Image contributed by Gillian Redwood ‘Miki’ (detail) depicts a worker standing amongst the cranes and towers of the shipyard -- one of the few paintings from Gillian Redwood’s ‘Commotion’ exhibit that depict scenes from the coast; most are set in the Arrow Lakes.

RVAC exhibits explore the human form

The Revelstoke art community’s monthly exhibit-opening gathering at the RVAC features two exhibits that focus on the human form.

The Revelstoke art community’s monthly exhibit-opening gathering at the RVAC features two exhibits that focus on the human form.

The main hall at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre will host a new exhibit entitled ‘Commotion’ by Nakusp artist Gillian Redwood. The show opens this Friday, May 13.

Redwood’s exhibit features large-format acrylics that explore the interplay between landscape and the human body. “They look at the relationship between who we are and where we live,” Redwood told the Times Review in an interview early this week.

Redwood has lived near Nakusp for a few years and has put on a couple of smaller shows since moving there, including an exhibit at Halcyon Hot Springs and at the commercial gallery Studio Connexion in Nakusp.

The formally-trained artist hails from Wales, studying in Cardiff and Bristol in the late 1960s before moving to London. She then returned to Wales to raise a family, and continued her development as a working artist. Her works delved into landscape collage, Chinese brush painting, wall hanging and collaborative mixed media.

Since 2003 she has worked as an artist full-time. She met a Canadian partner and since then they’ve travelled and lived around the world, stopping in diverse locales like White Rock, Aberdovey, Hawaii, Gwynedd, St. Ives, Italy and finally Nakusp. Redwood has continued creating and exhibiting works throughout. This will be her first full show since moving to Nakusp in 2008.

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PHOTO: ‘Mia’ shows the energy lines of a woman’s body as she turns, poised.

Her series of 16 prints created for the Revelstoke exhibit are almost all large — in the range of five feet high. They explore the temporal energy of the human body as it exists ephemerally in the natural environment.

Her “environmental figurative” work features the landscapes of the Upper Arrow Lake, a powerful, seasonal landscape that challenges newcomer Redwood. “For me its a really wild place. It gets very quiet and mellow at sometimes and extremely energetic and challenging at others,” she says.

Her semi-abstract depictions of the human form are often partially translucent, an expression of “how we become part of our environment and how the energies within the body can be seen as transparent.”

Like her personal story, her journey as an artist has been unique, with lots of divergent stops along the way: “I kind of tend to go my own way with painting. I am on a personal journey. I don’t really fit in really well to the current trend,” she says.

Redwood is influenced by concepts explored in Asian healing modalities, expressing her interpretations visually. “I know some people can see auras — I can’t.” The exhibit translates the concepts.

All but one of the works are for sale, ranging from about $600–$1,600.

The exhibit also features two other exhibits in the side room. The exhibit ‘The Human Face of Revelstoke’ is a juried show featuring works submitted by local artists on the theme. ‘Peonies to Privies’ is a collection of works by the Golden Girls Watercolour Group.

The show opens this Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m. The exhibit runs until June 3.


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