© 2017, Driftwood Gulf Islands Media
Small works entice at Gallery 8
Gallery 8’s annual Christmas Exhibition of Small Works offers the opportunity to see many works by the gallery artists all at one time, allowing for a much broader sample than is sometimes possible.
The show is the chance to break into the market with some of the gallery’s more established names. The small size is further inviting as it can inspire artists to focus in on the compressed platform with extra attention to technique or composition.
Gallery stalwarts like Pieter Molenaar produce excellent work no matter what the scale. His series of oil landscapes for this show emphasize the horizon in a short but wide rectangle format. Many times he takes up the Netherlands’ serene coastal landscape as his subject, or similar-looking territory near White Rock, but these pieces are satisfyingly West Coast. Sky and an expanse of wet sand in his piece called Beach Combing are divided by a line of conifers, mist trapped in the base met by the frothing white incoming waves. Sunlight diffused by clouds and hints of blue beneath are reflected on the smooth wet beach. Footprints in the Dunes takes the view from the shore looking straight out at the water, but seen through three sand hillocks topped with beach grass. Here the light hits the beach as if through an unseen break out of the frame, while the sky ahead is more troubled over a line of breakers.
Another longtime member with consistent quality is EJ Feller, who continues to explore different mediums for her exceptional ceramic work. Here, hand-carved porcelain and metalwork in matte black or flat white embellish newspaper text for unique multimedia wall pieces, framed under glass. Leaf and flower shapes overlay the text so patterning and contrast become the key elements. The headlines that name the works do stand out as readable text: Completely Different in one case and Aspirations and Reality in another.
The Christmas show continues daily at the Grace Point Square gallery through the month of December.
For a longer version of this review, see the Nov. 29, 2017 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.