Working on pieces for the upcoming Year of the Craft: Textiles exhibit in Revelstoke brought about an unusual circumstance for Beverly and Richard Reid. It was the first time the two artists had been working on pieces at the same time at their Christina Lake home.
“Richard was upstairs painting watercolours, and I was downstairs in the living room working on my pieces,” said Beverly. “During the day we’d talk about how our pieces were going. That was really enjoyable because we’ve never done that.”
Beverly’s work is being shown in the main gallery of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, while Richard’s watercolours are being showcased in one of the side galleries. Both artists have a unique story leading to their current use of medium. Beverly’s foray into textiles came about as the result of needing to make a quilt for their bed. Prior to that, she’d stuck mainly to more traditional formats of painting, print making, and drawing.
“I had seen my mother and grandmother make quilts. I started with very basic shapes and eventually they became these collages,” said Beverly.
When asked if she felt textiles needed to be more acknowledged as art, Beverly replied: “I never think of mine [art] as a craft. I was a painter first, and went to art school.”
Her art training is obvious with the way her pieces reflect light and colour, and Beverly says she definitely draws on her art training when completing pieces. From a distance, it’s possible to mistake Beverly’s textile pieces for paintings.
Richard’s move into a different medium is perhaps subtler, but more recent. Primarily an acrylic painter, he began to experiment with watercolours about 10 years ago.
“Prior to that I had never worked with watercolour before,” he said. “What’s curious is that I’ve always worked with the human figure and slowly over the years landscape has become involved. Over the years the figure has disappeared and it has just become about landscape.”
When he’s painting, Richard says he is more interested in what’s happening with the paint than with the subject itself.
“I look at the world and I don’t see it different than anyone else,” he said. “Then I look away and look at the paper and I don’t do a literal translation. You make a mark and that leads to making the next mark which leads to an entirely different thing and that leads to abstraction.”
One of the largest pieces in the exhibition is a replica of a rock garden from Beverly and Richard’s home. Richard lent a hand to Beverly by building the wooden frame for the piece, which is covered in appliqued fabric made to look exactly like a rock wall.
“It’s all one piece, so it got very hot,” said Beverly. In the centre of the rock wall sits a rock made to look exactly like one in their garden, only slightly larger. The faux rock is made out of styrofoam and covered in fabric.
Other artists being featured in Year of the Craft Textiles include: Deane Brebruer, Lois McLeod, Debbie Loewen, Robin Wiltse, Jean Brighouse, Donna Naprstek, and Janet Armstrong. The exhibition opens April 10 and runs until May 1. It is the first of three exhibitions at the gallery this year celebrating Year of the Craft.
Correction: This article was improperly credited to Alex Cooper in the Apr. 8, 2015, issue of the Revelstoke Review. It was in fact written by freelancer Melissa Jameson. We have apologized to Melissa for the error.