The Art Gallery of Northumberland (AGN) is pleased to host Ambient Landscapes, the Ontario Society of Artists (OSA) 150th Anniversary exhibition under the theme Breath, Heart and Spirit which unites the year long celebrations.
The exhibition will run from September 10 – October 16, 2022, at the Art Gallery of Northumberland with an Opening Celebration on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at 1 p.m.
Co-curated by Olinda Casimiro, Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Northumberland and Anne Cavanagh, award-winning artist, and former Director of the OSA, this member exhibition features 55 works providing a variety of media, size, and styles within the OSA. For this exhibition members considered the theme of ambient landscapes reflecting upon the natural environment.
In Anna Wagner-Ott’s Spring Typography, the viewer is invited to examine whether it concerns a canvas, a sculpture or an unrealized art object in its crumpled form. Wagner-Ott uses Tyvek, a functional material used to create art work, the texture creates a sense of movement and Wagner-Ott questions “whether coverings keep us warm and safe, or could they become stifling by keeping us contained?”
A faint but distinctive horizontal line with overlapping typography and the clever use of colour immediately engages the viewer to look for familiar text. Karen Taylor uses typography in Horizons – a collection of letters that form everyday words to create abstract patterns our words create. This expressive medium invites you to spend time sorting out the text, search for meaning, and is perhaps a language that encourages thinking about what you are reading. Horizons illustrates how the intentional hues of blue for a sky and mossy greens in the landscape reveal a traditional landscape with a contemporary style.
Texture in art can create depth and enhance certain qualities like contrast, movement, and rhythm, as seen in Robin Kingsburgh’s Heaven and Earth. Kingsburgh created texture by utilizing the existing swirling shapes in the plywood, which gave the composition a different meaning beyond what is real – the rhythmic swirls lead us to feel more about it than just being a sunset sky. Choppy and textured brushstrokes add more expressive and feeling to the artwork versus a painting that is created with long, regular and precise brushstrokes. Here, the sky is dominating the composition, giving us a sense of its vastness. Kingsburgh gives us a beautiful rendering of sunlight in the sunset sky using the combined colours, lines and textures to create an ambient composition. The atmosphere in Heaven and Earth is quiet and tranquil, it is minimal in form and very close to abstraction.
In Sherry Park’s Mossy Forest, the tangled web of trees, denuded of foliage and suffused with deep color, conveys a sense of awe before nature that is amplified by the presence of daylight in the distance. Park depicts the forest as moody and rich; the palette of cool greens, greys, and browns intermingle and are always harmonious and agreeable. Capturing the forest landscape as a site of artistic and spiritual inquiry in the symphonies of greens and browns found in the natural world. We know how good being in nature can make us feel. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air – these things give us a sense of comfort and Mossy Forest allows us to be in nature.
Lisa Graziotto is informed by her consciousness of being in the world through her experiences and travel. In Intermission the viewer observes an early movie set, a cowboy actor enjoying popcorn – we assume, during his filming break, while set handlers carry the backdrop away. Graziotto has chosen the backdrop of the iconic film location – Monument Valley in Utah, which offers a viewpoint on a peculiar relationship between humans and the natural environment. It also explores the social phenomena typical of our culture and film. Intermission is beautifully executed – the viewer is invited to pause and examine the details – the tilt of the cowboy hat, the heaving lifting and of course the familiar popcorn bag – is it full or empty?
About the Co-Curators
Anne Cavanagh studied in the United States, France, and England, obtaining a Bachelor of Art in Pre-Medical Illustration (2004). She has participated in a large number of exhibits and has received several awards, including the Prisma Colour Illustration Award (2004), as well as scholarships from the New York Academy of Arts (2017) and the Ontario Arts Council (2007). She was elected as a member of the OSA in 2015 and Director of the OSA Eastern hub from 2019 to 2021. Her works focus on human gestures and primarily uses graphite and charcoal in her works.
A strategic-thinking program leader providing direction in the non-profit cultural sector, Olinda Casimiro is the Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Northumberland located in historic Victoria Hall, Cobourg, Ontario. She is inspired by the creative spirit that all artists share, and dedicated to leading teams that present, interpret and engage with the public and ultimately the communities it serves. Olinda is an active community volunteer, an aspiring minimalist with an interest in modern art and supporter of community-driven institutions.
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