Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Andrew Lewis at Polychrome Fine Art

Feral a group show

Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity at the Little Fernwood Gallery

Mining Justice Action Committee presents
Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity
Little Fernwood Gallery, 1923 Fernwood Road, Victoria, BC, V8T 2Y6

Fernwood art exhibit and spoken word event looks at impacts of Canadian mining at home and around the world. Communities are resisting the human rights abuses and environmental impacts too often associated with Canadian mining operations.

Spoken word/ performance event and art show opening reception is 7:30 pm Friday Oct 24 at 1923 Fernwood Rd. Co-sponsored by Central America Support Committee. By donation.

Art show runs at Little Fernwood Gallery Oct 16-Nov 6; usual art show hours are Tuesday through Friday  Noon to 4 p.m.

Phyllis Serota Studio Group at the CACGV

Stephanie Harding at Dales Gallery - October 2014

An exhibit of Stephanie Harding's work  October 22-28, 2014
    Selective harvesting from the forest inside her mind,
    Stephanie's new paintings have branched out to oil brushed onto wood panel. 
    Boldly expressed and subtly framed.
Dales Gallery 
537 Fisgard St.
Victoria, BC  Canada

The Birthday Party Paintings by Christine Clark reviewed by Debora Alanna

‘The Birthday Party Paintings’
3-19 October 2014


Christine Clark’s latest work is a series of 12 x 12’ oil paintings collectively titled ‘The Birthday Party Paintings’.  These paintings are expectantly familiar to all that have celebrated a birthday.  They are attentive and considerate to their origins, the photographed family album. Clark has painted more, exposed more than any faithful family photo can reveal.  She has a facility to paint what is not easily described in words or can be ascertained within a casually photographed image. She can paint tenderness, transitions, perplexity, and raw tests of relations, the mystification that often encompass childhood feelings.  Her paintings celebrate the prosaic as important means to substantiate childhood experiences that are implicit, personal and merged into the blocks of time softened by memory.  Clark brings out eclipsed revelations during birthday parties chronicled within 17 square 70s genre paintings. 

‘Happy Birthday to you.’ [1]

Artemis seems to be responsible for the round shape of honey cakes alit with candles to evoke her being goddess of the moon, wishes granted when blown [2] although some think the Western traditions follow the German Kinderfest (but where did that come from?). The first known recording of birthdays is on the Rosetta stone where documentation exists of the celebration of  Ptolemy V Epiphanes’ (reigned 204–181 BC) birthday (and coronation) in exchange for concessions to priests [3] and his subjects – gifts to temples, damming the Nile for farmers. [4]
Through time, by the 18th century aristocracy was able to afford cake, but the middle classes eventually adopted the tradition of celebrating birthdays. It seems that so long as there have been calendars, birthdays have been celebrated to commemorate birthdays. Arturo Ricci (Italian), Fredrick Daniel Hardy (English), Walter Osborne (Irish) and Ludwig Knaus (German) painted versions of birthday parties at the turn of the last century – when celebrating a birthday with a party seemed to become an international phenomenon in this cake and candles tradition. Birthdays became feasts to celebrate children royally. 

The birthday party has been around, as a cultural institution for some time. Photography as a means to document celebrations, substantial events and commonplace circumstances seemed to supplant paintings in the 20th century. By mid 20th century North America everybody seemed to celebrate, at least a child’s birthday, with cake and candles, taking snaps to mark the occasion. Clark’s work is a document to her memories of her familial celebrations recorded through family photographs, painted to accentuate and respond, counter the photographed images, marking the occasions with her bringing forward her understanding and feelings that are unique to painting,  visions of time and place through her observations and experiences.

Hung as the gallery’s horizon line, Clark’s work encircles us with circa 1970s birthday party views.  Birthdays past present as square instruments draw us through conclusive evidence of regularity, earnestly considered slices of moments of childhoods lived. Clark’s series are multiples of remembrances once captured on film for posterity. Clark painted the photographed images allowing painterly responses that enables a translation of the photo within painted portraits, the intersection of past with the present. Her horizon of works ensnare frank childhood celebratory events common to many North Americans, the birthday party. She paints familiar interiors, captive familial gatherings, enclosed spaces framing seasons of weather.  She reiterates a marginal shufti of a load bearing blue truck cornered in windows. Cleverly rendered recurring corners of middle income family bungalows are painted in various views. Sometimes, partial or closed curtains of vertical bands giving structure, stabilizing the agitating affect of smudged or masked faces that startle and perturb. Horizontal versions of golden Greco-Roman fabric patterns appear in separate works, rumpled to allow doubt, misgiving, redirecting our view. Foreground fabric bands effect our consideration of figure/figures within painting squares to readdress the importune agitation of who, when and where, an unspecified placement somewhere in time, an undistinguished location.

Ambiguity becomes a secret. Why? What is it we must not know? We as viewers become accomplices in the covert scene because we have seen it, and we cannot tell or explain because we do not have enough information to explicate. Clark involves us as abettors, and leaves us unapologetically perplexed, a participant in the awry portraits because we are a witness to some indefinite cover-up or smeared childhood experience. The masked and smudged paintings are about the assumptions we make, the masquerade of pretence when guess becomes adopted responsibility.

Clark tests angles, viewpoints (hers and ours) through positions of cakes and children’s standpoints within kitchen approaches, dining room table shapes, aperture treatments and windowpane scrutiny. She paints sets of decorated birthday party rooms that allow emotive content to be showcased. Clark expounds, elaborates and accentuates scenarios with period colours and party accoutrements, undoubtedly gleaned from the original photographs. Clark has the facility for heightening the seemingly banal to generate a disposition depiction within individual works beyond ambiance without being coy or obvious. Tilts of lit candles, cake decoration distinction, fabric and pattern deviation, groupings of kids stage-manage, allowing direction and control that may appear casual or incidental. Her arrangements and embellishments angle our perception of the content of the scenes. Clark’s stratagems encourage reflection, unhurried purposeful reflection. ‘The Birthday Party Paintings’ are replete with ideas.

Clark directs us to think about how tradition is coherent. She shows us how regularity is valuable as a means to collective extemporization. Although the birthday party is a time honoured tradition, reliably a good time to be had, there is always a degree of excitement and the possibility of commotion, consternation because children are unpredictable. Well behaved adults will be on the sidelines, like the inactive typewriters Clark paints, quiescent on bureaus, their lives on hold for the occasion. Clark substantiates the timelessness of ritual through her adherence to the birthday party theme. She paints the basis of culturally unequivocal need for and a kind of validation of identity through the birthday party celebration. Clark honours childhood memory. She respects the birthday party as a gift from elders to allow a communal experience. She provides evidence of and expounds on childhood through the wide spectrum between casual and uncomfortable impressions throughout her birthday party experiences. Clark’s ‘The Birthday Party Paintings’ are complex, intricately painted encapsulations of substantial provocation, inviting with unguarded reveals of qualities of innocence. 

‘It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you’

~ ‘It’s My Party’ (1962) by John Gluck (sung by Lesley Gore / produced by Quincy Jones 1963)

Innocence is masked in several of Clarks works. Clark’s painted tears on masks may or may not be real. A child without a mask painted similarly sad to a masked child with tears on her mask shows Clark’s ability to challenge ambiguity, to illustrate the multiplicity of childhood innocence with its pain exposed and the tease of the median between distress and guarded emotional ranges. Pain is distinguished as a justified act of contrition. Sorrow is acceptable.
Clark generates a range of significant of feelings through her painted environments. Her explorations of veracity are exposed through the square shapes of this body of work. She multiplies the range, viewpoints of ideas within her paintings by rendering scenes in slightly differentiated perspectives. Within the square, she is able to formulate quadrilateral spaces to test conformity. There is a sense of openness, directness in this work. Clark is adept at delving into and can uncannily elucidate the diverse breadth of girlhood dispositions through her paintings.  

An older child in long maroon floral dress sits alone in a half back vanity chair that truncates a dark blue swivel seat which seems to be upholstered as if it belonged in a car. Curtains drape like hair just brushed in readiness. The girl seems tentative, pensive. Has she isolated herself or is she abandoned, stranded, deserted by others at the party? That’s how it is with change – one finds oneself alone, because being solitary is necessary for change. The room is muted, spare, frugal.  She seems oblivious to the waiting driver of the pretty sky blue truck, driver straining to see, maybe, a memory of security. No one will see the transformation from girlhood to woman until it is a fact. The girl seems waiting, too - waiting for time to pass, waiting for adulthood. Deep brown ground weights the scene. Yellow and white bungalow paint is brighter, more spruce than the anteroom. 

Clark paints a significant version of vanity, how pride, self worth is required to make change. The make-up chair is separate from the vanity, or dressing table. She painted the segregation of the ideal, societal mirroring allowing the girl comfort, calm, self containment. Waiting is part of the process of the inherent transition from girlhood to adulthood. Although Clark allows the girl to sit in the vanity chair, there is no futility of an idyllic existence present. The smart house and appealing truck in the window view is suggestive of thoughts about model existences, future possibilities as one might have as goals or outlying hopes. The child sits in a primping seat, but is painted straightforwardly candid, sincere, and ingenuous. She is allowed to feel special for the duration of her transit. Clark’s coinciding overlap of the upholstered swivel seat is self-consciousness, prickly to the viewer as if one might feel if they sat with bare legs on the dark mystery of chair’s worsted twill, the unknown place. The absence of an occupant, its proximity to the girl suggests that the car chair might be the next chair she will occupy, that adulthood is close. Transitioning to the sober chair seems a large, ominous transition. There is no impediment – Clark paints room to / for change. 

Several of Clark’s works are painted with a dark shadowy dead-colour used in early Flemish painting process [5]  - an underpainting of murky black paint without further paint treatment, leaving us without chromatic subtlety one might experience if subsequent top layers of paint were employed. Clark paints a demanding picture plane. Her biased, subjective scheme provokes. At first, these vistas seem to be night shade views. However, the blackened space becomes an indication of something of consequence or calamitous occurring in the foreground redirected by the dark. A boy looks at the viewer, as if caught by an inadvertent voyeur. A girl is the conduit for provocation. Clark skilfully paints the presence felt by girls in her work with emotional bluntness. She luminously captures the tenderness of realization, the discomfort, the epiphanies, the meaness girls exude. Her portrayals render unutterable subtlety and disquiet. 

Clark’s family photo collection inspired paintings reiterate square portraits reminiscent of Polaroid or SX70 formats. The washed blackened ground in several works, obliterating any view outside a window or other rooms, framing, bringing forward the interior seen, eliminating the background and minimizing the middle ground (curtains, adjacent walls, incidentals on a table) is also reminiscent of Kazimir Malevich’s black and his other colours of squares. Malevich described precepts of ‘Suprematism', this quote from Part II of his1927 book, The Non-Objective World, published in Munich as Bauhaus Book No. 11:
'Under Suprematism I understand the primacy of pure feeling in creative art. To the Suprematist, the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth.' [6]

Malevich painted the Black Square in 1913, the first of his squares to champion primal feeling in art. The square format of Clark’s work is the whets purity of feeling of a Malevich Suprematist square, but skews the purity by tilting her square treatments. Clark’s portrayed feelings are nevertheless primal.

Historic recapitulation, a repeat of the birthday party theme over years of the ritual, the viewer is drawn into a 1970s genre of the familial practice and convention of birthday cake and groups of children, the birthday girl, the party favours, the captured moment of lit candles to commemorate, to ceremonially celebrate the tribute to another year, future promise, the festivity of sweetness and delight. 

 ‘...if you don’t use the awkward reality that is about, you get bland images. (...) we use that we use the daily stuff we have in our hands, the immediate surroundings in order to make a painting with character, rather than from the bland, free floating decorative image.’

~ Frank Auerbach. BBC Front Row radio interview, 4 October 2013.

Awkward realities are the subject of every work in Clark’s series. None are decorative images, although the original photographed events began as fancy conjuring to venerate the girl or boy at the birthday parties, now self and familial portraits of that time.

Short lives of butterflies, or life as a series of moments, the above work flits as masked creatures, a wall of heavy hearkening of the butterfly shaped cake. A technique brought forward by the fuzzy glows in photograph, halation of a light source initially employed by Johannes Vermeer observing light through a camera obscura to paint highlights as ‘disks of confusion’, was considered ‘useless for picture-making, even if one is aware of its existence’, [7] is challenged by Clark’s out-of-focus characters. This allows the confusion of the moment captured photographically to be protracted as painted portraits or emphasising out of place points of attention (pink dot below) - a spot of bother, a point of contention? Nothing Clark paints is arbitrary.

‘Photograph - I don't want your
Photograph - I don't need your
Photograph - all I've got is a photograph

But it's not enough’

—Photograph by Def Leppard, from the 1983 album, Pyromania

Clark’s observations are coloured by her birthday party family photos, but she works beyond the photographed images. Many allow the unmitigated feeling children have to emerge in the portraits, feelings that might be considered dissolute, wild, unrestrained by convention. Her skill allows the indecorous to be present, projected. Although constraints of the morality of birthday parties are respectful in this series, kids will be kids, as Clark’s efforts shrewdly shows. Clark is not afraid of asserting her revelations through observations within the original photographs. We see her painted thoughts resulting in consideration of her observations, her painterly protraction of her views, thriving outcomes of these works.
‘Vision changes while it observes.’ ~ James Ensor

In her 2007 dissertation, ‘Hoe schilder hoe wilder: Dissolute self-portraits in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish Art’, University of Maryland, Ingred Cartwright  wrote about artists in the 17th century painting self portraits possibility, according to their lived behaviour and temperament, or what they would have liked their lives to be projected through ‘dissolute self-portraits’. She explained that they strayed from conventional assumptions of seemliness within the paintings, at least, to bolster their identity through an emerging stereotype - ‘hoe schilder hoe wilder’ [the more of a painter, the wilder he is]. 

‘…all images are polysemous; they imply, underlying their signifiers, a 'floating chain' of signifieds, the reader able to choose some and ignore others. Polysemy poses a question of meaning and this question always comes through as a dysfunction... Hence in every society various techniques are developed intended to fix the floating chain of signifieds in such a way as to counter the terror of uncertain signs; the linguistic message is one of those techniques.’ ~ Roland Barthes [8]

In the 18th century, European artists encountered and began utilizing, emulating the compositional traits, the singularity of images in wide washed pictorial space, ‘pictures of the floating world’, Ukiyo-e, or ukiyo-ye (浮世絵),  Japanese wood cut  prints with a well defined, bold, flat line, [9] monochromatic arrangement of forms in flat spaces. [10]  The 20th century seems to acknowledged a jumble, a juggle of delineated imagery utilizes the singularity of image against monochromatic grounds, ‘pictures of the floating world’ with a ‘floating chain’ of signifieds, bits and pieces of a child’s experience. There is a sense of dysfunction and terror, the Cy Twombly-like scribble on a smiling face, cake and vanity chair, the blue truck bit, signs or transit as a transitory state. 

The assemblage of diverse  floating imagery, a reminder of the 1924 silver print self portrait by El Lissitzky titled The Constructor seems to sanction Clark’s collage technique although she assembles photographed images and paints the collage, an opposition  and denial of imagery used allowing an ambiguity of meaning. Fragments drift and hover on a sinister square. Between blots of white and blue, a child’s face is carelessly scribbled out, a determined erasure of identity. Images from other paintings, the fondly painted car and chair, party hat and cake are in upheaval, deranged. Clark’s painted construction is a portrait of a constructor, one who is mindful of signifiers, one who is in the midst of questioning.

Deliberate accident art, ‘Blots’ by Christopher Turner - 1 January 2011 in the Tate Etc. Issue 21 Spring 2011 gives an overview of examples where artists’ deliberate accidents provided an opportunity to think about range of instigators, like Leonardo da Vinci who encouraged stains to ‘search for inspiration’, ‘search for meaning in chaos’. The 18th century painter, Alexander Cozens ‘spilled sublime’ blot paintings became the subject of his book, A New Method of Assisting the Invention of Drawing Original Compositions of Landscape (1785).  J.M.W. Turner, John Ruskin, J.M. Whistler were all accused of using blots. This technique was eventually picked up by the Dada, Surrealists, and on throughout this century.

Clark utilized the blot in one of her works, where she has painted a girl in the top left corner, or that is all that is left of the painting after the blot is applied. The blot is not the inspiration here, but the statement. The blotting out, the weight of the spoil is dominant. Christopher Turner quoted Hans Arp: ‘Chance art, as expressive of modernity, is therefore uniquely and necessarily modern’.  Clark’s blot may be chance, or it may be intention, or both or neither. This is not important. Modernity is not important.  The blot on the work, has a comforting effect and affect. It entices like the attraction of what one must not do, and has done, veering towards another’s humiliation – the attraction of an accident. Clark’s blot is big in relation to the size of the work. It encompasses almost the whole picture plane. The deliberation of the deliberate accident can have so many readings – a quick cover up, a misfortune, or a spill of gleeful darkness, just for fun? Clark allows the wake of interpreting to be bestowed on the viewer with a wash of glossy reflection. 

'... eyes being seen or not, invoking an image   prevalent in the media of masking the eyes to protect the identity of either an assailant or a victim (...) implies a level of intimacy – but if one is to cover the eyes there is a tension between this intimacy and apparent distance enforced by masking the full identity...'

~ Angela Woodhouse, email interview with Janet McKenzie, 3 March 2010 regarding the MAVEN Commission: Jenny Holzer Collaboration (ARTIST ROOMS, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate Gallery - Woking Dance Festival & The Lightbox Gallery and Museum) [11]

Clark paints a group of children around a birthday party table with black masking strips discomforting to the viewer, the protection from knowing, intimacy, for all the kids but one. One will be forefront, a boy, the boy will be identified. He connects us, involves us in the question, the reaction. A dare. Clark paints a goad, a taunt. Do you have the courage to be bold, to reveal what is unknown, to most, that you, you are present? The writing on the wall fades through time passing, the scourge of waiting for the delayed reaction. 

Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, Der Tod in Venedig was the basis of the Italian director, Luchino Visconti’s 1971 movie titled Death in Venice starring Dirk Bogart. He developed a scene in a hotel about 20 or so minutes into the film an overview of guests gather, where a child with adults would likely indicate a birthday celebration. Slowly, only hats populate the view, people become their hats, creating hat silhouettes. 

Clark’s golden party goer outline parallels Visconti’s device. Both develop a contour, melding boundaries between people. The absence of delineation abridges the event as a glowing festivity, eradicates the precision of an explanation. The party becomes a synopsis of a story through the simplified headscape. Clark asserts the evenness of a group encounter as the light of the muted Harvest Gold memory. Clark supplants detail by a 70s yellow summary of her party-goer hats, heads bearing points towards the conveyance - truck and its subheadings as the exterior brought forward, take us beyond the party modality, its necessity, its negotiations. A reflective, skewed panel, oblique, cuts through, segregates a darkened, vague counter with subdued staple containers from curtains that gape open, blood red as Dirk Bogards’ ultimate lips perched on a sandy shore. The truck’s rear is our focus, what we cannot see in that beckoning blue metal chassis rifles our vision, robs us of all our party sense. We are cut out from knowing this secret. 

Visconti was noted for utilizing architectural apertures to frame scenes.  [12] Clark frames a jumble of the remnants of humanity within architectural framing. Clark’s still life of the pile of clothes is a stilled life where a cake allows ‘truth will out’, truth of feeling will always be discovered – all guises are left behind. Cake is what is most important, at the forefront, the symbol of all that is good and enduring in its pink fluffiness, its largess. Stippled as sweet frosting whipped to peaks, demanding as the lighting and blowing of candles in one go, to achieve the unspoken wish. However, there are no candles on this cake. This is the cake of an un-birthday, those days between birthdays, the ordinary days where the encrusting of swaddled photographs take place and the mass of the past becomes a swell, hooks to hold all the memories a drawing to be barely discernible. Clark cloaks the smother of memory, past and future expectations, giving us a party, besides. All wishes are but one – let’s retain the birthday party feeling, perpetually and with the joyfulness of childhood, or at least, the rumpled bundled memories of childhood joy.

[1] First line of the popular birthday song adapted from ‘Good Morning to All’, originally published in Song Stories for the Kindergarten (Chicago: Clayton E. Summy Co., 1896), as cited by Snyder, Agnes. Dauntless Women in Childhood Education, 1856–1931. 1972. Washington, D.C.: Association for Childhood Education International. p. 244.
[3] Kitchen, Kenneth A. (1970). "Two donation stelae in the Brooklyn Museum". Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. P. 59
[4] Ray, J. D. (2007). The Rosetta Stone and the rebirth of Ancient Egypt. Harvard University Press. P. 136
[7] Daniel A. Fink, ‘Vermeer's Use of the Camera Obscura: A Comparative Study,’ in The Art Bulletin 53, 1971, p. 495.
[8] Roland Barthes, ‘The Rhetoric of the Image’ in Image, Music, Text , trans. Stephen Heath, Hill and Wang, 1977: pp. 38-39
[9] Bell, David (2004). Ukiyo-e Explained. Global OrientalISBN 978-1-901903-41-6.
[10] Michener, James A. (1959). Japanese Print: From the Early Masters to the Modern. Charles E. Tuttle Company.  P. 59.

[12] Ivo Blom, ‘Frame, space narrative. Doors, windows, and mobile framing in the work of Luchino Visconti’, in: Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, series Film & Media Studies, Vol. 2, 2010, pp. 91-106:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Christine Clark's Interview by Sheila Alonzo

christine  sheila

SA: What can you say about this body of work on display?
CC: The Birthday Party Paintings  is a body of 17 12"x12" oil paintings on board.  They took 3 years to complete.  Many if not all of the paintings are the result of multiple repainting.  Sometimes repainted with new imagery, sometimes painted over with colour blocking, the final images and/or portions of the final images are layered and textured.  I think this is a result of time.  I gave myself enormous amounts of time to complete each piece.  I've been reading a lot of contemporary American writers recently (Wallace, Franzen) and they often write or speak about the importance of devoting long periods of time to specific "problems".  The importance of thinking about and around a single concept for a long time.  I was very conscious of this idea and chose to make this commitment to the work.  I gave myself unlimited time to wrestle with problems related to the image, the use of paint as an art and the source material.  I think this approach makes for a strong, honest and thorough body of work.

SA: How did you feel about the opening?
CC: I was very happy about the opening. People came and the paintings were well received.

SA: Why these particular images?
CC: The source material was a series of birthday party photographs taken by my mother.  Although we have a younger sister, the kids are primarily my brother and myself as well as our various friends and cousins.  I chose these images for several reasons.  One is that I don't at age 44 have any children of my own.  And so I've missed out on the transition from child to mother somehow.  I've had to come to a place of compassion and forgiveness for my parents not through the apparently difficult experience of having children, but by other more abstract means.  Also, when I started these paintings I was in early recovery from alcoholism and I found the sweetness of the images and the obvious sweetness of the woman who took those photos a fascinating contrast to what I remembered about my childhood which was marked by my father's alcoholism.  These paintings are not solely a reflection of my childhood, but more a consideration of everything I sacrificed because of my alcoholism.  I won't go into specifics about those sacrifices, but anyone who has struggled in the same way will know what I mean.  Primarily I'm referring to the loss of self that happens with excessive use of alcohol.  Alcohol becomes a mask or a disguise that at first is very comforting and very freeing, but it eventually becomes a trap and is very difficult to remove.  Alcoholism becomes who you are and it effects your entire life.

SA: Did you choose to display which pieces and arranged them in that order yourself?  I noticed image repetitions which I thought was very clever.  Are there more works in the 'same collection' that did not make it in the gallery space?
CC: Yes, I chose the arrangement and I'm glad you noticed the repetitions.  There was one other painting that I did not hang.  I felt it was too negative and since a member of my family was attending the opening I didn't want to upset her.

SA: When do you know when a piece is finished?
CC: I don't know.  A piece is least in this group of work...after a lot of struggle.  I think it might be finished when I look at the painting and it feels right in a way that is electric.

SA: Are the pieces for sale?
CC: The pieces are for sale.

SA: Where is your favourite place? - to create?
CC: Somewhere private but also where I can have friends stop by for coffee and talk.

SA: So what about birthdays?
CC: Birthdays are a celebration of life!

SA: What happens now?
CC: What happens now is that I am getting ready to spend the winter in France with my partner Steve.  We're very excited but also nervous because of course our French is atrocious.  I plan to write, probably documenting my experiences in a blog.  I'm thinking I will also concentrate on making drawings, but we shall see.

christine sheila2
yellow party
christine sheila 3

The Birthday Party Paintings by Christine Clark
Exhibition runs through Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Xchanges Gallery | 2333 Government Street, Suite 6E, Victoria | Tel 250 382 0442
Gallery Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 10 to 4pm or by appointment

Monday, October 6, 2014

Art Show: Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity at The Little Fernwood Gallery

Communities in Resistance and the Art of Solidarity 
Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 12:00pm to Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 12:00pm

Spoken word/performance event is 7:30 pm Friday Oct 24 at 1923 

Little Fernwood gallery 
1923 Fernwood Road
Victoria B.C.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Edmir Fernandes – October 2014 – Artist of the Month

edmir fernandes 1

Welcome into the art of Edmir Fernandes (EFernandes), a Brazilian born painter, who has been fascinated by the abstract form and movement of colours from his days: as a child, playing with his brightly painted toys or as a scientist, using the colorimetric to determine concentrations by colour intensity; or as a mature artist meticulously painting and arranging pistachio shells in patterns that reveal unspeakable beauty. Wherever he goes and whatever Edmir experiences, he extracts into sensations and patterns of light. In Shiny Happy People Edmir assembled 1,800 individually coloured pistachio shells in a 4'x8' diptych, representing the diversity of people and the colours of skin in search of their ‘planets’. (*)

Painting connects Edmir to the world of colours allowing him to express his loose painting style freely. He works on oils and acrylics, both canvases and wood panels. The work is rich in colours, textures, with hues emanating from multiple layers of paint. He concentrates on getting into a state of “readiness”, creating and conceptualizing the colours and brushstrokes needed to execute his work by setting up the desired variety of materials, which occurs within a state of mind, during which time the artist is oblivious of what is being created. Edmir’s passion is to create paintings for the enjoyment of others and himself.

He says: "I play with contrasts and colours and invite the viewer to feel the painting as a whole, and enter my World of Colours."

Why EFernandes uses Pistachio Shells?
It is because he likes working with their hollow and rounded shapes and their interesting differences. Every little shell is different, but among the diversity, there is one which is similar; like the original principle of twin shells. Other shells can be diversity or unity, discrepancy or harmony, depending on the colours, lines, movements. Every shell piece purposely arranged has its own meaning; which is led by the viewer’s eyes. The delicateness of the shells may be enhanced when they are painted in a diverse range of colours, contrasting light and dark, soothing your soul, enhancing your senses and your imagination. When Edmir chooses bright colours, this is the expression of his cheerful, lively, and radiant personality and the way he prefers to connect to people and to thank Mother Nature for its unspeakable beauty.
Edmir has a home-based studio under the name EFERNANDES, which is also the signature of his paintings. His paintings are in many private and public collections, to mention Singapore, France, Philippines, Canada, Chile, USA and Brazil.

You are welcome to visit his comprehensive website full of interesting information at as well as at
By Craig Spence, Writer (*)

edmir fernandes 2
edmir fernandes 3

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Naomi Grindlay at Eclectic Gallery


Naomi Grindlay

September 26 to November 1
Reception Thursday October 2, 6-8pm


Exquisitely rendered oils by Salt Spring Island artist Naomi Grindlay transform the meaning of still life. Her attention to detail captivates the magic of the moment. Awareness of light and beauty of form illuminate her breathtaking paintings juxtaposing floral elements from her garden with a timeless sense of style.

World Animal Day - Elephant Earth Events at Dales Gallery

Elephant Enigma by Dag Goering
G E T   I N S P I R E D
Life-size photo collages, installations and artefacts show the 
beauty and magnificence of these amazing creatures.

G E T   I N V O L V E D
Help save elephants: join Friends of Elephant 
Earth (FrEE), sign petitions, make a donation.

Panel Discussion - Oct. 5th,  4 - 6 pm

100 Miles for Elephants Trek

G O   T H E   D I S T A N C E
Would you go the extra mile for a cause you believe in? 
Team members of Hidden Places fundraising  
treks tell stories of their adventures in Africa. 
Limited seating. Dales Gallery - Call to register: (250) 995-3003

G E T   I N S P I R E D    -    G E T   I N V O L V E D     -    G O   T H E   D I S T A N C E 

Opening Night : Oct. 4, 2014 at 4pm 
Exhibition Oct. 4 to 21, 2014 

Christina Battle & Adán De La Garza at Deluge Contemporary Art


October 18 to November 1, 2014

five states of freedom

Christina Battle & Adán De La Garza

multiple video installation, 2014

five states of freedom operates as both documentation of performative actions and a critique of larger political issues. By drawing attention to our distancing of military actions from our own geographical landscape, the work increases conversations about the physical byproducts our military engagements have on domestic spaces. With a high percentage of land contaminated by military development, five states of freedom draws attention to the mainly invisible residues that still preside over the land. Fireworks have a direct tie to the history of artillery and in turn to notions of perceived American freedom. As we continually distance ourselves from directly engaging in battles at home, the celebratory acceptance of fireworks seems almost to be a reminder of this disengagement with the physicality of war.

Shot at various active and abandoned military installations in the United States, the work consists of a series of videos actively seeking out landscapes with histories of missile-based military presence. Focusing on visualizations of the residue of the military industrial complex upon the environment, five states of freedom is an ongoing project.

Sidney Fine Art Show at Mary Winspear Center