Last fall I was invited to give an artist talk at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon. They have a small, but strong art program and I had a great time doing studio visits with their students. I was invited back for an exhibition for January – February of 2016 at the Nightingale Gallery on campus. It was nice to have the opportunity to share my work in person to many of the same students who saw my lecture a few months prior. Professor Cory Peeke organizes the gallery space; here’s a link to his press release for the exhibition, and a link to an article in a local paper.
From September 17 – October 16 I am honoured to have a solo exhibition in the main gallery at Harcourt House Artist Run Centre. You may view images of these paintings and drawings here.
The paintings in Muted Forces explore the idea of landscape through layering and materials that are visibly impacted by time, much in the way that the world around us has been formed. My work is permeated by attentiveness to material dynamism; how simple components can be used to reveal, rupture or redeploy our perceptual awareness. I have an ongoing interest in the intermingling of a contemplative hand with reclamations made by the forces of nature.
This series of paintings developed out of an earlier series of “saltscapes” which were made only with salt and pigment on paper; here I have added more mediation and increased the complexity of the images through layering disparate materials. The first layer is textured and often topographical in nature, which is then highlighted by either copper or silver leaf. This layer of reflectivity creates a luminous base and a dynamic interaction with light—a continual motif in my practice. Multiple layers of ink and paint provide visual structure and atmosphere over the leaf. Finally, I paint areas of salt water over the surface, allowing crystalline structures to emerge as the water evaporates. The salt crystals form with somewhat unpredictable results; this element of chance—and the tension created between things that I can control versus things that I cannot—is also a perpetual inspiration for my artwork.
These works encapsulate a literal crystallization of time while enfolding concepts of duration, transformation and ultimately revealing the hand of nature.