Jan Johnson’s Year of the Rabbit

Pets ‘n’ Meat 2011

Jan Johnson

Jan Johnson

Pets ‘n’ Meat 2011

Known for his unusualtake on the world, Jan Johnson is once again opening a rather unique exhibition at the Collective Works Gallery for the month of February.

To mark the beginning of the Chinese lunar New Year — the Year of the Rabbit, Jan Johnson is showing new metal sculpture featuring his trademark surreal figurative works.

2011: The Year of the Rabbit. On the first day of the Chinese lunar New Year, one of 12 animals takes its place for the year.

February 3, 2011 is the start of this new year. The animal years work in a continuous cycle with each animal ruling once every 12 years. Each animal has its own characteristics that is said to influence the nature of one’s life.

Rabbits are intelligent and well-mannered, they like peace and quiet and avoid arguments. The Rabbit enjoys the finer things in life. Rabbits are discrete and diplomatic, but they hate to be criticized.

The Rabbit is not renowned for its faithfulness in relationships and tends to be best suited to the Goat, Snake, Pig, and Ox.

Pets ‘n’ Meat

Back in the 1980’s, when Jan was first assembling picture books to promote his art and thinking of an appropriate working title which would capture the feeling of his welded-steel critters, he was inspired by a Pets’n’meat sandwich board sign on Sooke Road. The Sooke sawmill had recently shut down and many people were out of work, but an enterprising family started raising rabbits commercially and advertising them on the road.

Some years later in Michael Moore’s movie, Roger and Me, he noted a similar sign in his depiction of Flint, Michigan after GM lay-offs.

An ancient recipe from the old country for rabbit chili is available upon request. Vegetarians may omit the rabbit.

The Collective Works Gallery is located in Fernwood in Victoria at 1311 Galdstone.

Pets ‘n’ Meat opens on Friday, Feb.4, at 7 p.m. and runs to February 24.

Gallery hours are from 12 to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. For more information call 250-590- 1345.

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