For the first time, local artist Jackie Pendergast’s work is being featured in a solo exhibition. Titled Songs of My Heart, the semi-autobiographical works are a glimpse into Pendergast’s life, highlighting some of the changes Pendergast has experienced. It’s also the first time she has worked from a theme.
“There are certain songs, when I hear them, they take me back to a particular time in my life,” said Pendergast, who chose 15 songs she connected with as catalysts for the pieces she created. The changes represented through her works, which feature textile pieces, silk painting, and mixed media, begin with her childhood and continue through leaving for college, ending a first relationship, and living in Canada.
“Lots of people know me as the person who works at the art gallery, they know me from my time in Revelstoke,” she said. “But there’s a whole 50-odd years of living in a difference place and a different lifestyle to the one I have now.”
Pendergast says knowing that others will see her work, and its connection to her, does cause some anxiety.
“It’s scary in some ways because I am exposing myself through my art and having people see it,” she said. “In some ways it’s allowed me to examine my thoughts and feelings, and in some cases come to terms with what’s happened in the past.”
While she only began working on the pieces for the exhibition eight months ago, Pendergast says the idea for Songs of My Heart has been in her mind for much longer.
“Its been three years of thinking and waking up in the middle of the night,” she said.
Selecting the songs was the first part of the process, looking very carefully at lyrics and in some cases choosing only a phrase. The song selections are varied and travel through time beginning with Perry Como and ending with Cold Play. Of course there is also a Beatles song, and Blackbird by Paul McCartney who Pendergast says was her favourite Beatle.
As for the changes that each song and each piece represent, Pendergast says they cover both good and bad.
“Isn’t that what life is about? If we never experience bad times in our lives would we appreciate the good? It’s only when we know despair that we realize that when life is good it’s very precious.”
Along with Songs of My Heart, the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre will feature two other exhibitions. Postcards from Revelstoke features works by Coreen Tucker in a variety of media including water colours, mixed media and silk paintings. Book Illustrators: The Art of the Book includes original prints of book art by Cara Sharp (My 12 Brothers and Me, by Chic Sharp), and Zuzana Driediger.
The exhibitions run from September 5 to 26. There will be an opening reception on September 5 from 6-9 p.m.