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Marelene McCallum speaks at Parrott Gallery

Local artist Marlene MacCallum, creator of the exhibit The Unfolding Narrative, spoke about her work at the Parrott Gallery Thursday evening. Photo by Jaykob Storey, QNet News

By Jaykob Storey [1]

BELLEVILLE – On Thursday night, local artist Marlene McCallum [2] was at the Parrott Gallery [3] in Belleville to talk about her work and answer questions.

McCallum’s exhibition The Unfolding Narrative is currently on display at the gallery. It consists of a series of art books on display. On Thursday, she showed them off in a more hands-on fashion, along with some of her other work.

Born in Montreal, McCallum studied at Concordia University and the University of Alberta. She moved to Belleville in 2016 after retiring as a teacher in order to pursue a career as a full-time artist.

The books she brought for the audience were varied. Many folded out in numerous directions to display a collection of images. Another had an accordion shape that viewers would peer into in order to see the piece.

According to McCallum, some people doubt that her artwork is necessarily a book, but she disagrees. “People will say, ‘Is that a book?’ I would say, ‘Yes, it is. It’s an art piece that uses all the elements: page, time and sequence.’ ”

Along with her art books, McCallum showed off a collection of photographs in black and white.

“Something that’s always fascinated me was the natural patterns and movements of light in everyday life,” she said. “I think we all, as children, have these very special, important memories that shape the way we explore and create. When I was a child I would (lie) on the floor and stare up at the ceiling. I would watch the way the patterns of shadow and light against the surface would change and form.”

Her other work included photogravure prints, a historical photography process developed in the 1800s where an image is etched onto a copper plate.

During the event McCallum offered to hold how-to sessions in the future, if the guests were interested. She received a nearly full page of signatures encouraging the offer.

The Parrott Gallery’s Artist’s Talk events started on Jan. 19 with Mark Bartikw. The next one takes place Thursday with MacCallum’s husband, David Morrish, as the featured speaker.