CARL WHITE – Onion Skin : a love that moves the sun and the stars

There is no better way to walk the journey of grief, than immersing oneself in art, music and nature. The current exhibit, Onion Skin: a love that moves the sun and stars at Christine Klassen Gallery offered me a reprieve from this heart of sadness at the recent loss of both Max, my twelve year old border collie, and Bill Webb (my dear and forever-friend) who shared with me, just that sort of love.

I was greeted with pug love and Christine love, upon entry. Once letting me know that she was available to chat about the art, Christine was kind to let me disappear into the space. I let her know that I had walked the live streamed artist talk with her and Carl and shared that I have been greatly isolated for all of these many months. I celebrated that, in the gallery, I had distance and yet felt enormously connected. One doesn’t want to be vulnerable in such a setting, so no tears were had.

Carl’s paintings/objects are delicious in their ethereal (heavenly) handling. I was transported into the depths of my sadness, but at the same time, lifted into a place of hope and light. It was such a personal offering that it’s difficult to articulate here, in words. I could have crawled into the vessels and curled up. I was reminded of the cocoon of my warm blankets that fill my bed, a place where I have freely let my tears flow since September 28.

For the past many years, I have showed up daily, to walk a circle at the edge of the Bow River. These paintings suggested my life at the river…the vast expanse of sky that I enjoy every day, the flow and sound of the water, the light…and the Bald Eagle’s nesting bowl. The work felt familiar. It resonated with me at a physical level.

Back in the car, exhausted, I sat and wept. I wonder if this exhibit might impact you at a physical place? The galleries in town, I realize now, are peaceful places. I highly suggest you take some time out, just for you, and visit our local gallery spaces.

Thank you, Christine, for your hospitality. Seeing works by other strong women surrounding the main gallery space…beautiful pieces by Teresa Posyniak, Verna Vogel, Karen Klassen and others, was also a joy.

Congratulations to Carl White on this one. He has painted the fragility of life, its events, and its pared-down essence.

Artist: Carl White
Artist: Carl White
Artist: Carl White
Artist: Carl White
Artist: Carl White
Artist: Carl White

Christine Klassen Gallery

I’m learning something new about the Calgary art scene every week and I’m so excited about the seeming expansion of visual arts events the city-over.  Given that I’m living in the south, I like it that this includes the Manchester Industrial Park.  One such gem is the Christine Klassen Gallery.  This afternoon I was the beneficiary of fantastic light, scrumptious munchies, a glass of nicely chilled champagne and over-the-moon art works…today, featuring the works of artists Teresa Posyniak, Lisa Matthias and Carl White.

I found the work uplifting, predominantly textural in nature, with a dominance of pattern.  On a warm Calgary day, seeing such works could only lend itself to a sense of optimism.  I had a lovely chat with Lisa and was, given a body of work that I’m exploring, intrigued with her  interest in ecology, natural history and environmentalism.

Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 013

Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 014

Since studying the Private Eye for an integrated educational program based on observations of natural and found objects with jeweler’s loupes, I’ve been collecting samples on my pond study and analysis of atmosphere around a single bush located at the site.  I was immediately drawn to Lisa’s works.  Described in part, on her website…

Her work frequently draws from her experiences as a biologist, and she often captures microscopic images and videos in her creative practice. The idea that everything is part of a larger assemblage, emphasized by the recognition of patterns and relatedness across species and scales of life, is a central theme in her work.

I’ve consistently enjoyed Carl White’s paintings as expressions of a very absorbing and melodic sensibility.  I was happy to reconnect with that feeling today.  It was a beautiful thing that as the huge doors were left open because of the warmth, Carl’s paintings seemed to mirror back to me the spring air, light and sound.  It was truly beautiful.

Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 009Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 008

Teresa’s work was fascinating for its layers of media and texture.  Surfaces were dripping with colour and intensity.  While reflecting upon ‘Eating the Sun’, I am salivating.  Some art just creates that response in me.    Again, I enjoy Teresa’s link with science.  The following, a summary from the CKG website.

My childhood fascination with “things microscopic” resurfaced about ten years ago when my friend and science journalist Alanna Mitchell shared her research and images of plankton with me while working on her international bestseller SEASICK: the Global Ocean in Crisis. I was struck by the fact that plankton produce more than half the earth’s oxygen through photosynthesis (the conversion of sunlight to carbon-based food) putting oxygen into the air as waste from the chemical reaction. Although these “sun-eaters” keep us breathing, their well-being is being threatened by human activity.

It wasn’t just the science that intrigued me. As an artist, I am fascinated by these beautiful creatures ranging from microscopic marine viruses and bacteria to single-celled plants with stunningly ornate shells, and plant-eating animals.

As I embarked on this ten year journey to create this series of paintings and sculpture, I thought about the myriad ways that pattern is enmeshed in our existence and how the tapestry-like qualities in these almost invisible creatures and plants are echoed in the macroscopic world – architecture, decoration, lace, flowers, trees, skin, clouds, stars – the comparisons are limitless.

Both artists and scientists are keen observers of life.  Science has inspired me to expand my artistic vision to another realm, a world that I yearned to see as a child.  

Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 010

Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 012Kath's Canon April 2 2016 Art Klassen Pason Ed Bader 011

This stop was a delightful way to begin my afternoon art walk here in Calgary.  I’ll continue by writing about my ‘second stop’ tomorrow morning, a tour led by Naomi Potter (Curator for Esker Foundation), Jim Hill (owner of Pason Systems and along with his wife, Sue Hill, an enthusiastic collector and visual arts advocate) and Dr. Shepherd Steiner ( Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba School of Art, who has recently completed a manuscript looking at Modernist painting, sculpture, and criticism from 1945–1968) of a portion of the extensive collection of works on view at Pason Systems.  What magic!

I’ll be seeing you again, Christine.

Love Art in Calgary: Carl White at Jarvis Hall Fine Art

Shannon Williamson, Assistant Director of Jarvis Hall Fine Art, introduced us to Carl White.  She was bright eyed and smiling as she explained that this was the last day for the exhibit.  My readers might remember that I had written of the opening event, but this was a wonderful thing to be able to have the artist to ourselves for conversation and inspiration.  I circled Carl like a shark at the opening, but never did get closer than four feet from him…openings are just like that.  This tour was oh-so-much-better!

Some of the topics that Carl White explored during his artist talk were poetry, cursive writing, romanticism, art as layering of skin/flesh, teacher as facilitator and Gnosticism.  It was a thought provoking morning and the conversation certainly informed the work and our experience of the pieces.  Shannon generously pulled out some of Carl’s earlier works that contributed to an even broader context.  Thank you, Carl White, for your time and your thoughts.

Words carried away in my heart as we left the gallery…”Kath, who is your e?”

P1130862 P1130864 P1130866 P1130869

Courtesy of Jarvis Hall Fine Art

Courtesy of Jarvis Hall Fine Art

 

Poems for e. New work by Carl White

Last evening I attended an opening at Jarvis Hall Fine Art, Poems for e by Carl White. This was an exquisite collection of works, with such subtleties and interesting nuances, I was captivated. The use of line, the variety of surfaces and the elegant incorporation of the written word had me smitten! Get down to this exhibit!

White Paint - the artwork of Carl White

Poems for e. New work by Carl White

View original post