By blending the barn with the face of an aging farmer Jude Griebel has created a totemic being as homage to the many homesteads and family farms that now sit abandoned across Alberta. As the site central to the family farm and the place in which animal lives both begin and are ended, the barn is a fitting place to examine decline and consider recovery. The anthropomorphic Barn Skull is a playful way to confront contemporary anxieties surrounding a changing environment and ways of life. Although many barn fronts have face-like features, Barn Skull is modeled after a specific fallen structure on a property that the artist’s grandfather homesteaded in central Alberta, outside the town of Castor. Although much of Griebel’s work points to a broader context of globalization in general and international agri-business specifically, its deeply rooted in the artists experience of living in and growing up in rural Alberta.
Jude Griebel: Barn Skull is organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta, and curated by Lindsey Sharman. Presented by Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.