Bridget Corkery, Boukje Elzinga and Deb Thompson first worked together in the mixed media department at Kootenay School of Art and became founding members of what is now the Oxygen Art Centre.
This show consists of their new works in wax and cera colla techniques.
Added to the show are three oil paintings of swans done by Elzinga in celebration of the up coming Swan Lake, a Ballet Jorgen Canada production, at the Capitol Theatre on January 31.
Cera colla, meaning wax fluid, is a method of painting with bee’s wax. This technique of using wax as a medium, dates back to ancient times and is first seen in Prehistoric art. It is evident later in the Egyptian art of the early Christian era on some mummy portraits and then can be seen in some art of the Italian Renaissance.
To prepare cera colla medium for painting, bee’s wax is melted and mixed with ammonia and water to make an emulsion to which colour pigments can be added. Protein, in the form of melted cheese, is blended into the mix to bind the wax to the support since wax doesn’t adhere well on its own. The medium is usually applied to a rigid surface such as wood, metal or stone.
Though Corkery, Elzinga and Thompson worked side by side several times as their pieces evolved, each artist explored this ancient medium in a different way and brought their own unique language of mark making, choice of colour and use of symbols to the pieces.
No common theme was laid forth but the subject matter of many of the pieces was influenced by their excitement over sharing several well-preserved freezer birds.
The artists also shared processes and techniques used in working with cera colla. The medium can be built up in layers of colour then thinly carved, scraped and scratched away again to reveal “hidden” colours and bring forth imagery. Cera colla, both delicate and resilient, is best described by Corkery as “a printmakers painting”. It comes to life here in the skillful hands of these three artists.
You are invited to attend the opening reception on December 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. This event is part of “blue night.”