, dramatic lighting, music and visual representation. It was not pretentious, or formally requiring special clothing to be appropriate.

For the thoughtful, there was a decided theme: pattern and movement in individual and community life. There was something there for everyone.

The works are now available for viewing at Impressions Custom Framing at 990 Shoppers Row for a short time.