Two artist from the coast, with strong ties to Nelson, have turned their annual visit to the city into an opportunity to exhibit some of their recent works in a pop-up gallery installation they’re calling The Ties that Bind.
The show, which opens tonight in Gallery 716, features paper sculptures by Nelson native Sarah Cowan, now based in Victoria, and mix media created by her brother-in-law Peter Sickert, an architect living in Vancouver.
Both artists regularly show and sell their pieces in the Kootenays, and wanted an opportunity to showcase their work together, while they’re here to meet local art lovers in person.
Cowan and Sickert both tell stories with their work, the difference being that Cowan bases her art on her own experiences and Sicket recreates stories that were told to him by people close to him.
“This body of work is based on the often transient and fleeting awareness I have of my own existence, an on-going theme in my work,” Cowan explains in her artist statement.
“I am an incorrigible liar, mostly to myself, following an ever-meandering story to distract me from the precariousness, the fragility and within that fragility the terror of daily living.
“But I believe that through my work I cannot lie. And as I flit in and out of the story I am making up, I am confronted by my own intrinsic innocence and I live in hope.”
Using graphite, pen and ink, charcoal, wire, and cut paper, Cowan draws her life on surfaces larger than the scale of her body.
“I am developing a language that is engaged in asking the question of where do I end and others begin,” she explains.
Sickert, on the other hand, is interested in using research, the recollections of family, friends and witnesses to reconstruct new narratives.
“Constant retelling and remembering [of a story] subtlety transforms the story over time. In my inability to know the true circumstances surrounding the event, I am often left to rely only on my imagination to recreate and to give it a physical manifestation, to try to freeze it in time,” Sickert says.
“It is in this realm of uncertainty that I begin constructing the work starting with staging and photographing the event, gathering source material in the form of images or objects and combining these materials into a painting.”
There will be an opening reception for The Ties than Bind tonight, Friday, August 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. The installation will run through until August 23 with daily hours of 1 to 4 p.m.
The pop-up gallery is located just two blocks up from Baker Street at 716 Stanley Street.