Group exhibit a feast for the senses

Joan Sullivan
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Close to 20 visual artists are featured in this group exhibition: “Colour and Light” is
its title, and that is just what they bring to their landscapes and portraits and interiors.

“Tamarillos,” acrylic on canvas, Renee Butler. —Submitted photo

Warm red fruit; luminous kenetic skies; houses constructed with brushstrokes so animated they nearly dance; and all viewed through an individual eye and set down by a particular hand.

This is a show with a nice range, from pristine compositions that entice a viewer’s gaze to zigzag configurations that offer liftoff from the gallery walls.

Terrence Hounsell’s play with scale and textures upends any expectation of what you can grasp with a snapshot.

“Rodney at Kirby House (Greenspond)” is a photograph, but it looks like a painting with its soft edges and application of light arrayed along the straight lines of the clapboard house and curving hull of upturned boat.

Its quietude neatly contrasts with “Moving On,” a four-panel monotype from Elena Popova, where each section is a rocket launch of line and colour.

Hearts and circles and triangular waves set crimsons and yellows and greens ping-ponging against each other.

More interplay of balance and ambiance are found in two watercolour, gold-leaf and India-ink works from Krista van Nostrand.

“In The Master’s Garden” and “Beauty” are each divided into three sections, with the two on the outside making calligraphic black and gold forms framing a central image in full-colour bloom. Botanical studies meet a perfect posture.

Louise Markus is another artist who presents one kind of media that is whipped up to look like something entirely different. Her pieces are acrylic, but they appear vigorously tactile, almost like mosaics. Their effect, too, is something other than might first be apprehended.

For example, “It Takes A Village” and “It Takes a Village II” present outport scenes in a folksy, almost naive way, in terms of perspective (flat) and vernacular (harbours and stages), but the traditional sheds and saltboxes are given an intricate inside/outside architecture, with sophisticated attention to differing patterns, and the images of people, perhaps rowing a dory or yarning on a bench, have eye-drawing presence.

Adding another note on unusual media, Yvonne Meissner uses silica and acrylic (and sometimes gel) to sculpt organic, natural scenes — “Apple Slice Moon,” “Patch of Blue” — that are rich, frothy, foamy surfaces embedded with oscillating colour spectrums.

Among the many other gallery artists here, Ilse Hughes has “Pastoral” and “Dappled Sunlight,” peaceful, gorgeously toned scenes (a trio of resting cows, a glimpse upwards through leafy, sun-drenched branches) all done with her usual assurance and unexpected but pitch-perfect colour choices; Renee Butler offers a serene still life (“Tamarillos,” acrylic on canvas), with ruby fruit, white plate, clear glass vase and green leaf bouquet in luscious counterpoise; and Veselina Tomova has the compelling figurative mixed-media works “Golden Light” and “Resting,” which, like everything she does, are packed not just with narrative but a personal geography.

Brenda McClellan, Sheila Hollander, Po Chun Lau, Natalia Charapova, and David Baltzer are some of the other artists who have works in the show.

“Colour and Light” continues at the Red Ochre Gallery into the New Year.       

Organizations: Kirby House, Greenspond, Red Ochre Gallery

Geographic location: India, Takes A Village

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