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In British Columbia, where vegetation is abundant, the symbolic meaning of plants’ life cycles is ceaselessly reflected in artworks. Lipoint Place (4211 Number 3 Road, Richmond),  Formulation of Time is an exhibition that showcases the interpretation of this theme in the experimental photography of Phyllis Schwartz, Edward Peck, Desirée Patterson and Sand Wan.

Phyllis Schwartz and Edward Peck are artists whose practice contemplates the full cycle of natural growth, transitions and regeneration. They use plant-based materials to create photo-based works of art that speak to issues of permanence and impermanence. Their work has the capacity to engage viewers to contemplate ephemerality, change and transition in the ever-changing natural world. Phyllis Schwartz will exhibit plant-based Lumen Prints, and Edward Peck will exhibit high-resolution, plant-based, abstract Scanograms.

Desirée Patterson’s Point De Fusion series depicts natural landscapes and plants that appear to be melting into abstraction. With a high aesthetic value, the series aims to connect viewers by evoking a sense of awe and wonder, with a prophetic underlying current. The title, Point de Fusion, references the melting point of an object at atmospheric pressure; the moment when its physical state changes and it becomes a liquid. As the landscape begins to thaw, the idea of motion is implied in an image that once was still.

Sand Wan’s large-scale, black-and-white Immortality series emphasizes the seemingly tranquil but everchanging forests along the Pacific Northwest coast and Fraser River. With black-and-white photography, which lends timelessness and classic quality to his images, he captures the forests in their prime time and the trees’ last resting place along the coastline where they lie as driftwood.

Saturday April 6, 2019 2-4pm: Public Opening & Book Launch
Exhibition hours: April 6 – 30, 2019 Free admission
– Monday – Friday 10am-5pm, weekends by appointment.
– Also open during Art! Vancouver on the weekend of April 27 – 28, 10am-5pm.
– Closed on Good Friday April 19th.

Lumen Print Workshop by Phyllis Schwartz
Saturday, April 13th, 11am – 3pm (12-1pm beak for lunch)
Admission $15/person
Registration is required: https://lumenprints.eventbrite.ca
The workshop is participating in the 2019 Capture Photography Festival and supported by London Drugs Printing Grant.

 

 

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Natural Alchemy — a group show that contemplates the forces and cycles present that help shape our environment — opens Thursday, 21 March at CityScape Community ArtSpace. The work in this exhibition documents the intersection where natural materials meet, how they affect each other, and how they can challenge the viewer to contemplate time, form and the ephemeral.

The paintings, prints, photography and  installation in this exhibition highlight the beauty, connectivity and impermanence of the biosphere and geosphere, helping us to understand how growth, decay, and geological processes play a vital role in shaping our environment. Presenting artists Phyllis Schwartz, Edward Peck, Katherine Duclos, Pierre Leichner,  and Willloughby Arevalo incorporate organic and plant-based materials, as well as natural processes to help shape the outcomes of their compositions.

Featured in this exhibition are Lumen Prints by Phyllis Schwartz and and Scanograms by Edward Peck. Schwartz makes hybrid camera-less photograms that leave traces and shadows on photosensitive surfaces. Plant enzymes and atmospheric conditions interact with creating alchemical results on the surface of the paper and sheet film, leaving X-ray like marks of shapes and interiors. These Lumen Prints are primal, hovering on the cusp of poetry. 

Peck’s series, Arrangements, is drawn from discarded bouquets, set aside as they wilted but to still full of colour, shape and still in transition, perhaps always in transition as decay eventually rekindles life. He took these discards and after some contemplation, arranged them into compositions, in which he explored their new colours, shapes and fragile state. These works were made using a high resolution scanner, producing a series of Maranasati meditations or a momento mori.

Natural Alchemy
March 22 – May 4,  2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, 22 March (7 – 9 PM)
CityScape Community ArtSpace (335 Lonsdale, North Vancouver)

 

LUMEN PRINT WORKSHOP at North Van Arts on a Sunny Saturday Afternoon. Thank you to staff and volunteers, appreciating all the visitors who came to watch photomagic and ask great questions. NEXT WORKSHOP : Saturday, 12 April. Click here to register

Eight Sassamatt Collective photographs are in the North Van Art Rentals collection, three by Phyllis Schwartz and five by Edward Peck.  The two most recent acquisitions will be on show in Art Rentals Show, a salon syle exhibition. The exhibition runs 14 February – 15 March (Cityscapes, 355 Lonsdale, North Vancouver). Work on show is available for rent or sale. This is an excellent opportunity to buy more art and get in to the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Longevity, new work by Phyllis Schwartz, is a selection from a series of Lumen Prints made at Finn Slough. Seeding the Wind, new work by Edward Peck is a selection from Arrangements, a series of images that captures flowers as they transition from bud to bloom to death.

https://nvartscouncil.ca/events-exhibitions/art-rental-show/

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Longevity is a Lumen Print from a series of photograms made from plant materials gathered at Finn Slough, a tiny fishing community in Richmond British Columbia, Canada, where approximately 30 residents live in wooden houses along a marshy riverbank. The indigenous and cultivated plant materials used to make the photograms reference a community that is inextricably connected to the environment and persistently adaptable to the encroaching built environment that challenges its existence. Of particular interest are the ginkgo leaves, an ancient plant that has adapted to environmental transformations or thousands of years. The ginko tree, one of the most ancient plant forms dating back 2.5 million years, is a symbol of longevity. 170 ginkos survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Longevity is now available for rental or purchse at NORTH VAN ARTS RENTAL

BC PEN — open to visitors is a new Sassamatt Images gallery. It features a series of black and white photographs made during the BC Maximum Security Penitentiary openhouse in 1980 just prior to its decommission. The dark, structured confinement is pierced with slants of light that reflect on anything bright, and still the film grain is a collection of marks made by 102 years of anger, despair, and fear.

These images are from an archive of black and white film negatives shelved for forty years, and working on them brought back both questions and memories. I wondered what would draw me to visit a place that contained memories of excruciating suffering, knowing that I do not release the emotional residue of these experiences easily. Revisiting the BC Penitentiary through my photography brought back memories of 1973 Riot followed by  hostage-takings in 1975 and 1976. My mind resurrected countless news stories about deplorable conditions, high staff turnover and the unforgettable friendly fire killing of Mary Steinhauser, a social worker who was outspoken about solitary confinement. Curiously, I was compelled to be among those who visited and witnessed this closing chapter in British Columbia correctional facility history and the end of century of draconian prison conditions.

As I moved through this series of negatives I remembered how I was struck by the artificial presentation of the BC Penitentiary as a museum, explaining intake, routines, education opportunities and the transition to release. The kitchen displayed spotless counters and sparkling aluminum cooking equipment. The infirmary displayed specialized accommodations for inmate medical care. Most of the damage and debris from the final riot had been cleared away, and the cells were spotless. I was much more curious about the remains of the series of holes bored through cell walls, preserved for visitors. In the end, what remained was the architecture of confinement and the slants of light that pierced darkness on so many levels.

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more images

Scan 25

Conversation — going in circles (Procion Dye Drawing)

My passion for a sketchbook practice and sharing it afar has taken my most recent sketchbook to Quebec City for exhibition in the inaugural Biennale International du Carnet D’Artiste (BICA) presented by Société d’art et d’histoire de Beauport (SAHB).

SAHB believes,
An artist’s sketchbook is a very personal object inside of which ideas are freely growing, both technically and stylistically. Sketches, musical notes, doodles, collages, colors, marks, painting, tears, writing, watercolors, words, pictures, and memories unveil the most intimate part of the artist’s mind.

My current artist notebook, What You See Is What You See/ Ce Que Vous Voyez Est Que Vous Voyez,is a project dedicated to visually explaining some of my Procion dye drawing techniques. It logs a series of techniques that I have discovered and finessed. Most of the time, I dry brush a page of paper with black Procion dye powder and use a variety of techniques and processes to enhance and manipulate line, form and colour intensity.

What You See Is What You See/ Ce Que Vous Voyez Est Que Vous Voyez is an on-going series of evocative abstract Procion dye drawings. Using a variety of techniques to make marks on paper, my 2-D forms take both recognizable and ambiguous shapes. I often rely on pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of recognizing familiar patterns and forms, to guide me to a finished drawing. Frank Stella’s minimalist, abstract paintings inspire the title of this series, but in my work, I seek a sense of more playfulness.

BICA opened 08 September and the exhibition continues through 28 October at Maison Tessier-Dit-Laplante, 2328 Avenue Royale, Beauport, Québec.

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3_PhyllisSchwartz_ForestFamily3(peach)

Forest Family (Peach)

Art 4 Life at the Port Moody Art Centre is an annual interactive exhibition curated for a young (and young at heart) audience. Intended to raise curiosity, inspire imagination and invite a life-long love of art appreciation and art-making. Art galleries offer unique community spaces where an audience of all ages can experience the power of art to transform how we understand our world and ourselves.

I am honoured that five of my mixed-media sculptures are included in this exhibition dedicated to a young audience beginning the habit of art for life. These sculptures, five members of the Forest Family, are hybrid critters born from the union of the plant, animal and geological realms. They are quirky, humourous and friendly life forms awaiting names and biographies, inviting viewers to connect with recognizable features, an adoption process of sorts. Like pets, the members of the Forest Family are intended to invite curiosity and affection.

The benefits of an arts education affect every area of life, and Art 4 Life is one such event in a lifelong journey of art appreciation. “Exposure to the visual arts, especially in these creative ways, expands a child’s awareness of the world and is a tool that can be used for learning in science, history, math, and more,” says Robert Frankel, director of museums and visual arts at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC.

Art 4 Life opens 22 September (1-3 PM) at the Port Moody Art Centre (2425 St. Johns Street) and runs thru 01 November.

 

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Peony in Moonlight (Phyllis Schwartz)Port Moody Arts Centre Society celebrates their 20th anniversary with In the Blink of an Eye,  an exhibition featuring artwork and stories by artists who have been a part of their history.  Sassamatt Collective artists, Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz, have had solo exhibitions at the Port Moody Arts Centre are each showing two new photographs in this anniversary exhibition opening 03 May (6 – 8 PM) and continuing through 31 May 2018.

Edward Peck is showing Tulip in Vase and Finn Slough Swan. Tulip in Vase is a selection from Arrangements, a series of photographs capturing flowers as they transition from bud to bloom to death. The symbolism of flowers in combination with their fleeting beauty is a poignant reminder of our own beauty and frailty. Finn Slough Swan is a selection from a series that explores a century old Finnish fishing village, which has been transformed into a community of artists living among the last remaining descendants of the original fishers. The buildings are the traditional sheds, houses and boat house buildings some over a hundred years old.

Phyllis Schwartz is showing Peony at Sunrise and Peony in MoonlightBoth are recent Lumen Prints inspired by a peony that began as a tight bud in a simple vase on a windowsill in a New York City hotel room that came to full bloom by the end of the week. For the next two weeks, more peonies budded, blossomed, bloomed and shed petals onto photosensitive surfaces, some of which were X-Ray film with emulsion on both sides. These Lumen Prints  render smaller ambiguous pareidolic artifacts that engage viewers on a primal level to look again, to make their own meaning from ambiguity. In a larger sense, this peony series is a poet’s inquiry into the nature of permanence and impermanence. It asks, “What remains?”

In the Blink of an Eye, a  20th Anniversary Exhibition opens Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 (6-8pm) at the Port Moody Art Centre (2425 St Johns Street, Port Moody, BC) and runs through May 31, 2018.

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Primal Sympathies 4

Primal Sympathies 4

Primal Sympathies is a sketchbook that follows the falling Autumn Leaves that augur the cherry blossoms announcing the arrival of Spring. Black ants crawling through dried leaves encounter red ants crawling along branches hosting swollen buds about to burst into full bloom.

This progression of colour — parched red, orange and brown leaves that give life to pink blossoms that intensify as springtime unfolds  — is the landscape for ink drawings of determined ants crawling steadily through the cycle of the seasons. These interpretive botanical drawings are informed by William Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of Immortality.

Though nothing can bring back the hour
of splendour in the grass, or glory in the flower;

we will grieve not, rather find
strength in what remains behind,
in the primal sympathy
which having been must ever be.

Moving forward, Primal Sympathies has left the studio for an opening at the Brooklyn Art Library, a book tour through Toronto, Chicago, and Atlanta and a return to the Brooklyn Art Library collection. Much like a grown-up child leaving home, the Sketchbook Project asks that the work reside in a collection open to the public and be available for touring. The sketchbook, hence, comes to life in the hands of the reader, in the reading room, online and on tour.

Primal Sympathies can be viewed at the Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn). Watch for an announcement when the sketchbook is online. Check it out in Brooklyn (23 June), Toronto (27-29 June), Chicago (3-5 August) and Atlanta (21 – 23 September).

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