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past exhibitions


May 27 to June 28, 1992

Three Grande Prairie Artists

Elizabeth Ginn, Brian Geary, Fiona Portwood

Even when it appears to be trying to re-create reality, all painted imagery may be seen as an abstracted representation of the physical world, and therefore most art is to some degree abstract. In modern art, abstraction has become a thing in itself, often by way of systems that simplify or try to rationalize what we see in reality. The term is most often applied to art that contains no recognizable imagery and uses pictorial and sculptural languages only (colour, line, shape, form, texture) in order to create its own reality – separate from any other source – sometimes referred to as nonfigurative, non-objective, or nonrepresentational (each implying slightly different things.)

Fiona Portwood: “I have been exploring the concepts of transparency, negative space, and trying to incorporate a sense of history within my work. With the use of acrylics and my experience with serigraphy, I am exploring the softness and sensibilities of transparency, I refine the images in order to allow the surface, the underlying structure or contours, and the colour to appear as one within the work.

“My work has a sense of geometry, abstraction, interior space, and containers, within a multi-image, collage-like composition. This lies within a shallow space, where the forms or images often appear to float in and out of the surface, creating their own dialogue and sense of history and being.

“My images are created from my own sense of mythology and are usually symbol oriented. This allows the viewer to interpret and experience the piece by connecting the parts to the whole and ‘reading’ the work on a more private connotative level.”

Brian Geary: “The central theme in my work is to achieve a balance between fluid, atmospheric space and structural, two-dimensional surface space. My works are experiments with colour, texture (both tactile and illusionistic) and shape derived from brushwork and staining. Symbolically, I am representing the inner dynamics of nature – the balance that exists between clam and turbulent forces.

“My attempt is to incorporate both premeditated and spontaneous painting techniques into my painting process. I combine aspects of colour-field and gestural, action painting, (the two traditions founded by the Abstract Expressionist movement) into my work.”

Elizabeth Ginn: “My work is series based. I explore a particular theme that is intuitively connected to my personal ties with the subject(s).

“Flowers and birds have been a common and recurring theme that I have explored for the majority of my ‘painting life.’

“I love flowers... have grown them... studied them at university (botany)... bought them...smelt them... admired them...stood in awe of their incredible colouration scale, texture, and scent... collected them by climbing alpine ridges, walking through dry coulee, pressed them, drawn them...felt saddened by the shortness of their lifespan...

“I love birds... have had them as pets...rescued them when injured...scolded the family cats about them...buried them... watched them...read about them... and stood in awe of the fabulous chroma of their plumage... listened to their marvellous voices... envied their flight... respected their autonomy and hard work... felt sad due to the decrease in their numbers.

“Everything that I draw or paint has an emotive connection to my inner psyche. It can’t be any other way.”

Two Rivers Gallery > Experience Art > Past Exhibitions > 1992 > Elizabeth Ginn, Brian Geary, Fiona Portwood: Three Grande Prairie Artists

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