November 7 – December 16, 2017 (Opening reception: November 11, 8-10:30 pm)
Remnants: Finding Beauty in Transience and Decay
Studio 22 Open Gallery, Kingston, Ontario
November ushers in the season of bleakness, yet there is an austere, melancholy beauty in the decaying landscape. As summer’s greenery dries and crumbles, and then is blanketed in snow, remnants of its patterns and textures show through. I am drawn to these sparse, quiet landscapes with their vestiges of abundance: cornstalks in frozen fields, dead trees in a flooded pond, detritus on a forest floor. The signs of aging can be equally evocative and beautiful on human-made surfaces — peeling paint on weathered barnboard, a rusty metal door, cracked plaster in an abandoned building.
My working method is a natural fit for exploring the way structures and landscapes morph over time. I work in layers, selectively revealing or obscuring parts of the layers below to create an evocative surface. Just as a landscape or weathered surface bears hints of its evolution, my painted surfaces reveal a complex history of underlying texture and colour.
Earlier this year, an artist described one of her pieces to me as “wabi sabi”. The term was new to me. It’s a Japanese concept; more a philosophy than simply an aesthetic, it embraces imperfection, transience and decay. It’s about finding beauty in simplicity and authenticity. This is the spirit in which I have created this body of work.