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The summer show at Artful : The Gallery is a curated collection of 8 eclectic local artists, gathered together under one theme: location, location, location. This is not a collection of the ubiquitous West Coast landscape (gorgeous as they are!) as each of these artists has a particular way of speaking to the question of “Where am I?” Here, there, nowhere, somewhere… as each artist creates, there is a melding of past, present and future.

 

Each piece represents a unique space and time. A moment captured by the artist and transformed into a visual memory; a shaft of light, a lingering scent, or the absence of something becoming more meaningful than what is present. Clarity and ambiguity evoke thoughts and feelings, and thus begins a conversation between two intuitions; those of the artist and the viewer. 

 

Employing a wide range of media, paintings, photography, multimedia collage, handmade books, and video, each artist wants to take you somewhere and show you something important to them. Like a child offering their their open hand, “Can I show you what I found?” this collection of work will ignite memory and nostalgia for other spaces and times, and generate a multitude of emotional responses; from curiosity to anxiety, ambivalence to wonder.

 

Curiously, both space and time are infinite intangibles, defined only by their containers. And yet, these intangibles are the very things with which we construct our identities, rituals and traditions; we use them to organize and communicate knowledge, experience and location.

 

If art (and the artist) has courage enough, it can exist in liminal space; the place between artist and viewer, strong enough to hold both the intentions of the artist and the projections of the viewer. Expanding and integrating as these two worlds collide with curiosity and connection, the air at the intersection is palpable, and inhaling fills you with the recognition of "ahhhh….this moment, this place.”

 

Locality: Space and Time runs through the summer, July 6th to September 17th at Artful : The Gallery.

The Artists:

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James O'Reilly

James O'Reilly is a photographer who was raised in the Comox Valley and is born in the Maritimes. He is currently studying for his Bachelors degree in Graphic Design, at Vancouver Island University. He has been actively pursuing photography for the last five years, and has interest in art, design, and cinematography.

 

While working in the marine industry for several years, his career took him to extraordinary places, such as the Arctic and the Canadian West Coast as well as parts of the US. James has used those opportunities to capture some powerful images, while also challenging his creativity in extreme isolation. While overcoming personal obstacles, James decided to pursue a new career path that closely follows his passions, while challenging himself to pursue Photography and Design further.

 

Recently, James’s work has been published on the cover of Portal Magazine’s 2022 Issue, and he has received an award from VIU for his exceptional accomplishment in Photography. Additionally, James has received bursaries including the VIU Bursary Committee Award, Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures Awards Program Bursary, and was accepted in the EleV Scholarship program. With the support of these bursaries, support from SAS (Services for Aboriginal Students) and The Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement at VIU, James will continue his growth towards his future goals.

Kathy Nash

Kathy Nash is a visual artist working in collage, mixed media painting, and artist books. In art, as in life, Kathy seeks a return to more soulful, caring values and strives to represent them in her work. Her recurring themes are women and the sacred, plant life in all its forms, nostalgia for the past, and a fascination with other cultures, suggesting narratives of other times and places.

Although Kathy makes use of technology, such as computers and digital photography, she tries to maintain a handmade, accessible feel to her pieces. Familiar objects, materials, and images act as an entry point into the work for the viewer. Reinforcing her environmental and recycling ethics, she makes extensive use of upcycled found objects, clippings, product wrappers, vintage ephemera, and even frames.

 

Making books by hand is a low-tech meditative art which allows Kathy to slow down and enjoy the qualities of the materials she uses, many of them indigenous plant papers from other cultures. Always a voracious reader, a new world opened up for Kathy when she discovered artist’s books. She loves the challenge of matching a sculptural book structure to the words and images she is presenting. 

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Fatlind Melani
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Fatlind Melani was born in a small town in Northeastern Albania. His artistic journey began in his 20’s as a flute player, in a classical music environment. He moved into the visual arts as a result of his close friendships with painters. Through conversations, he learned about colour and visual composition, and ultimately worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years. 

 

Seven years ago Fatlind expanded his skills into the realm of photography, using digital tools to incorporate his painterly creativity, culminating with a studio portrait exhibition of his work

in Vancouver in 2019.

 

In 2021, Fatlind moved to Powell River and underwent a major shift in focus to the beauty of the natural world surrounding him. Living near Myrtle Rocks, Fatlind began his exploration of the area, and his photography records this journey. Fatlind has published a landscape album of these photographic prints, 'Im-Myrtle Rocks’, included as part of this exhibition alongside one of his giclee prints from this book. 

 

Fatlind is now enjoying exploring new areas surrounding Powell River, camera in hand.

John Janzen

Encouraged by family and friends, John Janzen always nurtured his artistic talents from an early age. Although born in Ottawa, ON, Janzen has spent the majority of his life in Alberta.

 

Predominantly a self-taught artist, John took advantage of many quiet moments and lengthy layovers during his career running engines for CN through the Canadian Rockies, painting the picturesque and changing beauty of the rugged landscape.

In 2001 John enrolled in the University of Alberta’s Extension Program further developing his style and skill as a painter. Later, he relocated to Milan, Italy for two years where he studied Italian and continued his art education at the NABA School of Art and Design.

 

Moving to Victoria, BC in 2013, he continued to expand and share his passion with others, painting in watercolour, acrylic and oil, and exhibiting and selling his work through various galleries and art shows on the island. 

 

Currently, John joyfully resides in the foothills of the Comox Valley where he creates in his Rivertown Studio.

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Martha Jablonski-Jones

Originally from Edmonton, where she studied Fine Arts at the University of Alberta, Martha Jablonski-Jones relocated to a live/work studio in East Vancouver and immersed herself in painting the urban landscape. She has always loved textures, which are abundant in the aging buildings of the East Side of Vancouver.

 

Over the years she showed her acrylic paintings at various venues throughout Vancouver, including the Gachet, the Cultch, Brittannia, Cityscapes, and most recently at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

After several years on Vancouver’s East Side, some travelling in Texas opened her up to vintage Americana: old signage, faded billboards, dilapidated historic buildings, all of which found their way into her work. Eventually Martha relocated to Vancouver Island, resulting in exploration of different inner and outer spaces; “Riverwalk” at the CVAG examined abandoned structures on the Courtenay River and “Downtown” was a big city/small town miscellany at TOSH in Qualicum, BC.

Lately her interest has turned to collage, a medium which offers ample opportunity to play with recycled materials and vintage imagery. Martha's affection for things old, worn, and textural, with their faded memories attached, has refreshed itself in a ‘new’ format which she is finding both challenging and enjoyable.

Dave Ingram

Dave Ingram is a photographer based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Dave has an interest in urban landscapes, abandoned “feral” shopping carts, back alleys, derelict buildings and other neglected areas. He has a particular affinity for the feeling and mood of these empty places. Through his photography, he explores the details that are often missed in day-to-day life: finding the extraordinary in the ordinary; visiting and documenting neglected places; and connecting feelings of isolation and separation symbolically with things that are overlooked.

This way of seeing is distilled from the unique way in which Dave processes, or rather, doesn’t process memories. Without a photographic record, his experience becomes a vague recollection of uncertain details that quickly fades. There may be an awareness that a particular event has happened, but the specific details of what occurred are always unclear and poorly recalled. Creating an image then serves two purposes—both as a visual record of an event, person, thing or place, and a as foundation that a story can be built around.

The empty spaces and overlooked objects that Dave is attracted to are allegories of the loss of those memories. The actual spaces are simultaneously physically empty and mentally forgotten. However, the photographic record defines a visual space for both Dave and the viewer to step into the scene and narrate their own personal story and meaning. 

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Ian Fry

Ian Fry was born in Edinburgh Scotland. He studied illustration & design at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1978.

 

After freelancing as a book and advertising illustrator in Scotland and later London, he moved to Canada in 1985.
For ten years he worked as an independent illustrator in Vancouver's Gastown.

 

In1994, he decided to devote more time to painting and rented a studio at Kleewyk, in North Vancouver, and while there created several very large paintings for a Japanese collector.

On moving to Bowen Island in 1985, fine art became a full time occupation, the island itself being a source of inspiration till 2009, when a temporary move to Scotland saw Ian painting and selling through three galleries there before returning to B.C., the part of the world closest to his heart.

Ian has exhibited his art in the lower mainland of BC, including Whistler and Vancouver island, and also in Scotland.
His paintings are in corporate and private collections in Canada, the US (where he designed a large mural in Dallas, Texas) and in the UK, Germany and Israel. He lives in the Comox Valley, on Vancouver Island.

Kristina Campbell

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. Kristina 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.”

Kristina’s work employs an aesthetic that resonates with the archetypal, deeply beautiful and emotionally provocative. As a video artist, Kristina 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 her understanding, these experimental videos are a visual metaphor for her life.

 

Campbell’s work has been collected, screened and exhibited throughout North America, Denmark and Bhutan.

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