- CUAG Downtown
In the MacOdrum Library: She Wants an Output
September 1 - October 29, 2017
Look at the 1980s punk rock scene in Ottawa through the work of Mary Anne Barkhouse and Julia Pine.
In the 1980s, the oppositional shout of punk rock was sounding throughout the world, including in Ottawa. A small but vibrant community sprang up here, inspired by the DIY attitude and political consciousness of the movement. Women were key players in the scene, but their story has seldom been told.
Restless Virgins were a first-wave punk rock band active in the Ottawa music scene of the early ‘80s. Notably, its bass player, Mary Anne Barkhouse, went on to a celebrated career as an artist.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Barkhouse’s pelage (1999-2000), a work composed of four appliquéd blankets, reminiscent of the button blankets used by First Nations of the Northwest Coast for ceremonial purposes. Each blanket represents a stage in Barkhouse’s life and her development as an artist. Three of the four blankets will be on display.
Barkhouse’s pelage II blanket makes reference to the ten years between 1975 and 1985 when she played, toured and recorded with bands like Restless Virgins.
Accompanying Barkhouse’s work is an eclectic selection from Julia Pine’s collection of zines, flyers, records and other ephemera from her “punk days,” when she was involved in the small but vibrant scene as a musician, producer, writer and community organizer, from about 1978 until 1985. The selection will include documents from a project that Pine co-produced with Colleen Howe in 1985: the MATRAX compilation cassette, which featured thirteen all-female bands from Canada, the US and the UK.
Pine’s collection points to the central role women played in the exceptionally diverse local scene and highlights their strong commitment to progressive ideas that were, and continue to be, far from the mainstream.
Artists in the exhibition
Mary Anne Barkhouse and Julia Pine