"Representing our physical world, our experiences and ourselves is the constant challenge of the artist. 'Textural' draws our attention and admiration to those who continue to develop unusual strategies of art creation throughout their careers. This show is a celebration of those who have embraced texture and three dimensionality in order to communicate their ideas and their vision of the world." -Danielle Hoevenaars, Associate Director, Westland Gallery
Texture is the key word in this exhibition at the Westland Gallery in Wortley Village. The artists exhibiting are exploring this design element in a variety of media ranging from acrylic to encaustic, fiber and ceramics. Techniques both new are employed in subject matter from non-objective and landscape to dolls.
Bijan Ghalehpardaz employs acrylic in an unusual way by applying the colours in layers to a fair thickness then carving into it to reveal the colours below. This gives strength to the image entitled, Kobani Keeps Fighting, a reference to the ongoing siege of the town in Syria. A lone soldier stands looking over the city in a predominantly khaki green landscape punctuated with the revealed colours.
The sculptural works of Joanna Mozdzen are both free standing such as “Eve” and wall mounted portrait busts done in glazed clay.
The smaller encaustic landscape paintings of Olga Cooper contrast the two larger acrylic works of Chris Klein which choose as their subject matter costumes hanging in the Stratford Festival warehouse. The costumes show a variety of textures in the materials and decoration while the wax of Cooper’s work creates a texture of its own.
Cooper states that the Westland Gallery’s strength is in the fact that it is not intimidating no matter whether you know a lot or very little about art. You always feel welcome here.
Other artists in the show include Eric Simard, Marcy Saddy, Chris Klein, Meghan Dauphinee , Simone Young, Steve Tracy, Robyn Craig, Cliff Kearns, Kaaren Batten and Ann Rooney. Each one of these artists has found a different way to use textures in their compositions.
Artworks that celebrate the tactile and make you want to reach out and touch. But don’t!
Cheryl Jennings is a local artist, freelance writer and retired high school teacher.