July 8 - August 5 2016

Drouin artist Janine Good presents an exhibition of paintings, drawings and original prints that explore some aspects of Ritual in Contemporary Life.


With a decline in church attendance and religious practice is there still a place for ritual in our lives? A formal aspect of ritual is ‘looking the part’ or being in the right mindset and that involves preparations that can be considered ritualistic. There is expectation of adhering to a dress code for all sorts of activities and if that dress code is taken out of context it can appear quite absurd. The dress code often functions as a way to connect or belong.

In this series I explore an experience of ‘ritual’ in ordinary life:

- the glamour and competitive aspect of dressing up for a country Race meeting

- the interactions between individuals shown through body language

The day at the Races - it is remarkable how unique the dress code is for this activity. It allows the race-goers to adorn themselves in fantastic hats and accessories that would appear out of place outside the context of the racetrack. The hats and fascinators are one of the rare occasions for wearable art in a public arena. It is of interest to also observe the divide between the men and the women at the track - the women focusing on the ritual of adornment and preening while the men are more consumed by the ritual of picking a winner in the betting arena - the lure of money.

In stark contrast, the memorial on the remote melancholy beach is about an informal non-religious but deeply spiritual gathering to farewell a friend, enhanced by the pristine natural surroundings. The images of the beach are notable because they aren’t the usual iconic beach imagery of fun and relaxation, so in some ways the dress code has been broken. But the ritual of casting the ashes into the waves prompted different responses from individuals. Some dived into the water fully clothed while others wandered around in their own space. These images focus on the disjointed melancholy atmosphere following the ritual.

I also included two additional works: portrait of local author Pauline Mackinnon because the painting contains elements of her ritual of writing; and Suburban Ghosts portrays a suburban ritual of hosting children’s parties in the backyard.