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‘Earth Poems: Resonance, Rhythms and Reflections’ | an exhibition by Janice Mason Steeves and Pearl Van Geest

August 6 - September 12, 2021

‘Earth Poems’ | Resonance, Rhythms and Reflections

an exhibition by Janice Mason Steeves and Pearl Van Geest

Join us for an artist’s reception on Thursday August 19th from 6-8PM!

The artwork of Janice and Pearl expresses a love of Earth, something that they shared from the time they were students together at the Ontario College of Art and Design in the 90’s. While their approaches are very different, the message is similar: a concern for the earth and an abiding love for it.

“We’ve reached a time in human history when our global environmental crisis requires that we make permanent life-style changes. More than ever before, we need to fall back in love with the land. Silence is our meeting place.” – Gordon Hempton

Aiming to acknowledge and to express that meeting place of silence mentioned by Gordon Hempton, Janice’s work reflects her practice of meditation, where the mind becomes quiet and deeper connections are possible.

Applying oil paint in extremely thin, translucent layers that overlap each other her work reflects the rhythms of nature, the seasons, the cycles, the wind. She builds up the surface gradually, layer by layer, creating luminous colour fields that appear to move with the regularity of breath. They are experiential surfaces that offer quiet space, a form of visual meditation.

While floating on the surface of certain rivers and lakes, paddling along on days when the water’s surface is like a mirror, Pearl immerses herself in sensation – the vibrations of light, colour, movement, sound and other frequencies. Back in the studio, using photographs, she attempts to frame the experience as material, gestural and visual, as a way of reconnecting with that space. The bisymmetrical compositions resonate with structures and openings in our own bodies, and that of other creatures real or imagined.

“Rhythm is what connects the most elementary and primitive bodily structures of even the most simple organisms to the implacable movements of the universe itself: art, as music, sculpture, painting, architecture, dance, resonates or transmits force through every structure. This force … runs through all of life and connects the living in its various forms to the nonorganic forces and qualities of materiality itself.” – Elizabeth Grosz

Elizabeth Grosz, Chaos, Territory, art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth

Gordon Hempton – Columbia University Press, New York, 2008. P. 19


About the Artists

Janice Mason Steeves

Janice Mason Steeves is represented by galleries in Canada, with work in public, corporate, and private collections in Canada and internationally. As well as an active one-on-one Art Mentoring program, Janice teaches painting workshops in Canada, the U.S., and Europe through a program she’s developed called Workshops in Wild Places. She has also been awarded artist residencies in Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland and Wyoming, USA.

To find out more about Janice please visit her website.

 

 

 


Pearl Van Geest
Colour and expressive line feature in my work. I generally work in series, developing a concept visually until the idea no longer compels me. In the making, I like to create a tension between open experimental mark-making and a refined deliberate responses to what was laid down, gradually becoming more responsive to the canvas. Much of my work is in one way or another inspired by prolonged observation of the natural world –colours and colour relationships, patterns and compositional structure, as well as textures and forms.  I have been in my studio in the Trafalgar Building in downtown Guelph since 1997. During that time I have exhibited my work in solo and group shows across Canada. I have also developed interactive exhibitions where people can become involved in the creation of artworks, including Kiss Paintings whereby kiss marks are imprinted onto a canvas or topographical map before I return to my studio to paint in response to the pattern and design made by these marks.  My work is part of the Canada Art Council’s Art Bank collection, and is in other private and corporate collections. I was the City of Guelph’s inaugural Artist in Residence, and together with participants, created an artwork that is on permanent display in the City of Guelph.
To find out more about Pearl, please visit her website.