Variety is the spice in Parker Gallery’s ‘Recent Works’

Joan Sullivan
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Considering the lineup of visual artists found at Christina Parker Gallery, a group show of “Recent Works” is bound to embody both solid professional grounding and impressive creative reach.

Some of the pieces here are from 2013 solo exhibitions (Peter Wilkins, Mike Gough, Carol Bajen-Gahm), while others are being shipped fresh from their creator’s studios.

As well, there is a spectrum of approaches, from realism to abstraction, from lilac mists of impression to finger-snap sharp realism.

Some people have a certain knack with a special kind of light.

For Laurie Leehane and her new “Inside the Battery” series (oil on canvas or panel), it is a magic-hour sheen poured like amber caramel over the clapboard houses and narrow roads. The Battery has its own flavour, its own vernacular and that is articulated with loveliness here. The light both calls out and informs the compositions.

Equally vivid are Clifford George’s series of “Dogberries From Our Garden” and “Dogberries in Water Jug”  (acrylic on canvas), with their punchy, vital clusters of red dogberries and deep blue and violet backgrounds. They are delicious, and full of lustrous volume.

As are Danny Woodrow’s flowers.

“Remarkable” (oil and acrylic on board), for example, is a bouquet of distinctly patterned shapes, the boldly coloured still life thick with a sense of collage and applique. There is a pinwheeling playfulness applied to every part of the surface.

Nearby, Will Gill’s paintings (acrylic ink and graphite) seem to emerge from a completely different sensibility. Seeping quietude, they are more like drawings with their delicate, embracing lines and soft, muted pinks and greys.

Several artists focus on landscapes.

Jonathan Howse has two, “Below Fraser Falls, Yukon,” and “Spring Thaw, Freshwater Bay” (acrylic on canvas), both rendered in a natural palette with a daub-y brushstroke that breathes fresh, crisp, cusp-of-winter air. The latter, a small work (8” x 10”), is particularly potent and compact, as if the snow-covered beachrocks might tumble out of the frame.

Then there are the warm layers of Tara Bryan’s pieces, like a coastal view from McIvers (oil on canvas) conveying a deep perspective in heated tones, as if backed in a kiln.

David Kaarsemaker’s two paintings, “Deer Fence” and “John’s Greenhouse” (oil and charcoal on canvas), are creamy holographic inside/outside environments. Their recognizable features, like the hexagonal outline of a greenhouse, both fuse into and protrude from their background, forming some entirely new painterly space, worlds unto themselves. His play and interplay with patterns, fields and planes just gets more and more absorbing and evocative.

Michael Fantuz’s oil on canvas portrayals of outports are also signature and individual, with their bounce of thick lines, red and orange clapboard, and blue harbour. They suggest a place, as well as its past, as a painted narrative of social hubs and economic spokes.

Ned Pratt, Diana Dabinett, Peter Drysdale, Reed Weir, Boyd Chubbs and Christine Koch are among the many others who have works on display. “A Celebration of Recent Work” continues at the Christina Parker Gallery in St. John’s until Dec. 31.

Geographic location: Yukon, Freshwater Bay

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page