FILE CARD CATEGORIES
[The following text is a revised version -- 2002 revisions are in brackets -- of what was published in Toronto's Globe & Mail, on Saturday, January 8, 2000, R9 to accompany an article by Robert Enright.]
Cliff Eyland makes his art works in 28 "categories," which, he admits, often overlap. "I also reserve the right to ignore any rules I make for myself," he says. They are as follows:
1. Abstract paintings.
2. Wildlife paintings: animals, monsters and robots.
3. Landscape paintings: based on place names or painted from life.
4. ID: portraits, photographic works, ID cards collaged into works of imaginary or real people.
5. Wallenberg: chosen with [Prince Edward Island] poet Joseph Sherman for exhibition with his poems about Raoul Wallenberg.
6. Labels: works used as "labels" (with or without text) in exhibitions by other artists. [Includes the use of file card paintings as 'captions' to historical works of art, for example at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in the year 2000.]
7. Francis/Giotto: based on St. Francis and on paintings by Giotto.[This category has been deprecated as of August 2002.]
8. Expo/Borduas: Expo '67 pavilion stamps gathered at age 13 form the basis of paintings that allude to works by Paul Emile Borduas, also seen at Expo.
9. Drawings: drawings made in various sizes, on masonite or paper.
10. Reproductions: includes reproductions (any size) retouched with paint, and colour or black-and-white photocopies that can be used as the basis of new paintings.
11. Photographs: includes snapshots, found photographs, formal set ups and, since 1995, Polaroid Captiva photographs put into a three-by-five-inch format, sometimes used with other materials. [Polaroid Captiva and film negative photography mostly replaced by Nikon digital photography in 2002.]
12. Figure paintings.
13. Library inserts: works secretly put into book pockets and/or library books.
14. Saskatoon: paintings about a city that I have yet to (and perhaps never will) visit.
15. Objects: sculptural works, usually paintings that have become encrusted.
16. Architectural: includes works about architecture made during and after my years as a curator at the Technical University of Nova Scotia's school of architecture (1985-1994).
17. Music/Film: recorded and unrecorded music, film and video.
18. Sexual works.
19. Military works: includes pictures of imaginary fighter aircraft and other military things related to my childhood on Canadian air force bases.
20. Other people's file cards: that is, works given to me over the years, as jokes.
21. Pre-1981: earlier works that I cut into file card-sized pieces or reproduce in order to make new works.
22. Cambridge: wall labels about art, science, and Cambridge, England, where I lived in 1992.
23. Belfast pictures: works about Northern Ireland.[This category has been deprecated as of August 2002.]
24. Rolodex: addresses collected on a Rolodex beginning in 1997.
25. Framed paintings.
26. Playing cards (as yet not produced).
27. Trading cards (as yet not produced).
28. Critical writing: curatorial essays or critical reviews, eventually to be edited into file-card books.