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Gerald Beaulieu’s vital sculptures in “Field Work” remind us that the island ecology is far from static. The farms get ever more high tech, the cities more cosmopolitan. 

Raised in Welland, Ontario, Beaulieu has spent more than 20 years in PEI gauging these changes. His mixed media artworks register both fondness for the local way of life and alertness to how industry interacts with nature. His exhibition raised big and familiar environmental questions (reliance on fossil fuels, the effects of pesticides), yet also offered lucid points for discussion of locally relevant issues. By day, Beaulieu works in construction, which, in the gallery, translates into creative use of vernacular materials. 

Representing flora and fauna, the wild and the farmed, the four sculptures in the exhibition created a multi-sensory environment that evoked the pleasures of the outdoors and also piqued curiosity about applied science’s role in the natural world. Entering the gallery, one landed in a corn maze titled Field. While fun on one level, the life-sized wood and metal stalks also seem ominously macabre; coated with and reeking of tar, the maze appears withered by a black blight. The piece looks like a criticism of fossil-fuel extraction, but this interpretation is complicated by the context of local farming practices.  [1]


[1]     Light, Whitney. “Gerald Beaulieu.” Canadian Art, December 15, 2010. https://canadianart.ca/reviews/gerald-bealieu/.

Additional Information

“Bio.” Gerald Beaulieu. Accessed January 8, 2021. https://www.geraldbeaulieu.com/Bio.

“Home.” Confederation Centre of the Arts. Accessed January 8, 2021. https://confederationcentre.com/.


Project Title: Field Work
s: Gerald Beaulieu
Year: 2010
Confederation Centre Art Gallery
Charlottetown, PEI

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