This time of year always makes me feel thoughtful, reflective and thankful. It has been a full year for me–filled with new challenges and experiences. This time last year I was in the middle of a stack of paperwork and phone calls trying to figure out how to apply for a Russian visa and how to bring an art exhibition in my carry on bag. When I reflect on this year one of the things that stands out to me the most are the people that I met along the way: from the exhibition in Russia, to the Sooke Fine Art Show, to the Moss Street Market and my current exhibition at the fifty fifty arts collective. This is one of the most surprising things I have learned from having an art practice. I have made more friends and met more people through art than any other way. But really, isn’t this the whole point of art? To be seen. And in being seen–bringing people together.
It has been a blessing to spend time back on the island again, enjoying favourite places, visiting friends and staying with family. Especially now, as we are preparing to spend a few months in New Zealand working and creating art, it makes me so glad to reconnect with the Victoria arts community and loved ones.
These images are of a grey wire whale I made for Jill Ehlert. I met Jill when she gave an artist talk at the Vancouver Island School of Art a few years ago. I immediately connected with her work and we quickly became friends. Jill and I share a common awe of the ocean and creatures that live there. She has been focusing on the intertidal zone in her work for many years. Her knowledge and familiarity of the subject matter is very apparent. I enjoy visiting her in her studio and I almost always see something unexpected! Her bright studio is adorned with beautiful, twisted pieces of seaweeds, artworks, stacks of interesting books, open sketchbooks, works in progress and tiny treasures. Research is a large part of her practice and yet her forms aren’t stiff or restricted, but full of life–straddling the line between representation and abstraction. If you like the ocean, you will love Jill’s work! I highly recommend checking out her lovely website here.
Speaking of art bringing people together… if you are in the Victoria area, please stop by the Leviathanic Allusion exhibition before it comes down at the end of the week. I will be there on the last day from 12-4pm on Friday, January 25 and would be happy to visit and give a tour of the work. Everyone welcome!