Pockets in the House of Carr
Will launch Grant Hayter-Menzie's new book Woo, The Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr: A Biography (Douglas & McIntyre) at Carr House, in tandem with the week-long west coast debut of Ontario's ‘Monkey Painter’ Pockets Warhol, one of 18 monkeys resident at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, the only refuge of its kind in Canada.
For the show at Carr House show, Pockets has created twelve new works, each inspired by the colours in a famous Carr landscape. Original work by acclaimed Canadian artist Anita Kunz and US artist Allen Hirsch will also be exhibited for sale.
Currently 19 monkeys rescued from the exotic animal trade, roadside zoos and biomedical labs live at Story Book Farm, learning how to be monkeys again and learning to live without fear, among them Darwin the 'IKEA monkey'. The Sanctuary's residents and the important work being done on their behalf were recently featured in a Globe & Mail piece by Grant Robertson: ''Given a stay of execution, three lab monkeys face a new experiment: Normal life':
Pockets began painting almost by accident. Given paint and small canvases for enrichment purposes shortly after his arrival at the Sanctuary in 2010, Pockets, a former pet, began to create paintings which drew the attention of the press and of galleries in Toronto, where he soon was invited to mount his first show. To date, Pockets' work has raised thousands of dollars for support of the Sanctuary; he even helped fund the construction of a new and larger structure for the growing numbers of rescued monkeys to live in comfortably. Pockets' art is in the collections of many noted individuals, including Dr Jane Goodall.
Pockets will not be at the exhibit but his ‘muse’ and caregiver, Story Book Farm volunteer Charmaine Quinn, is coming to Victoria. Joining her to talk about Pockets and his work are artist Anita Kunz and Sanctuary co-owner Daina Liepa.
Original collaborative work by Anita Kunz and Pockets will be exhibited for sale, as will collaborative work of Pockets and renowned US painter Allen Hirsch, whose 15 year friendship in Manhattan with a rescued monkey named Benjamin is described in my book and was featured in the Emmy Award winning documentary Long Live Benjamin.Hayter-Menzies is donating 40% of his royalties in perpetuity from sales of Woo, The Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr to Story Book FarmEmily Carr House is at 207 Government Street.June 1-8, 11am-noon: Discussion of Pocket’s workJune 1-8 2-4 pm: Author readings and book signings.More infö at www.emilycarr.com