A LIFE WELL BALANCED:
THREE ARTISTS REFLECT ON NATURE
Exhibition Opening: December 8th, 5-7pm
Gallery Hours: December 8th to 17th
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Born in Germany, Maria spent her formative years in Montreal, Canada, in a family supportive of art education. Her early exposure to art in school and cultural events in Montreal imparted a lifelong interest in arts and crafts. Living in a number of provinces across Canada influenced her love of both urban and rural landscapes and living nature.
Upon retirement from a career in health care, Maria turned her attention to painting, taking courses at NSCAD University and workshops offered by acclaimed professional artists. She has refined her artistic practice and explored other mediums in her quest to continue to grow as an artist.
Maria paints primarily in acrylics depicting Nova Scotia lifestyles by incorporating how we live, work and play into local landscapes. Her fresh and spirited paintings have been acclaimed in a number of juried shows and won prizes five years in a row at the Contemporary Art Society annual members’ show at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. She uses colour in a fresh and sometimes unexpected way to create life in her artwork.
How do you tell a story with paint? I choose subject matter to portray energy and mood, colours and shapes to enliven the scene. Living beings are my favourite subjects. Sometimes the setting tells the story, other times it’s a facial expression or position of an appendage. Whether the setting is prominent or the figures are the focus, the colour and forms create life and feeling. I invite viewers into my art to share my experience or discover their own.
Doug Pope received an MA in Art History from Concordia University. He has taught courses in film studies and contemporary art, while also working in the fields of publishing, advertising, and film production. He is an avid nature photographer and has a passion for biology and science. He currently serves as president of the Robert Pope Foundation, a charity that promotes projects in art, health and nature.
Nature is full of patterns, as is the human world. Whether decorative, or intended to deceive or to display, patterns help us identify one creature from another. Patterns also create a sense of belonging. I think of sports uniforms, flowers repeating in a garden. Bee hives, starling murmurations—the patterns of how a species inhabits a landscape, patterns of behavior. Then we have the patterns in a carpet, wallpapers of trains and airplanes on my bedroom wall when I was a child. When I look at patterns, I try to explore how the human world collides with a more natural realm—is it possible to separate the two?
Allyson grew up in Halifax and attended NSCAD University, graduating with a BFA (Jewellery) in 1989. Upon graduation, she worked as a goldsmith in Ottawa, further honing her metalworking and design skills. In 1994 she was offered an opportunity to teach jewellery – making at Nunavut Arctic College and her adventurous spirit jumped at the chance. By 1997 it was time to start her own business, but before leaving Iqaluit Allyson created her second solo show – Arctic Landscapes: Jewellery and sculpture combining precious metals with stone from Canada’s Arctic.
Since then Allyson has participated in three Northern group projects including the Northwest Territory Mace and the Official Symbols of Nunavut Project, provided pieces for the Offices of the Prime Minister and Governor General of Canada and exhibited in numerous shows across Canada and the USA.
Allyson has traveled widely in Canada’s Arctic giving workshops, establishing jewellery studios, teaching and encouraging others to pursue a career in the arts. In 2000, Allyson moved back to Nova Scotia and began work on Seal Rock Studios. She is currently living with her family on Nova Scotia’s scenic south shore. Allyson continues to work as a professional artist, continuing to explore the theme of the Canadian and Arctic landscapes – sharing her experiences both North and South.
The reward is in the act of observing. Stone colours, textures, the shape of leaves, the ebb and flow of the sea, the changing seasons - all of these things continue to inspire my work. A gesture of thanks and appreciation.
At first it was a technical challenge - to really learn to see the natural world and to develop techniques to capture a sense of it in metal. But as time has passed I am now realizing another purpose: Connection. People connecting to place, places connecting to each other and our shared connection to the world around us.
Almost 20 years ago one of my students said the following to me:
"The moon casts three shadows you know."
I am still thinking about it.