Living An Artful Existence
With gratitude and deep respect
living, working and creating
on the unceded traditional territory
of the K'ómoks First Nation.
526C Cumberland Road, Courtenay BC
Wednesday Through Saturday
12 - 5 pm
526C Cumberland Road
About the Artists
Who’s on Display
Gary Dillon may possess Master's degrees in theology and counseling psychology but as an artist he is self-taught. There was a time when his practice of art was in dance performance; and much later he settled upon woodcarving and finally painting in oil and acrylic. His boyhood artistic hero was Paul Gauguin, who like himself later came into a special relationship with the Polynesian peoples of the Pacific.
As an artist Gary wishes to express the flourishing magical desert spirituality called flor y canto (“flower and song”) which he came into contact with on his uncle’s homestead in Colorado forty decades ago. For Gary, this magic is rooted in landscape and the subtle breezes of place, where strangers and intimates alike unwind the civilizational trance under the guidance of rough desert vegetation and the call of the coyote.
By placing human figures into special relationships with the natural order of body and cosmos--through occasionally slanted perspectives and intimations of natural grandeur—he imagines the expression of a spiritual longing that is touched by real grief on one side and a rooted confrontation with holy appearances and epiphanies on the other.
Though human beings appear in his paintings, the paintings do not aspire to tell only a human-centered story. Gary’s desire is that we may once again be--as we might have been, once upon a time---the species whose intelligent appearance in the natural world is ordered to love, marvel, and beauty-make in all of the ways that we carry ourselves and that we attend to the signs and remnants of the ancient pact between these three: the human, the dignities of non-human Great Nature, and the fugitive Holy in our world.
Leonard has been involved in the visual arts in one form or another for most of his life. As a child, growing up in the context of a mobile military family, toys and companionship often involved creating and animating plasticine figures as well as following the lives and ongoing challenges of comic book heroes. The grounding in these early experiences continue to find their voice in his artwork.
After graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design where he majored in sculpture, Leonard went on to study ceramics, photography, art education, counselling and art therapy at U.of C., U.B.C., and U.of Vic..For many years Leonard has participated annually in both the Sooke Fine Arts as well as the Sidney Fine Arts Shows where he has been the recipient of multiple awards for his sculptures as well as his paintings.
Although Leonard has been an art instructor for over 35 years he still sees himself as a student and continues to approach the creative process with curiosity and wonder. He is committed to the ongoing process of discovering new creative possibilities as well as the pursuit of meaningful imagery.
A career in counselling and teaching has only deepened Leonard’s appreciation of our common search for meaning and connection. His allegorical artwork is most often an attempt to give expression to those existential questions that invariably arise and explore some of those themes that bind us on this common journey.
Szandi was born in a small town in former Yugoslavia. She grew up appreciating the pastoral and traditional forms of work: farming, embroidery, shoemaking, etc. Szandi was surrounded by a strong Hungarian influence with a mother who loved to dance and a father who showed her the power of the waters through fishing.
Szandi finds it difficult to categorize art without rebellion since it’s something so much more authentic and moody than a word or phrase. Having a degree in religious studies has influenced her everyday metaphorical and physical production of art. She is constantly studying something, whether it be textures, etiquette, scent, era, (sub)cultures and communities, etc. Szandi looks to encompass spirituality as it ebbs and flows through her daily life.
As bilingual immigrant, she tries to maintain a non-judgmental and pacifying persona which has helped her connect with all sorts of creatives. Szandi's intention is to attend to her creativity by exploring the spread of culture through art. Her goal is also to encourage questions and remain curious.
Former resident of the Comox Valley, Wesley is now living on Salt Spring Island.
Wesley is a graduate of The University of Victoria (BFA & M.Ed). He has established himself as an important collectible artist in both the private and corporate sectors. His detailed landscape watercolours are inspired by the natural wilderness of BC. His dedication to preserving this beautiful landscape led to commitments in various environmental expeditions including Carmanah, Tsitika and Kitlope Rivers.
In 1994, Wes was invited as the expedition artist, joining 12 scientists, river guides and writers to raft the uncharted Kitlope River near Kitimat, BC while conducting an environmental impact study during this remarkable journey. West Fraser Timber later relinquished their timber farm license on the Kitilope watershed, resulting in a 317,000 square hectare provincial park.
More recently Wesley’s works are larger, acrylic and mixed media canvases that explore multi-cultural themes. This work is wildly colourful and inspired by pre-history, indigenous peoples, art making processes, artifacts and culture. Wesley emulates the qualities and aesthetics of these ancient artifacts, creating a sense of the archaic. Arranging powerful pre-historic images into a new personal visual statement inviting the viewer’s insight into what makes us human…a distant view of the strangely familiar.
Large and dynamic, Wesley Clark originals are being added to the already impressive art collections of a diverse international clientele.
Sher is a professional Somatic Sex Educator and professional Dominatrix who believes that sexual health and erotic education are basic human rights.
In 2013, at the invitation of a friend, she attended a weekend painting workshop. Sher had just completed her training and was feeling uncomfortable and very vulnerable as she was beginning her new career. Sher had been exploring shadow work in personal growth workshops, and for her the black depths of the underpainting process represents the shadow hidden aspects of herself.
An inexperienced painter, Sher struggled throughout the class trying to “get it right”. Comparing her pace and efforts with the other participants was creating internal judgement and performance anxiety.
Until finally she sank deep inside of herself, quieted (or chose to ignore!) the critical voices and produced the self-portrait, 'Falling in Love with Myself'. Sher's painting single-handedly summarizes the theme of this show Eros : Out of the Darkness Into the Light.
David calls the Comox Valley home, while wintering in Mexico and Central America for the last 25 years.
A published author and life-long committed adventurer, David’s love for travel and the wonders of our planet are reflected in the themes of this current body of work. His despair for the state of the environment and the navel gazing politics that distract from the immediate need for action have sent him repeatedly to the canvas.
David’s paintings are filled with the words he loves. He began painting to give himself a break from writing and naturally, the words have accompanied him to the canvas. David uses humour, the unexpected and the absurd to allow him to make the often-censored comments.
Approaching each painting as an individual adventure, upon completion David leaves the viewer to determine what the painting means to them, welcoming the varied interpretations. David has paintings hanging throughout North and Central America, as well as the United Kingdom.
Charlton’s life began in the UK, living briefly in Malaya as a child, returning to England to be educated at the Guilford College of Art and finally graduating from the Manchester College of Art and Design with a degree in Product Design.
Emigrating to Canada to in the late seventies Charlton went into business designing, building and racing sailboats. His skill as a draftsman underpins his paintings. Initially using watercolour to augment his sketches, eventually he shifted to working in oil.
His subject matter and themes are a reflection of his interests. He began with marine and sailing images, shifted into surrealism and the series in this exhibition, reflecting his love of Argentine Tango. Charlton is an accomplished illustrator, creating work for several authors, including the cover of David Lane’s book, ‘White Cadillac – a Mexican Soliloquy’.
Charlton has recently begun showing his work and his first large exhibition was at the Cowichan Performing Arts Center in 2018.
KRISTINA CAMPBELL is a Comox BC based multimedia artist. She graduated from the University of Victoria in 2009 with an Honours BFA. Her multimedia art practise explores themes of mythology, archetypes, memory, biography, feminism and agency.
Using an intuitive aesthetic of sensual imagery she conveys her personal version of the human, and particularly feminine, experience. Campbell gravitates towards images and events occurring in her daily life, gently and insistently inviting the viewer to join in her questions. With a blend of playful, sensual and haunting images, the work comes together to create an image of the life of the artist.
“I have learned that ultimately it is a point of reference that is far less about me as an individual and far more about what it means to be human, in this world, at this time.”
Whether she chooses video, performance or shamelessly pretty paintings, each project starts with a burning question that sends the artist off searching for an answer. Her intuitive process, trusting in the veracity of the question, leaves final outcomes for the piece and the viewer to decide. Campbell’s willingness to reveal the personal, often including herself in her work, supports her efforts to make the personal political.
Campbell’s relentless fascination with the power of words, the power of naming, of defining and refining meaning through the use of text in her works, is her way of subtitling the visual imagery, adding another layer of meaning to the work. Campbell’s work employs an aesthetic that resonates with the archetypal, deeply beautiful and emotionally provocative.
As a video artist, Campbell is a collector. Capturing imagery that calls to her, often without any clear end purpose in mind, she adds it to her collection, like a painter amassing tubes of colour. To Campbell, her work is a visual metaphor for her life.
Campbell’s work has been collected and exhibited throughout North America, Denmark and Bhutan.