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Item Name: Textile
Title: Dawn
Maker: Arthur Baalam
Year: 1969
Country: Canadian
Materials: cloth
Measurements: in frame: 44 cm x 64 cm; work: 40.6 cm x 61 cm
ID Number: ART 108
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: Entitled “Dawn”, this image depicts the sky at sunrise. The clouds are filled with movement, an embodiment of our province’s motto: “the land of the living skies.” The textures in the image look quite painterly, as if created with thick brushstrokes, but they were collaged out of upholstery fabric and cloth scraps. Arthur Balaam was a self-taught artist who started painting in oils and watercolours, but in his retirement, began to create textile collages. He was inspired by the landscape surrounding his home in North Battleford. A newspaper article in The Regina Leader-Post reported that Balaam would use various materials such as “cloth and plastic [to] create landscapes and abstractions with unusual colour and detail” (1966). These “Folk-art” works were exhibited in Saskatchewan at the Gallery on the Roof, Sask Power Building in Regina (now closed), and at the gallery in Central Library (now Dunlop Art Gallery). Balaam exhibited in 1966 with sculptor Ric Gomez, and in 1971 with a solo exhibition entitled “Scraps”. Arthur Shelome /Shalomi Baalam (1898-1988) was born in Stockwell, London, England. He emigrated to Canada in 1923. According to the census, he settled in Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan. He joined the staff of North Battleford Hospital in 1935, working in the Occupational Therapy Department of the hospital until retirement in 1962. Baalam passed away in New Westminster, BC on Feb 1, 1988. His artwork is held in several collections in Western Canada, including the Saskatchewan Arts Board.