Leyton Gallery celebrates a decade in colour

Joan Sullivan
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“Parallel” by  Malin Enström is part of Celebration of Colour, a group exhibition at the Leyton Gallery in St. John’s, which features the work of 11 artists.
— Submitted photo

Eleven artists come together in the Leyton Gallery’s group summer show, Celebration of Colour, which also marks the gallery’s 10th anniversary.

As with all group shows, there are intersections and juxtapositions of media, theme, style, and eye.

Curating nearly a dozen individuals into collective response to a new season means applications of colour can bounce and bloom from the surface, or more quietly pool across the frame. Most of the pieces are in paint or mixed media, wall mounted, but there are clay sculptures on pedestals as well.

Jonathan O’Dea has his hyper-realistic, giant-sized food objects, visual temptations of a handful of jelly beans and a single strawberry, all looking plump and luscious and tasty.

In another expansion of the representational, Malin Enström presents her almost holographic “Parallel,” a photograph showing a view of a boat’s stern in the water. She has positioned it so the craft’s bands of red, yellow and blue are reflected in the cool water, and this mirror-imaging spreads across the wide panel. It has punch and also motion, as each plane is rippling with either wind or warp.

Louise Sutton has two pieces. One is an encaustic, which, as often with this medium, looks almost edible. It includes a half-dozen slabs, set three above and three below, in delicious muted blues and greys, sparingly emblazoned with detail. It is a tactile piece, and it hums. She also has a painting, a big, tight view of a narcissus, all aglow with yellow and orange.

Although different in material they are both cast with Sutton’s hand, in a manner that is somehow both naive and deft. And, as usual, she seems to be doing something different, not in terms of making wild leaps, but of continuously expanding her range.

She just seems to pay attention to the world in her own constant way.

Of course, if you want flowers, Andrea Pottyondy has brought a bouquet of a half-dozen works, sumptuous and bright.

Four are small and two mid-sized, and they all feature petals of deep, jeweled tones marked in gorgeous ferris-wheeling wedges. “Jumpin Jive” is rendered in vivid, exciting purples and creams and polka dots, while “Prismatic,” a similar image, uses equally bold colours but in a manner that creates almost a reverse, or afterimage. Detailing white outlines add to the sense of energy handled with precision.  

The palette of Jennifer Barrett’s five acrylic and marker pieces is more crayon-playful, as her “Lovebirds” or “Fisher Price Cash Register” nearly jump with life as she quite literally colours her subjects outside the lines.

In turn, Anita Singh’s layers of colour build a lustrous sheen, as she manipulates monotypes, ink drawings, sheets of mylar and paint into compact configurations of hummingbirds, nests and eggs and butterflies.

Their delicate lines and luminous shades combine into something both fresh and medieval. Singh also has some clay pieces, and Bonnie Leyton also has some small sculptures, as well as four small paintings of simple objects (like a hat — Leonard Cohen’s hat, actually — on a table) blocked in red, yellow, blue, and green.

The show also includes works from Philippa Jones, John MacCallum, Peter Jackson, and Michael Pittman.  

Celebration of Colour opens Saturday and continues at The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art in St. John’s until June 16.

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