Last Friday instead of the usual post-work-week-drinks at the campus pub, I headed over to the UNB Art Centre (also known as Memorial Hall) for an exhibit opening featuring Paula Keppie. I’d seen posters around campus advertising the opening but hadn’t intended on going at first, since I like to explore art in my own time and take a long time to absorb paintings. A colleague convinced me to go and I’m really glad I did.
Paula’s work is very rich and organic. She uses nature a lot in her paintings and fabrics, both as a subject and as a media. There was even a piece of the exhibit dedicated to her materials, a box with bones, feathers, branches and rocks she used to paint with.
Unfortunately I can’t find much of her work online, so I’ll post a few photos from the catalogue I picked up at her gallery opening.
During her artist talk she discussed some of the methods used to create these pieces. The one above, “I Will Speak To You In Stone” is a digital print on fabric. To get the design for the print, she used different combinations of paint on fabric and staining fabric with rust from a metal bucket. This piece was hung near the middle of the room and radiated so much warmth. I’m sure it would look lovely in the sun. Rust, while being so destructive can provide so much beauty.
These are more fabric-printed pieces but these also have stitching. The stitching is hard to see here but while it is straight, the lines are uneven and not spaced uniformly. Based on the patterns that staining and painting have given the fabric, I think uniform stitching would seem out of place.
This one is a painting done on a black canvas, using some of the natural materials I mentioned earlier. I love her use of repeating patterns and symmetry. The textures created through many many layers of paint and use of interesting brushes are lush and blend her warm palette beautifully.
Listening to her speak about her work was one of the highlights of the opening. It became immediately obvious that she feels a deep connection to her work and has much love for it. She talked about the people involved in her work and those who inspired it, read some poetry that she’d written about it and her words filled the room with her inspiration and depth. I got to talk to her briefly and she was extremely friendly and not shy at all talking about her methods of working. I really appreciate this from artists.
If you’re near UNBF campus any time soon you should check out this exhibit. I may give it a second visit, myself. Paula Keppie’s Code Exhibit runs until Nov.29th.
Earlier last week I had some time to kill before my first figure drawing studio so I stopped by Ingrid Mueller. They were getting ready to open up “Royals Rhymes and Ruminations”, a collection of works by Nancy and Alex Schofield. The works in this exhibit are similiar, in a way, to Paula Keppie’s work in that they’re both comprised of many layers. The difference with this exhibit, though, is the inclusion of surreal and life-like objects.
Again, I was unable to find much of Alex’s work online but I did stumble across some of Nancy’s. Her pieces in this exhibit lean more towards the “Royal” side of things. Images of queens, nature scenes and beautiful fonts dance throughout her work. She uses a lot of print-making to achieve her layers through carving into wood, using chemicals w/zinc plates and mixing it with with other various media. Her works are colorful and reminiscent of fairy tales, complex pieces with intricate layers that demand more than a second glance.
I can’t find any of Alex’s art but I encourage you to visit Ingrid Mueller to check it out in person! The exhibit runs until November 15th. His works are very similar to Nancy’s, leading me to believe they worked together, or were at least inspired by each other. They’re a bit more surreal and less life-like. Washes of colors bring together seemingly unrelated subjects. I enjoyed his pieces quite a bit, as there are snippets of old children’s books peaking out in corners of various paintings.
I enjoyed this exhibit most because there is more to it than what’s on the surface. The colors, subjects and symbolism are beautiful to look at but entice you to look longer, to figure out what brings them together.
EDIT: Ingrid Mueller has starting posting some of Nancy & Alex’s work online!