I draw to understand the world. Drawing takes me on an exquisite pursuit of meaning, examining and recording minute details that reveal form and history. My process takes time: I have to slow down and consider the acts of looking, remembering and perceiving. My technique also takes time: I layer a myriad of marks with pencil and charcoal on paper, partially erase and rework them. I attend the minuscule but work on a large surface to offer the viewer the features I find – magnified or emphasized. Such enormity of scale combined with the intricate, takes drawing into a new dimension for me and amplifies its meaning.
I work in series. The latest “Once upon a time” comprises five drawings of trees, each 96 inches high and from 80 to 177 inches wide. The images are from photographs I took, one from each continent: Australia, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. I chose the trees randomly, simply wanting to give testimony to their remarkable and unremarkable existence.
Trees are vital to our very survival. They contribute to the basic elements of life, replenishing the atmosphere, providing food, shelter and healing. Global deforestation is endangering their continued existence. I am drawing trees because it is urgent that we consider their significance in our world, and understand that our histories are intertwined.
The history of a tree is written on and within its own body. This slow, meticulous recording process is emulated by my deliberate technique: each drawing has taken nine to twelve months to produce. Each character of the tree has been shaped by another element—by the weather and by the availability or lack of water and nutrition--and by contact at various stages of its growth with objects, animals and humans. In becoming itself the tree in turn shapes the environment around it. In my drawings, the complicated interactions of the roots and limbs reflect the interdependence of matter, which is essential to the survival of our environment.
Artist Bio / CV
2005 Once upon a time Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond
1999 Herd in Stone Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
1996 sea of tranquility Gallery Sansair, Vancouver
1994 but on reflection... Malaspina Printmakers Society, Vancouver
1993 1789 Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver
1992 Stripped of Sense Or Gallery, Vancouver
1989 Raw Edges Firehall Theatre Gallery, Vancouver
2003/04/05 Faculty Exhibition Emily Carr Institute, Vancouver
2001 Artropolis CBC Studios, Vancouver
1997 Sunyata Vancouver East Cultural Centre
1996/97 A Critical Beauty Victoria, BC and Lethbridge, Alberta
1996 Work Or Gallery, Vancouver
1995 History:a re-evaluation Malaspina University, Nanaimo
1994 Untitled Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver
REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
2006 Striking images of trees Amy O’Brian, Vancouver Sun, Jan 3
2006 Interview Philippe Bourbeau, Radio-Canada CBUF
2005 Exhibit’s meaning grows on trees Robin Laurence, Georgia Straight, Dec 15
1999 Interview Meribeth Burton, A-Channel Television
1999 Marble Art Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist, May 3 1999 Brilliant & Forgotten Robert Amos, Islander, May 9
1996 Beautiful Monsters Yvonne Owens, Border Crossings, Spring
1996 A Critical Beauty Susan Schuppli, Open Space, Feb.
1992 Collective Conscience Ann Rosenberg, Vancouver Sun, Oct.17
1992 Stripped of Sense Patrick Mahon, Or Gallery, October
1998-9 Bachelor of Education Secondary Art, University of British Columbia
1993-4 Independent Study L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France
1990-2 Master of Fine Arts (First Class) University of British Columbia
1985-90 Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class) University of British Columbia
1966-9 Bachelor of Physiotherapy St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, England
2005/1998 Canada Council C Grant for Visual Artists
2005/01/1997 BC Arts Council Project Assistance for Visual Artist
1999 Sam Black Prize Artistic achievement in Art Education, UBC.