Monday, May 8, 2017

Winchester Galleries, ‘Five’. May 2-27th. by Philip Willey.

Vicky Christou was born in Melbourne, Australia and immigrated to Canada in 1969. She is a graduate of the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. Her work exists somewhere between painting and sculpture. She is inspired, she says, ‘by the simultaneous happenings of visual and personal metaphorical dialogues.’

Multiple layers of impasto are protected by a woven textile grid to produce striking 3 dimensional images of light and shade.

Jeremy Mangan was born in Seattle and has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He studied at PLU in Tacoma also in Munich, Germany and New York. There is something of Rene Magritte in Mangan’s paintings. He uses a realist technique to paint recognizable objects in an unusual context thereby creating improbable landscapes and events.

“My current work explores phenomena: the unusual,
exceptional moments just on the edge of plausibility,
and occasionally beyond.” Jeremy Mangan

He has shown frequently in Tacoma and Seattle and now Victorians have a chance to see his work.

Sean Mills, a graduate of Emily Carr University, based in Vancouver, explores light and transparency using paint and plexiglass. He sees paint as both occupying and containing space. The way his works play with light and shadow makes them appear less substantial than they actually are.

Neil McClelland is from Gatineau, Quebec now living in Victoria where he teaches sessionally at UVic and Vancouver Island School of Art. Of all the artists in this show perhaps McClelland comes closest to having a political agenda. His current interest is the perfectibility of society and his striking, albeit somewhat ominous, paintings capture the current societal unease. 


In a lighter vein is Carollyne Yardley who is best known in Victoria for her squirrels, cheeky little critters that appear in her paintings in various disguises. Squirrels and masks have led to her current preoccupation, therianthropy (the ancient belief of shapeshifting, and animal ancestors), and theriocephaly (animal-headed humanoid forms such as the ancient Egyptian gods Ra, Sobek, and Anubis). She has also been collaborating with Rande Ola K’alapa.  Rande is part of a new generation of indigenous artists who are open to cross-cultural experimentation. Their show ‘Shapeshifting’ is ongoing at the Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver.

Carollyne is in Venice but her fan club showed up.

It was a lavish opening and very well attended. This is not strictly speaking a group show. There’s no unifying theme and the five artists don’t have a lot in common. That’s not the point. They are all serious, committed and in for the long haul. Their work is finely crafted and Winchester sees a bright future for them. Hence the sub-title FIVE: TO COLLECT. Winchester Galleries are to be congratulated for their forward thinking.

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