‘Urban Landscape’

Tara Bradbury
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Artists reflect on people and geography in new show at the Leyton Gallery

Look at Ginok Song’s painting of the St. John’s waterfront, “Harbour Blue,” and one thing will strike you before anything else: no harbour fence.

Keep looking and you’ll notice some interesting combinations of modern and heritage, new and old. Street lights, but no painted road lines. A parking garage barrier, but no cars. A schooner floating in the harbour near the lights from the old Battery Hotel. Homes, but no office buildings.

In the four pieces she is displaying in “Urban Landscape,” a group show opening at the Leyton Gallery in St. John’s tonight, Song has been playing with history and modernity in the capital city. Her scenes include Rawlins Cross and the outside of the old Daily News building on Duckworth Street.

Ten artists are participating in the show, each with their own take on the theme. Toby Rabinowitz studies the interior of a busy coffee shop with “Scenes From Coffee Matters,” while Jennifer Barrett, in a playful acrylic and permanent marker piece called “Saturday,” shows a busy park full of swimmers, walkers, tennis players and yogis.

Jillian Waite has contributed two impressive-sized encaustic pieces — one 48x48 inches, the other 48”x36” — in her usual muted palette and signature patterns. “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” seems to be a continuation of a previous theme, inspired by Waite’s multiple house moves.

John MacCallum, known for his expert way with light and portraits of children, has stepped outside his usual work to create “View of St. John’s From Battery.”

A panoramic piece, the piece’s palette is recognizable as MacCallum’s, but is abstract and mixed-media. MacCallum, also a carpenter, has used twigs and branches and what appears to be caulking to build up his canvas.

Louise Sutton’s two pieces are “Side Streets,” a sort of abstract map, and “Green Space,” a striking forest scene with considerable depth and serenity, sunshine peeking through.

Other artists participating in the show include Virgina Mak, Rhonda Pelley, Anita Singh and gallery owner Bonnie Leyton, who has created some painted relief sculptures.

The show opens at the gallery, on Clift’s-Baird’s Cove, off Water Street, with a reception tonight from 5-7 p.m. Afterwards, artists Pelley, Song and Sutton, along with Frank Barry and Maria Mercer, will be making work in the gallery as part of Eastern Edge’s carnival art crawl. Admission is free.


Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Battery Hotel, Daily News

Geographic location: Water Street

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