‘Cross Currents’ exhibit participates in New Westminster Cultural Crawl
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
Cross Currents: Investigations into abstraction and collaboration is the latest Amelia Douglas Gallery exhibit coming August 7. It explores the relationship between an artist and their abstract works as well as the connection between collaborating artists. The exhibit will feature abstract paintings by collaborating artists Kathryn Gibson and Sande Waters as well as solo abstract works by Dorothy Doherty.
“I feel the concept of collaboration is really important now,” Waters said. “You need strong individuals who come together and do something together without conflict.”
She and Gibson have a unique collaborative style in which they create their abstract art together at the same time while having conversations about personal topics. Their chosen topic during a painting’s creation influences their choice of colour palette.
Gibson and Waters treat their combined artistic efforts like a conversation, with their paint strokes interacting like words in a dialogue.
“In a conversation, sometimes you’d like to override what somebody’s saying or say it in a different way, but that’s what they said. We make different kinds of marks and just have to respect that,” Waters said.
Since Gibson and Waters paint a canvas at the same time, they have to figure out a balance that allows each of their styles to merge into one work of art.
“Sometimes we have to say, ‘Okay, I’ve been over here too long. I can see I’m starting to dominate this side. Let’s switch over so that it’s a more balanced look,’” Waters said. “Otherwise it would be her side of painting and my side of painting.”
Waters and Gibson’s paintings are large works of art, so they sometimes donate their works to healthcare facilities where there are walls big enough to display them.
“I’m just happy if I make artwork and it goes out into the world,” Waters said.
Gibson and Waters sometimes find viewers look for shapes or designs in their abstract art. This kind of personal interpretation is one of the reasons why Gibson would prefer not to title her works, although the works in Cross Currents have titles.
“People are always trying to find things in it, like this looks like a whatever, as if we were intentionally trying to do that. But that’s not at all what we’re doing,” Waters said.
Doherty has found that sometimes unexpected shapes appear in her abstract art and she titles them accordingly.
“One piece is called ‘Dromedary’ because the shape of it looks like a camel. But it wasn’t intended to be. It was only after looking at it after the fact that I saw it,” she said.
She prefers to give each of her abstract pieces a title as a way to aid viewers.
“I like to name my work because it gives the viewer a starting point and a direction,” she said.
Cross Currents will participate in the New Westminster Cultural Crawl from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 8–9. The event will feature a live collaborative painting performance by Gibson and Waters, followed by the exhibit’s opening reception. Visitors are encouraged to use the art supplies provided by Opus Art Supplies to make collaborative art pieces together in the gallery.
Doherty, Waters, and Gibson will present an artists’ talk at 10 a.m. on September 11 in the gallery.
The Cross Currents exhibit will run from August 7 to September 12 in the Amelia Douglas Gallery on the fourth floor of the Douglas College New Westminster campus.
If you would like to see your artwork on display at the Amelia Douglas Gallery, consider submitting a piece to the Avocations student and employee exhibit scheduled from October 29 to December 11.
For more information on Avocations, check out the Amelia Douglas Gallery page on the Douglas College website or contact Krista Eide at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions has been extended to August 1.