Galleries West: Dawna Rose and Betsy Rosenwald, Journal of the Plague Year
“This installation of paintings by Saskatoon-based artists Dawna Rose and Betsy Rosenwald, is a powerful blend of conviction and rage created in response to the pandemic and toxic politics of 2020. Inspired by signage at the 2017 Women’s March in New York City, which the artists attended together, the paintings are all on post-consumer waste cardboard.
“Dawna Rose’s packed floor-to-ceiling installation of signs depicts images of birds, words, portraits, dates, and clocks. Her signs are a journal that connects to the day-to-day of the pandemic and the politics of 2020. In the show, they are mashed together on a wall, one collective mass screaming chorus. Rose’s work was greatly influenced by her experience at the Woman’s March in New York in January 2017 with Rosenwald. Creative signs were displayed everywhere.
“Betsy Rosenwald created her series of protest sign paintings as an urgent response to the political and social chaos wrought by Covid-19 and the Trump presidency. The words and images are derived from the manic 2020 news cycle, and often quote former President Trump directly. For Rosenwald, who is a dual US/Canadian citizen, the news like watching a train wreck in slow motion. In a year marked by physical isolation, Rosenwald also shared the images as postcards mailed to friends and family.”