Photographs and ceramics capture nature’s beauty
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
Artist Kathryn Gibson O’Regan’s photography features flora and fauna, blossoms and bones, and is currently on display in Essence: A Collaboration, an exhibit with artisan Robert Shiozaki that will run until February 14 in the Amelia Douglas Gallery at Douglas College.
“When I put together this compilation, I was trying to draw parallels and similarity in both the flora and the fauna, the structures and the openings,” she said. “The flora and the fauna are really to draw people’s attention to nature and the beauty of nature.”
The exhibit features a series of floral photographs, a collection of whale bone images, and a series called Auguste Rodin to Claude Monet, which features photographed hands of Rodin’s sculptures placed over floral images photographed in Monet’s garden.
“I want people to reach out and touch, whether it’s with their hand or their eye, and to be really drawn into the centre,” O’Regan said.
In the Auguste Rodin to Claude Monet photographs, the hands reach into the image from either side or from the top and float unanchored over of the floral imagery.
“What I was trying to achieve with these was the hands are being drawn into the vortex at the centre of the image to bring people into that, to recognize and really see what it is that we walk over and that we walk by,” she said.
Accompanying O’Regan’s work in the gallery are Shiozaki’s ceramic pieces, which feature colours and flowers that are similar to those in O’Regan’s photographs. The gallery’s art exhibit committee discovered the two artists at the 2013 Eastside Culture Crawl and noticed similarities in their artwork that would mesh well together in an exhibit.
“When Kathryn and I joined into our collaboration, they felt that the colours that I’m achieving in my platters and that Kathryn is achieving in her art could compliment each other,” Shiozaki said during a talk that he and O’Regan gave in the gallery on January 16.
“We were in the same building complex, the Mergatroid Building, and what we found is that we’re working individually but the synchronicity that came about was recognized through some of the work that you’re seeing here,” he said. “Especially when I started my whale carvings, Kathryn had been developing her whale photographs.”
O’Regan’s photographs of whale bones are located in the gallery at the end of a floral series of photographs. She wants viewers to relate the flora to the fauna and transition from one series to the next.
The photographs are the result of a dig that O’Regan participated in with about 20 other volunteers on Vancouver Island.
“I was in the pit helping dig and taking pictures,” she said, adding that the bones were brought to a local marine station to be suspended as a full whale skeleton on display.
To learn more about O’Regan and Shiozaki, check out their official websites at KathrynORegan.com and RobertCeramic.com. Essence: A Collaboration will be on display for the next few weeks at the Amelia Douglas Gallery on the fourth floor of the New Westminster campus of Douglas College.