Parker offers an art sampler

Joan Sullivan
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A red shed sits, centre frame, balanced by planes of land, sea and sky. The brown of the earth is picked up by the shingles of the roof, while the line where sea becomes sky just skims the edge of the structure. Two shuttered windows are on either side of the closed door. This architectural portrait, "Red Shed" (pigment based archival print on Ilford paper, 2009) by Ned Pratt, is one work in the new exhibition at Christina Parker Gallery.

"From the Studio III" is a rich and varied show: the invitation displays 10 images and cites 18 names; the gallery is filled with an eclectic mix of good work. Consider this review but a sampler to bring you in to experience the entire thing.

Angela Antle's "In the Morning He Turns the Dreams Over," encaustic on canvas, 12 x 48. - Submitted photo

A red shed sits, centre frame, balanced by planes of land, sea and sky. The brown of the earth is picked up by the shingles of the roof, while the line where sea becomes sky just skims the edge of the structure. Two shuttered windows are on either side of the closed door. This architectural portrait, "Red Shed" (pigment based archival print on Ilford paper, 2009) by Ned Pratt, is one work in the new exhibition at Christina Parker Gallery.

"From the Studio III" is a rich and varied show: the invitation displays 10 images and cites 18 names; the gallery is filled with an eclectic mix of good work. Consider this review but a sampler to bring you in to experience the entire thing.

Janice Udell seems to draw in mist, and delve in myth. Her earlier, lucent, tone-on-tone pieces were delicate whirls of cadenced, cantilevered shading that produced intricate pieces in incredible, almost monochromatic, volume. We have not seen enough of her lately and here she surprises us with a new kind of work, one full of colour and a composition that seems braced for story.

"Waiting" (mixed media, 2009) is a diptych, worked in refined and subtle lines that fuse into clouds of gold, apricot, rose, and azure. It shows a male figure crouching to the left, looking out of frame. His dress is provocative, and unexpected, pairing a kind of Medieval wrap with high heels; also he holds a sword. The piece is just astonishing, immediate and impressive. In a nice counterbalance to this are the near neon narratives of Laurie Leehane's "Fuzzy Dice 2" and "Harbour" (oil on panel, 2009), the theatrical lighting and captured frames of drama like cinematic stills.

Quieter, but still arresting, is Brian LaSaga's "The Barn Door" (acrylic on panel, 2009), a still like of exquisitely observed rusted lock and clasp, weathered wood, and worn nails. Other still lifes include Grant Boland's four food paintings, which show delicious treats like "Glazed Fruit Flans" and "Confections" (oil on panel, 2009). In "Three Across," a triangle of torte topped with a dollop of sauce and cup of coffee are set on top of a folded newspaper, open to the crossword. These are done in meticulous detail and luscious colour, yet the focus is often very slightly, deliberately blurred; the details are only crisp at certain points, as if we are looking through a slightly mottled window. The surfaces, so deftly culled from the paint, are being manipulated yet again.

Texture is also integral to Angela Antle's "In the Morning He Turns the Dreams Over" (encaustic on canvas). This is a quartet of small squares, with the right and left pairings almost mirror images of curling tree branches and sprays of Asian foliage. This is tactile and dynamic, the material wedged and scratched and pebbled, the aqua, green and crimson colours slathered and daubed. And yet it is a serene piece, too, with lots of poise, lots of breath.

Dan Hughes, Tara Bryan, Jim Maunder and Terrence Howell are among the other artists with works in this exhibition. "From the Studio III" continues at the Christina Parker Gallery until Dec. 21. Running concurrently is an exhibit from Scott Goudie, "Beneath the Sky," of landscapes from North Harbour to Tuscany. No matter what the locale, he always gets the light so right.

Organizations: The Barn

Geographic location: North Harbour, Tuscany

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