March 6 – April 26, 2014
Opening Reception: March 6, 7 – 9 pm
Natural landscapes are a common concern for artists who often share strong connections to and associations with the land. Fragile Elements brings together three Alberta artists, each focusing on an aspect of the natural world.
Susan Casault creates highly attentive pencil crayon drawings that examine and portray flora in exacting detail. A clear affinity for the native environment and a desire to preserve its beauty is evident from the sensitivity and attention paid to her subjects. Referenced from the artist’s own photography, Casault’s drawings depict moments in time; the delicate bloom of flowers, grass swaying in the wind.
Similarly, Peter Ivens’ water studies seek to capture the essence of fleeting moments. With uncanny precision Ivens encapsulates the light and reflections from the water of rivers, pools and streams. Emphasis is placed on representing the quintessence of the water and less so on composing a true likeness. A great profundity and depth is achieved in these impressively fluid paintings that describe the natural environment with ethereal and poetic effect.
‘Who will hear the last bird sing?’ questions artist Teresa Stieben, whose works comprise a series of mixed media sculptures. Formed from fragile materials such as wasp papers, flowers, grasses and leaves, Stieben utilizes both recycled natural and artificial materials, painstakingly crafting replica bird nests. Deep concern over the human impact on the environment is expressed in these forms. Objects that should nurture the presence of birds instead imply their absence; miniature mausoleums to the memory of a natural paradise, exsanguinated by industrialization.
Fragile Elements testifies to the unique means by which an artist can both draw attention to, and visually preserve the beauty and fragility of the ecosystem.