2010 AOTP Symposium

UNABASHED CELEBRATION OF VISUAL ART

by Jody Farrell

A highly-anticipated annual event for visual artists and their fans, the Art of the Peace Symposium runs this year from Friday, October 15, to Sunday, October 17, 2010, at the Centre for Creative Arts in downtown Grande Prairie. The week- end, which has garnered past praise for its inclusive, unabashed celebration of visual arts, once again hosts a wide range of presentations, panels, mixers, and hands-on workshops for participants from throughout Alberta and British Columbia. This year’s symposium will feature three Alberta artists, all women living in the Calgary area, all having practiced their vocation both here and abroad.

Light Echo Installation - Dianne Bos

DIANNE BOS’S photographs have been featured in international publications, and her garden photography and writing published in Canadian, American and Japanese magazines. She has exhibited internationally since 1981 and is most widely known for her construction and use of pinhole cameras. Many of her exhibitions also feature walk-in light installations and sound pieces.

The Mount Allison, New Brunswick BFA graduate, who resides in both the foothills of the Alberta Rockies, and the Pyrenees in Europe, is fascinated with the science of light and how different devices change the perception of time and space.

On the About Dianne Bos link on her website, www.diannebos.com, a short video explains how, for Bos, shooting subjects using anything more modern than her rudimentary, hand-built pinhole cameras “put too much between me and the picture.”

“Viewers have said that my work evokes the memory-image that remains for them long after they have viewed a familiar location”, Bos says. “I think this recognizes the importance I have assigned to time, memory and capturing the essence of the place.”

Bos will present images of the installation piece Light Echo, a collaborative work with Doug Welch, a professor of physics and astronomy at McMaster University in Hamilton, On- tario. Presented in 2009 in honour of Unesco’s International Year of Astronomy, Light Echo recreates the Tycho supernova, a stellar explosion that was witnessed in 1572 and a later one, that went unnoticed, in 1680. Light echoes are leftover streaks of light that last up to thousands of years following the explosions of supernovae. Dr. Welch and a team of astronomers identified light echoes linked to those centu- ries-old explosions in a study thats success is now seen as having contributed to new ways of looking at the sky.

Bos and Welch’s recreation of the supernovae featured thousands of computer-controlled light bulbs arranged in constellations on the ceilings, walls, and ground, giving participants the illusion of sitting amidst a sea of stars. Suddenly, a silent explosion lights up the sky. A 16th century astronomer’s lab was recreated for the installation, with candles, ancient charts and globes. Bos will explain how Light Echo ties into photography and her use of the pinhole camera.

Listen To - Trudy Golley

TRUDY GOLLEY is an internationally exhibited, award-winning ceramic artist who completed her undergraduate training at the Alberta College of Art + Design and the University of Calgary, and her graduate studies at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.

An instructor in the Visual Art Department and Head of Ceramics at Red Deer College, Golley has participated in workshops throughout the world, and has conducted ceramic artist residencies in China and tours of pottery studios in the UK.

A recent exhibition at the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto, featured work she did in collaboration with metal-smith Paul Leathers while in China. They share the website www.Alluvium.ca

Golley’s interest in unconventional ceramic surfaces follows her desire to challenge more familiar notions regarding the medium. To this end, she incorporates elements including space and light.

Golley will speak about her international studio practice, why she does these residencies, and how they inform her art. A survey of her work will show her gradual move from the representational and symbolic to the sublime, which sees negative space becoming as sig- nificant as its surrounding form.

“I create novel forms and experiences for the viewer to encounter,” Golley explains. “Without depicting a specific event, object, or place, I aim to capture a sense of the sublime in order to hold the viewer’s attention and trigger their imagination.”

Her stoneware wall piece Listen to… which Golley created “in response to the seemingly endless Canadian winters,” is designed and positioned so that sunlight passing over it creates an aurora along the wall that grows from a tiny glimmer to a significant arc.

Silvey - Larissa Doll

LARISSA DOLL, a graduate and extension faculty member of Alberta College of Art + Design, will speak of her figurative work, focusing primarily on paintings she made while living in the Congo, Africa, between 2004 and 2006.

A profile of the artist and her profound experience in that war-torn region appeared in the last issue of Art of the Peace (see www.artofthepeace.ca/is-
sue-14
).

Doll’s African subjects, mostly women, many with babies, were painted in a way that afforded them a dignity not often appar- ent in the sorrowful images of hunger and despair that were once fed to the Western world in order to drum up support and donations.

“In the Congo (painting) series, it was important for me to em- power each character,” Doll says in the article, entitled Just Under The Surface. “… I wanted to portray these women and children as symbols of strength and resilience. They should be celebrated for their strengths rather than their hardships.”
Still, those same women, whose stories Doll came to know intimately as she be-friended and painted them going about their everyday activities, endured unimaginable hardships. So affected was the artist that only now, years later, has she begun painting what she calls “the rest of the story.”

“It will be interesting to see how it’s going to evolve now that I’m not in the country anymore,” Doll remarks. She expects the work to be heavier perhaps, addressing not only the courage and resilience, but also the darkness and difficulties she shared and lived through.

“What remains the same, is it has to move me and mean something to me… I explore the act of seeing on all levels. See- ing to the extent of feeling. Painting from life captures the experience. It is a series of events pulled together forming a still impression.”


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WAXING POETIC

by Wendy Stefansson“Encaustic paint is simply beeswax, resin and pigment.” Yet its “surface can be pol- ished to a high gloss for a luminous effect, or the wax can be modelled, sculpted, textured, and combined with collage material,” according to Wisconsin encaustic artist, Jessie Fritsch.Dating back to the 5th century BC, encaustic is making a comeback among Peace Country artists nearly two and a half millennia later.

CAROL BROMLEY MEERES

[caption id="attachment_604" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Forces - Carol Bromley Meeres"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="213" /> [/caption]Grande Prairie artist Carol Bromley Meeres admits that she finds the materials she uses for her encaustic work “sensually pleasing to use.” Although encaustics are paints, Bromley Meeres’ approach doesn’t necessarily involve brushes at all. She might use brushes just to get the warm wax onto the surface of the work. After that, she uses a heat gun to keep it flowing while she pours, tips, tilts the paint, or moves it around with sticks. It’s a fluid process, literally.When it hardens, she buffs it to translucency – or not. Buffed, encaustic takes on a clarity and luminosity akin to oil paints. Unbuffed, the wax becomes opaque. It takes on a whitish colour referred to as a “bloom.” Traditionally considered to be a mistake, Bromley Meeres sometimes uses it to deliberate effect.“I find the bloom very attractive,” she relates. It has an organic quality, “like the bloom you find on really dark grapes.” But then, Bromley Meeres is not afraid to break the so-called rules.She sometimes uses encaustic paints on loose canvas or paper instead of the traditional wood panel. These surfaces bend and flex, causing the wax to crack and resulting in random and unpredictable textures; batik-like. Or she inte- grates found materials into her work – anything that serves her purposes from the ‘precious’ to the throw-away, from copper leaf to delicate pieces of ink-stained paper to bits of plastic.Bromley Meeres likes the way encaustics “get materials into the piece.” Submerging an object in wax makes it immediately integral to the work of art; not just an addition to it. She also likes the texture encaustics can add to otherwise flat pieces.

TABITHA LOGAN

[caption id="attachment_605" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Diffusion 1 - Tabitha Logan"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="328" /> [/caption]It’s a warm art in a cold climate. That’s one of the things that Dawson Creek artist Tabitha Logan says she loves about encaustic.Eight or nine years ago she discovered the work of Toronto- based encaustic painter Tony Scherman and immediately became “infatuated with the idea of using wax.” And although there have been moments since then when she felt “the wax wouldn’t co-operate,” Logan says the thing that kept her coming back to encaustics was that “the warmth of all the wax was like therapy.”Under the glow of a heat lamp, Logan applies the wax in strokes she describes as “chunky,” developing sensual new textures with each layer. Sometimes she engraves the surface or cuts away parts of it in a one-step-forward-one- step-back kind of process. Sometimes she integrates collage elements into the work -- charcoal sketches she has made, for example. Sometimes she burnishes a photocopy face down on the still-warm wax to transfer it onto the surface, leaving behind an imperfect image like a partially forgotten memory.Logan says: “If I am trying to understand something ... I’ll take those ideas and work them into my collages.” In a recent anthropology class, for example, a professor was describing the dispersion of early humans out of Africa and throughout the world. Listening, Logan’s “mind went off into the art zone.” The result was Diffusion, a work in which she transferred a map onto the background, then layered it with an image of a homo sapien skull and various masses of colour – brown, green and red – ‘moving’ in different directions like our early ancestors did.Logan says, art is a part of the process of “making sure I understand it all.”

DARLENE DAUTEL

[caption id="attachment_606" align="alignright" width="275" caption="Ladies In Red - Darlene Dautel"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="275" height="350" /> [/caption]“It’s absolutely freeing!” That’s what encaustic artist Darlene Dautel has to say about the medium.For years Dautel, who raises honeybees with her husband on a farm near Beaverlodge, has used the wax her bees produce to make batiks. In that process, hot wax is applied to a fabric as a resist to the dye which is used to colour it. The artist works through the process alternately applying wax and dye, wax and dye. Along the way, water spots of dye become embedded in and between the layers of wax, sometimes creating beautiful and surprising effects. Dautel was often sad to iron off the wax in the end. She found herself wanting to leave the work as it was. So when she discovered encaustics through a magazine article five or six years ago, she could immediately see the possibilities.“It’s sort of magical,” Dautel says, because you can take something that is hard and set one minute, and apply heat to it and completely transform it into something else. From a solid to a liquid: “You can really get the whole board moving.”“It’s that fluidity. It’s the movement. It’s the surprise of it,” that keeps Dautel challenged and excited about encaustics. But she also enjoys the medium’s sculptural qualities; first building up texture in a work through layer-upon-layer of wax, then carving back into it, uncovering earlier colours, gestures, and ideas like an archaeologist digging; like a mind remembering.Dautel concludes: “it’s the everchangingness of it that I really love.”
8 years ago

WAXING POETIC

by Wendy Stefansson“Encaustic paint is simply beeswax, resin and pigment.” Yet its “surface can be pol- ished to a high gloss for a luminous effect, or the wax can be modelled, sculpted, textured, and combined with collage material,” according to Wisconsin encaustic artist, Jessie Fritsch.Dating back to the 5th century BC, encaustic is making a comeback among Peace Country artists nearly two and a half millennia later.

CAROL BROMLEY MEERES

[caption id="attachment_604" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Forces - Carol Bromley Meeres"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="213" /> [/caption]Grande Prairie artist Carol Bromley Meeres admits that she finds the materials she uses for her encaustic work “sensually pleasing to use.” Although encaustics are paints, Bromley Meeres’ approach doesn’t necessarily involve brushes at all. She might use brushes just to get the warm wax onto the surface of the work. After that, she uses a heat gun to keep it flowing while she pours, tips, tilts the paint, or moves it around with sticks. It’s a fluid process, literally.When it hardens, she buffs it to translucency – or not. Buffed, encaustic takes on a clarity and luminosity akin to oil paints. Unbuffed, the wax becomes opaque. It takes on a whitish colour referred to as a “bloom.” Traditionally considered to be a mistake, Bromley Meeres sometimes uses it to deliberate effect.“I find the bloom very attractive,” she relates. It has an organic quality, “like the bloom you find on really dark grapes.” But then, Bromley Meeres is not afraid to break the so-called rules.She sometimes uses encaustic paints on loose canvas or paper instead of the traditional wood panel. These surfaces bend and flex, causing the wax to crack and resulting in random and unpredictable textures; batik-like. Or she inte- grates found materials into her work – anything that serves her purposes from the ‘precious’ to the throw-away, from copper leaf to delicate pieces of ink-stained paper to bits of plastic.Bromley Meeres likes the way encaustics “get materials into the piece.” Submerging an object in wax makes it immediately integral to the work of art; not just an addition to it. She also likes the texture encaustics can add to otherwise flat pieces.

TABITHA LOGAN

[caption id="attachment_605" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Diffusion 1 - Tabitha Logan"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="328" /> [/caption]It’s a warm art in a cold climate. That’s one of the things that Dawson Creek artist Tabitha Logan says she loves about encaustic.Eight or nine years ago she discovered the work of Toronto- based encaustic painter Tony Scherman and immediately became “infatuated with the idea of using wax.” And although there have been moments since then when she felt “the wax wouldn’t co-operate,” Logan says the thing that kept her coming back to encaustics was that “the warmth of all the wax was like therapy.”Under the glow of a heat lamp, Logan applies the wax in strokes she describes as “chunky,” developing sensual new textures with each layer. Sometimes she engraves the surface or cuts away parts of it in a one-step-forward-one- step-back kind of process. Sometimes she integrates collage elements into the work -- charcoal sketches she has made, for example. Sometimes she burnishes a photocopy face down on the still-warm wax to transfer it onto the surface, leaving behind an imperfect image like a partially forgotten memory.Logan says: “If I am trying to understand something ... I’ll take those ideas and work them into my collages.” In a recent anthropology class, for example, a professor was describing the dispersion of early humans out of Africa and throughout the world. Listening, Logan’s “mind went off into the art zone.” The result was Diffusion, a work in which she transferred a map onto the background, then layered it with an image of a homo sapien skull and various masses of colour – brown, green and red – ‘moving’ in different directions like our early ancestors did.Logan says, art is a part of the process of “making sure I understand it all.”

DARLENE DAUTEL

[caption id="attachment_606" align="alignright" width="275" caption="Ladies In Red - Darlene Dautel"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="275" height="350" /> [/caption]“It’s absolutely freeing!” That’s what encaustic artist Darlene Dautel has to say about the medium.For years Dautel, who raises honeybees with her husband on a farm near Beaverlodge, has used the wax her bees produce to make batiks. In that process, hot wax is applied to a fabric as a resist to the dye which is used to colour it. The artist works through the process alternately applying wax and dye, wax and dye. Along the way, water spots of dye become embedded in and between the layers of wax, sometimes creating beautiful and surprising effects. Dautel was often sad to iron off the wax in the end. She found herself wanting to leave the work as it was. So when she discovered encaustics through a magazine article five or six years ago, she could immediately see the possibilities.“It’s sort of magical,” Dautel says, because you can take something that is hard and set one minute, and apply heat to it and completely transform it into something else. From a solid to a liquid: “You can really get the whole board moving.”“It’s that fluidity. It’s the movement. It’s the surprise of it,” that keeps Dautel challenged and excited about encaustics. But she also enjoys the medium’s sculptural qualities; first building up texture in a work through layer-upon-layer of wax, then carving back into it, uncovering earlier colours, gestures, and ideas like an archaeologist digging; like a mind remembering.Dautel concludes: “it’s the everchangingness of it that I really love.”
8 years ago

WAXING POETIC

by Wendy Stefansson“Encaustic paint is simply beeswax, resin and pigment.” Yet its “surface can be pol- ished to a high gloss for a luminous effect, or the wax can be modelled, sculpted, textured, and combined with collage material,” according to Wisconsin encaustic artist, Jessie Fritsch.Dating back to the 5th century BC, encaustic is making a comeback among Peace Country artists nearly two and a half millennia later.

CAROL BROMLEY MEERES

[caption id="attachment_604" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Forces - Carol Bromley Meeres"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="213" /> [/caption]Grande Prairie artist Carol Bromley Meeres admits that she finds the materials she uses for her encaustic work “sensually pleasing to use.” Although encaustics are paints, Bromley Meeres’ approach doesn’t necessarily involve brushes at all. She might use brushes just to get the warm wax onto the surface of the work. After that, she uses a heat gun to keep it flowing while she pours, tips, tilts the paint, or moves it around with sticks. It’s a fluid process, literally.When it hardens, she buffs it to translucency – or not. Buffed, encaustic takes on a clarity and luminosity akin to oil paints. Unbuffed, the wax becomes opaque. It takes on a whitish colour referred to as a “bloom.” Traditionally considered to be a mistake, Bromley Meeres sometimes uses it to deliberate effect.“I find the bloom very attractive,” she relates. It has an organic quality, “like the bloom you find on really dark grapes.” But then, Bromley Meeres is not afraid to break the so-called rules.She sometimes uses encaustic paints on loose canvas or paper instead of the traditional wood panel. These surfaces bend and flex, causing the wax to crack and resulting in random and unpredictable textures; batik-like. Or she inte- grates found materials into her work – anything that serves her purposes from the ‘precious’ to the throw-away, from copper leaf to delicate pieces of ink-stained paper to bits of plastic.Bromley Meeres likes the way encaustics “get materials into the piece.” Submerging an object in wax makes it immediately integral to the work of art; not just an addition to it. She also likes the texture encaustics can add to otherwise flat pieces.

TABITHA LOGAN

[caption id="attachment_605" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Diffusion 1 - Tabitha Logan"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="328" /> [/caption]It’s a warm art in a cold climate. That’s one of the things that Dawson Creek artist Tabitha Logan says she loves about encaustic.Eight or nine years ago she discovered the work of Toronto- based encaustic painter Tony Scherman and immediately became “infatuated with the idea of using wax.” And although there have been moments since then when she felt “the wax wouldn’t co-operate,” Logan says the thing that kept her coming back to encaustics was that “the warmth of all the wax was like therapy.”Under the glow of a heat lamp, Logan applies the wax in strokes she describes as “chunky,” developing sensual new textures with each layer. Sometimes she engraves the surface or cuts away parts of it in a one-step-forward-one- step-back kind of process. Sometimes she integrates collage elements into the work -- charcoal sketches she has made, for example. Sometimes she burnishes a photocopy face down on the still-warm wax to transfer it onto the surface, leaving behind an imperfect image like a partially forgotten memory.Logan says: “If I am trying to understand something ... I’ll take those ideas and work them into my collages.” In a recent anthropology class, for example, a professor was describing the dispersion of early humans out of Africa and throughout the world. Listening, Logan’s “mind went off into the art zone.” The result was Diffusion, a work in which she transferred a map onto the background, then layered it with an image of a homo sapien skull and various masses of colour – brown, green and red – ‘moving’ in different directions like our early ancestors did.Logan says, art is a part of the process of “making sure I understand it all.”

DARLENE DAUTEL

[caption id="attachment_606" align="alignright" width="275" caption="Ladies In Red - Darlene Dautel"]http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Forces-CarolBromleyMeeres-350x213.jpg" alt="" width="275" height="350" /> [/caption]“It’s absolutely freeing!” That’s what encaustic artist Darlene Dautel has to say about the medium.For years Dautel, who raises honeybees with her husband on a farm near Beaverlodge, has used the wax her bees produce to make batiks. In that process, hot wax is applied to a fabric as a resist to the dye which is used to colour it. The artist works through the process alternately applying wax and dye, wax and dye. Along the way, water spots of dye become embedded in and between the layers of wax, sometimes creating beautiful and surprising effects. Dautel was often sad to iron off the wax in the end. She found herself wanting to leave the work as it was. So when she discovered encaustics through a magazine article five or six years ago, she could immediately see the possibilities.“It’s sort of magical,” Dautel says, because you can take something that is hard and set one minute, and apply heat to it and completely transform it into something else. From a solid to a liquid: “You can really get the whole board moving.”“It’s that fluidity. It’s the movement. It’s the surprise of it,” that keeps Dautel challenged and excited about encaustics. But she also enjoys the medium’s sculptural qualities; first building up texture in a work through layer-upon-layer of wax, then carving back into it, uncovering earlier colours, gestures, and ideas like an archaeologist digging; like a mind remembering.Dautel concludes: “it’s the everchangingness of it that I really love.”
8 years ago