Revelstoke’s Jewelles Smith explores disabled motherhood through art in new exhibt

Photographer Kip Wiley, potter Jacqueline Palmer, and artists Jewelles Smith, Susan Lind and Kristin Lind display works at RVAC.

Artist Jewelles Smith and one of her pieces exploring disabled motherhood.

From macro photographs of snowflakes to paintings showcasing the realities of mothers who live with disabilities, the newest exhibitions at the Revelstoke Visual Art Centre are well worth a look.

Feminist artist Jewelles Smith’s exhibit “Mothering Dialogues: Visual interrogations”, began as a way for her to process the work she is doing for her PhD.w

“I discovered that every time I’d be reading theory I would get stuck somehow, and then I would go in front of my canvass and start painting. I started to realize that I was working through the complexity of theory and things that I was struggling with,” said Smith. “Before I knew it I suddenly had three pieces, then four, and I think now there is 14, but they’re not all in this exhibit. A number of them have sold actually.”

A total of 11 pieces are included in the exhibit, and will be used as part of Smith’s PhD work. Her methodology comprehensive exam will include explaining each of these pieces.

“When I actually get to the point of doing interviews with disabled mothers, which is what my work is on, I’m going to give women the opportunity to choose creative ways to tell their story,” said Smith.

“I’m just right now exploring how that will work at PhD level. I’m not the first person to do it, but it’s getting through the ethics is a lot more complicated with arts based methods.”

Local photographer Kip Wiley (pictured above) was also inspired to begin working on the pieces in his exhibit, although his inspiration came about in an entirely different way. His inspiration for “Seeking the Holy Grail” began after a day out skiing.

“Truthfully, I was skiing one day and stellars were falling from the sky and I was looking at them on my jacket, and I could see them,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to photograph them and see what happens.’ So I started and it just grew.”

He began photographing all types of snowflakes two winters ago, and said it was a bit of a learning curve.

“It’s a challenge because a lot of snow is not that interesting, a lot of crystals will fall broken, or they get blown around by the wind. So you really have to have good conditions for nicely formed snowflakes,” said Wiley. “Different snowflake types form at different humidity and temperature. The water will freeze in different patterns.”

There are also two other exhibits currently on display at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre: Kristi and Susan Lind’s exhibit titled “Mother and Daughter” (pictured above), and Jaqueline Palmer’s exhibit “A Thousand and Two Wild Horses.”

All four exhibits are on display until Friday, Oct. 28. Visit RevelstokeArtGallery.ca for hours.