Nature’s influence felt in Clay, Wood, Pigment

Reception set for Friday evening

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This month’s exhibition at the KiZmit Galeria/Cafe brings together a trio of artists who are working in very different formats yet share a similar reverence for natural materials as the basis for inspiration or enhancement.

Laura Keil, Luke Hart-Weller and Barbra Edwards are the artists behind Clay, Wood, Pigment, which shows at KiZmit during the month of August. Keil provides the clay side of the equation, and her work shows a lovely respect for the medium’s earthy origins. Wood-fired mugs have the rich smoky palette of russet and caramel‚ a good fit for the rustic, sturdy forms. With the finish dependent on the firing process, Keil provides another layer of ornamentation through imprinted patterns. These include shapes that further emphasize natural geometry, such as discs or angular starbursts.

Keil also has some lovely double-walled bowls, with a cream-coloured finish set off by rust edging, and some larger sculptural works based on hand-built vases. Here, the luscious curves of stacked globes end with a funnel shape on top, with some parts adorned with a crocheted shell in a thick-gauge wool. In one piece, brown and natural-toned fibre is set off by tiny flecks of pink. The textured bottom half of the vase contrasts nicely with the smooth fired clay above in tones of burnt orange and egg yolk.

Moving over to the wood side of the show, Hart-Weller has many gorgeous art furniture pieces in glossily finished wood adorned with copper. Hart-Weller is known for using traditional joinery methods with non-traditional design, conveying the same grace and strength of the original trees into their beautiful end products.

A wide bench, for example, has a sculpted branch as the centre of the backrest. Finished in a charcoal black that contrasts with the gleaming seat, the branch sprouts several flowers and leaves sculpted from brilliant copper sheet.

Edwards may not work directly with nature as a material but it is certainly her prime influence and the subject of her bright abstract works. For this show she has contributed both larger-scale paintings and smaller mixed-media works using materials such as watercolour ink, coloured crayon and collage. In both techniques, the artist takes in the colour, light and energy of growing things and transmits this back to the viewer as a new expression, somewhat like a kaleidoscope but without the mirror-image reflection or the ordered patterning.

An artists’ reception will take place this Friday, Aug. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

For more on this story, see the August 7, 2019 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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