Jan 24 2016

A Terrible Beauty – Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr (The Reach Gallery Abbotsford)

Do not miss this!

Edward Burtynsky, Mount Edziza Provincial Park #4, Northern British Columbia, Canada

Running from Jan 21, 2016 to April 10, 2016 at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford is the traveling exhibition ‘A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr’ curated and pulled from the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery.  There are eighteen large scale photographs from Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky that span multiple series from 1983 to 2012.  There are also six paintings by Emily Carr that speak to similar themes of the human impact on the environment.  In particular Emily Carr’s Loggers’ Culls, 1935 and Above the Gravel Pit, 1937 show our early impact on the British Columbia landscape.  Burtynsky’s work although it begins in British Columbia with Homesteads and Railcuts soon moves on to a more global view with works from series such as Quarries & oil. 

Emily Carr, Loggers’ Culls, 1935 oil on canvas


Emily Carr helped to shape our perceptions of the British Columbia landscape, in particular the coastal forests, however today an artist seeking out those same settings is confronted with something more like what Burtynsky presents to us, a landscape shaped and altered by human activity.

The impact of the Burtynsky photographs are aided by their physical scale.  They are large, with a focus that extends from foreground to background.  With the photographic visual language cue of focus depth removed the viewer is forced to interpret the scale of the scene through its content.  This can be somewhat jarring as you come to terms with thousands of burning tires in ‘Burning Tire Pile #1 Near Stockton California’ or uncounted circuit boards filling the landscape ‘China Recycling #9, Circuit Boards, Guiy, Guangdong Provice, China 2004’ or the more flattened scenery of  recent works from the series ‘Water’ . 

I could continue to try to write about this but my efforts would always fall short of standing in front of these works in person. The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford has free admission and seeing this exhibition is well worth the trip for anyone located in the Fraser Valley and beyond.

Amusingly I visited on a day where they were hosting a Family Literacy day celebration which filled the gallery with activity and the cacophony of tiny voices.  Your visit is likely to be much quieter.

Jan 15 2016

Ideas of Breath

Nicole and Allison
Perhaps you’re an artist that creates just for the pleasure of it, or you hope to affect the world or maybe your reasons lie somewhere in between. In any case having your work in front of other people can be an affirmation that you’re achieving your aim. While having an online audience to share with is nice there is something special about being in the presence of art and other people viewing it. All you need to do is bring your art to the closest gallery and hang it up…what that’s not how it works? Maybe that’s how it works online but in the physical world it takes planning and hard work by dedicated people who love art.
Rather than talk about my work I would like to thank those hard working art lovers that provide opportunities for other artist to experience the joy of having their work seen. In this case I wanted to thank Allison and Nicole of Latent Image Magazine for putting together ‘Ideas of Breath’.
The call for submissions described it like this ‘We want to see what you create when you pull a theme apart, rather than construct one. Let the stream of consciousness take control and work around what the title Ideas of Breath means to you.’
The resulting show pulls together different artists and ideas in a wonderful way going places no one artist could do.

Ideas of Breath runs until Feb 8 at the Ayden gallery in Vancouver.

Jun 24 2014

Interactions #7


Jul 25 2013

2nd Fraser Valley Regional Biennale – July 26 – August 20, 2013

Today I get to deliver one of my photographic prints to the Kariton Gallery for the 2nd Fraser Valley Regional Biennale I’m especially looking forward to seeing all the different work from the other artists that have been selected.

The work of mine is titled “Pipeline Crossing”.  The piece is part of my exploration of our relationship with fossil fuels and their impact, as the pipeline seems to precariously cross the sky.  The scale is hinted at with the human sized ladders.


If you would like to see the full picture (without my goofy visage) as well as all the other art please visit the Kariton Gallery during the Biennale and if you can at the opening reception on Sunday July 28th 1-4pm

On the technical side the physical print is 40cm x 58cm and is a digital archival print from a scan of 35mm Kodak Ektar 100 film.  It was printed skillfully at Abbotsford Lens and Shutter  and professionally framed at Abbotsford Art Gallery where they do a fantastic job.


I was also a participant in the 1st Fraser Valley Biennale at the Reach Gallery with one of my oil paintings “Made in Occupied Japan”


Oct 22 2011

Green Gallery

Two things are happening here I am posting some images of green things and I’m using you as a guinea pig to test out a flash gallery.  Thank you for your unwitting cooperation.  The thing is I have thousands of images on my blog and mostly they get mentioned and then fade away as I post even more.  So after the suggestion of Nikhil Ramkarran to have my prints grouped together I’ve decided to create some galleries starting with my acll phone pictures.  The first effort in that pursuit is to present the images of  this blog post using a gallery that I created in Lightroom.

If you click on the image bellow you will be presented with a flash gallery of green’ness.  The point of this is that it will allow me to easily control and update my galleries through Lightroom without needing to do anything with my blog.

I realize that by doing this I am currently excluding iPhone users but that is an Apple issue not mine, I can’t tailor my site just to suit one handset, sorry maybe in the iPhone 6.

UPDATE  before I even posted this I have created the gallery for my cell phone images which can be found under links on the right.  Cell Phone Image Gallery

Sep 2 2011

Elizabeth Colborne Wood Cuts

I went to the Whatcom museum and art gallery to see the work of a  Washington state artist, Elizabeth Colborne  (1885-1948) , who produced beautiful wood block prints and paintings.  Photography isn’t allowed at the gallery but I did purchase the gallery guide which has some great reproductions of her work.  It was an exceptionally interesting show for me because some of the images are from working proofs and really do a great job of showing her method.  The show has been on since June but ends soon (Sept. 21, 2011),  it certainly has inspired me to make some more prints.

Oct 2 2010

Door with Shadows

I walked past this door as the long shadows of morning stretched across it.  I took a quick shot with my cell phone camera for reference with the thought of doing a sketch and possibly a print later.  So here is the sketch done in charcoal on toned paper.

Sep 25 2010

Learning by doing.

While having an idea is great, if you are going to share it with others at some instant you have to put it out there.  Well I have an idea and that is to create some images that are comprised entirely of buttons.  The idea of going straight into some monumental work without figuring out how it will all come together is not likely to come close to my vision.   To start off I thought I would do a small scale piece.  So what did I learn?  I need to work on a larger scale.  Each button is like a pixel and the more pixels the more detail.  The other thing is that perhaps I was a bit too subtle with the button in relation to the background.  No not any particular button but the button that is made from the other buttons.  “Fascinating” you say yes “Fastening” I say.

Sep 18 2010

Confounded by buttons

I have thousands of buttons that I want to use to create some paintings, that part is great.  What isn’t great is that I am hindered by the lack of a subject.  I’ve thought about how we have become so disconnected from our clothes and their manufacture.  I was reminded of this while looking at an old photography of my grandmother darning a sock.  I’ve considered also the history of textiles and it’s relationship to women, but am I right to tackle that?   I do have one image in mind that I will likely do to help develop how I will use the buttons and the amount of effort required, which I suspect will be considerable.

May 20 2010

Art by a thousand cuts

The Grand theatre is now closed and gone, replaced by a gym.  Right about where the “6” and “THEATERS” is is now a window so that you can look out over the parking lot as you sweat.  This is not an image about nostalgia or the loss of culturally significant landmarks, it was a theatre it’s now a gym.

The full image is 4″x6″ so you can see that each individual cut is very small and it takes thousands of them to reveal the white.  After all that is the act of relief printing, you leave behind what will print as black,  and remove what will be white.  This is a working proof , but is mostly done, and just needs more care during printing.