July 16 - August 3
Frances Beckow: Draw a Breath
“Draw A Breath” connects the focus of drawing with the breath work used for calming the mind and body in meditation. The drawings in this show represent the artist’s exploration of the theme that drawing is a calming and harmonious practice.
Quiet, peaceful and solitary, the act of implement on surface has the power to take down stress and power up creativity.
Opening - Sunday, July 21, 1-4pm.
Daily Tues-Sat 11am-5pm. 2031 Oak Bay Ave.
The works in 'Beauty of Waste' are made through different processes. In some I layout a basic geometrical design with straight or curved lines, then fill the spaces, juxtaposing straight cut pieces from two different source materials. Maintaining the sequence of the cuts allows the viewer to see a whole image or pattern. At other times, I am simply laying down colour and marks to create interest. The resulting work is an abstract image.
Since my days in art school, when surprised by the pile of leftover material from the sculptural piece I was making, I have been collecting and reusing 'waste'. From early on, the discarded stuff seemed far more interesting than the art piece. This experience reoccurred several times in my student days.
The combination of this "aha" moment and my learned behaviour of not wasting precious resources, resulted in my particular approach to collage. The distinction between hoarding and what I do, is that these 'waste' materials do not sit in the hopes that they may eventually be useful. They are earmarked for repurposing in other art.
The printmaking process creates lots of waste material. The leftovers, prints on high quality paper, with interesting colours and images, become the raw material that I keep and reuse. These scraps, fragments whether from proofs or imperfects, are also combined with other art and waste materials accumulated over the years.
My representational work is also created utilizing colour and cuts from random art-making cast-offs as are the small works. It's possible that my methodology also stems from doing puzzles in childhood, from the enjoyment of all those seemingly random pieces being assembled to recreate a whole image!
Agnes Ananichuk 2019
American philosopher and naturist Ralph Waldo Emerson eulogized weeds as plants ‘whose virtues have not been discovered.'
It's in that spirit that Artist Diana Durrand portrays the common dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale), using bold paintings, delicate drawings and elegant sculptures, all intended to override our entrenched suburban bias against this much maligned species. Her tribute, 100 Sleeping Dandelions, will be on display at the Gage Gallery in Oak Bay, April 10-21.
“From root to flower the dandelion is an edible, useful plant, its medicinal properties common knowledge among herbalists the world over,” Durrand says.
Yet, universally categorized as a noxious weed by homeowners and gardeners, the dandelion is mown down, poisoned and uprooted whenever it pops up on North American lawns, its hardy, prolific and incredibly adaptable nature the only things keeping the species from eradication.
“With this eclectic body of work my goal is to represent the many aspects of the dandelion I have experienced, from my earliest delights as a child, to the nihilistic adult attitude that has been cultivated by the home & garden industry,” Durrand says. “I’m hoping viewers can tap into some of their own childhood memories of picking, smelling, tasting and exchanging dandelions.”
Is the dandelion an 'invasive species’, introduced to North America and the rest of the world by the planet’s most pervasive invader, European Homo Sapiens; or is it a hardy, totally edible plant that has adapted to its new environments and flourished against all odds, to the benefit of human kind?
100 Sleeping Dandelions will shed some golden light on that question. The reception for the show will be held April 15 from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave. You can preview the works at DianaDurrand.com, where there is a video interview of Durrand and an online gallery of the exhibit.