Artists Julie Oakes

Artists Julie Oakes

Fierce felines ready to fight

Get ready for the battle of the brushes.

Get ready for the battle of the brushes.

Thursday at Headbones Gallery, Aleks Bartosik of Toronto will stand up to the Vernon she-cat Julie Oakes, in a head-to-head paint-off.

There’s something about the spectacle of a cat fight that’s hard to resist. The appeal is in the messy way that females fight with scrappy jibes, hair pulling, eye scratchy, green-eyed fury.

This is not the first time the two have curled their lips back and meowed. The Art Muir Gallery in Montreal also witnessed their furious dynamics in April, 2010 as the crowd jeered and cheered.

Making a drawing feels like a cat fight sometimes. It begins with scratching away at the paper, trying to make a dent in the overwhelming white-space of aesthetic existence.

The drawing may seem to be getting somewhere, hitting that stride, grooving in a space where the sun has come out and there is nothing to do but purr. Then a snag. A rustle in the leaves perhaps. A rodent-like, bird-brain of an idea crosses the path of vision and with a stretch and flex, it’s time to rise to the occasion.

Eyes narrow to slits for better focus.  A leap, a dive, and a close brush with annihilation that could erase the entire project. The claws come out. It is time to get serious, to tackle.

Is it ego against id or artist against paper? And with both sides so similar, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two once those claws have appeared.

Melina Moore, the renowned opera soprano and Judy Rose, jazz torch, (both of the famous trio Venus Headlights) will perform Rossini’s Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti (Cat Fight) to inspire the spar.

These power-packed felines will begin to caterwaul around 7 p.m. Opening reception for Bartosik is 6 to 9 p.m. at Headbones at 6700 Old Kamloops Rd. Please park at Kin Racetrack and carpool or catch the shuttle.