A solo exhibition of drawings and sculptural installation exploring themes of the sea, of journeys and of connection to our natural environment.
RANGER STATION ART GALLERY, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
September 4-25 Opening reception Sunday, September 4, 2-4pm
Artist Workshop on Sunday, September 25, 2-4pm
In her first solo exhibition since completing her MFA post-graduate degree with distinction at Falmouth University, UK earlier this year, Siobhan continues her exploration of the sea using the metaphor of the boat and abstracted aspects of nature to create visual narratives of degradation, resilience, and interconnectivity. Living near the water as a former Artist in Residence at the Ranger Station Art Gallery (2012-2013) inspired the themes that grew into an extensive body of work she called Tender to the Sea.
The upcoming Not Lost at Sea is a multi-media exhibition of over two-hundred and thirty drawings and two sculptural installations that highlight her Day-to-Day Aesthetics methodology promoting a committed daily art practice, an earth-friendly ethos, engaging with reclaimed, recycled or found materials, and encouraging exploration of the artist’s urban and natural surroundings.
“It is my wish that through interacting with this body of work, or connecting even with a single element of a particular piece, the viewer is transformed in some way -that they become a participant in the thoughts and ideas presented. To share an appreciation and respect for our astonishing environment and to consider what is at risk, extending beyond the gallery space and into the world of dilemmas and delights gives my artistic practice significant purpose and direction.”
INCLUDED IN THIS EXHIBITION ARE THE FOLLOWING PIECES
A DAY LIKE THIS Graphite paint, watercolour on vellum
This piece started as little drawings that were of comfort to me as I was doing them; graphite paint and watercolour sketches based loosely on seaweed found on the beaches of Cornwall. As I painted more and more of them, they seemed to open up in their meaning and even what they seemed to look like. I had ideas of what I would do this them: stacking them to be only seen from the side, making a large window piece that would eventually fade, or, as seen here in their second iteration, as a way to activate a space by installing them as overlapping objects. They are whatever the viewer wants them to be.
DESIRE LINE Hand sewn, reclaimed moving blankets, lost wax bronze
While in this piece there is an obvious absence of human presence, the human element is represented by scale. These hand sewn boats are hand size and would fit perfectly in our hands like the little boats we may have made as children, cast out to the water with our dreams. When we see objects in groups we can tend to anthropomorphize them, to see them as people, and in that sense, these boats represent so much in a societal context. They can be seen to represent society following the bronze boat that is in the lead but also in a state of decay; it is valued and singular but in obvious decline. And of course one cannot look at boats en masse without thinking of the current migrant crisis, pervasively tragic yet calling forth some beautiful stories of humanity and goodness.
WHAT THE SEA REMEMBERS Graphite on paper
A drawing in seven parts, this is a visual narrative of beauty in the details and of the falling away of all of those elements through time. Perhaps we are left to question what is at the end of what feel like frightening decline? Is that where we shall begin again? And what is it that causes the meltdown of this beauty? Or can we focus only on the beauty, the minutiae, the details, the possibility for re-growth?
ENDANGERED 101 Raw clay on silver armature with T-pins
On the North coast of Cornwall, England, I found two pieces of rare coral caught in an orange fishing net. They struck me as beautiful and vulnerable; stoic and quietly tragic as they became simply part of the beach landscape. Dealing with a sense of displacement myself, I felt a strange kinship to these pieces of the sea. With repurposed clay given to me by a friend, I began making little likenesses, molding the clay over silver armatures and as these grew in number, so did the intrigue of seeing them balanced side by side on the studio wall. They clearly became part of a greater story; what that story portrays is open ended. As a viewer, it is where I invite you to fill in the greater details, to mold and arrange your own narrative, your own questions, and your own answers.
ROW THE BOAT OUT Graphite, graphite paint, acrylic, watercolour on vellum
Drawing is where I begin to understand the work; where I start to feel a grasp on both the subject matter and the ideas swirling around as the work develops. These pieces are guided by relevant interests but not bound by them. I am fascinated by how the images unfold and link quite organically to one another. In this series, the vellum paper became warped as the paint was pulled into the valleys of the surface and I became both a participant and observer in the process of allowing the materials to do their own thing. There is a little bit of magic in this: the artist’s hand is apparent, but so is the will of the material itself. A form of meditation, I consider drawing to be the foundation of my art practice.