23 Market Street West, Port Dover, ON N0A 1N0
Thursday to Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m.
We are thrilled to announce our current exhibition
New Paintings by
Michael Barber and Sierra Barber
show runs March 30 to May 7, 2017
Opening Reception Friday, March 31, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
also jewellery by Alice Lingard
and fabric art "The Flock" by Gale Lemery
We are also pleased to carry limited copies of Arabella: The Love of Flowers, which contains 13 watercolours by local artist Carol Gerrett; The Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests, by local author and illustrator Bailey Fort; the novel Flee, Fly, Flown, by Janet Hepburn and a handprinted, handstitched poetry book,The Bruce, which is written by Janet Hepburn and illustrated by Cristina Zanella
Michael was born in Simcoe, Ontario in 1967. He has been creating ever since he can remember. Mike studied Graphic Design at George Brown College in Toronto. After working for different advertising agencies and feeling the need to grow as an artist, he started Strictly Visual in 1991, a graphic design studio where he began producing work that he felt was both creative and suitable for its application in the advertising market.
The desire to create freely and experiment without being concerned about marketability led Mike to painting. The inspiration for his work has come from his life and the lives of people close to him.
Mike’s work deals with examination of dark realities that are rarely spoken. “Memories and thoughts are never clear and his paintings reflect the layers that hide or protect the past, the things we cherish and the things we’d love to forget. Quite often in life things that are out of control have such impact on our lives, not physically, but emotionally – things we will carry with us forever. The good and the bad both weigh us down and fill us up to the point that there’s no room left. Then one day something happens that forces us to shift things, reposition and prioritize the weight to a more manageable point for the time being.”
Mike paints on mahogany plywood and uses a mixed media approach. Resist techniques are used with the paint application. Gouging and scratching is done with various hand tools; shovels and hoes are used to scrape the work and expose the earlier layers to create a sense of time. Images are applied to the work by using a very primitive printing technique and manipulating the cut after various applications.
“The creation of a piece is a very physical activity. I get lost in the painting and struggle between layers, caught in a dilemma of exposure and protection. It’s an exhausting process and yet I find it so satisfying.”
Sierra holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from OCAD University and is currently basing her practice in Toronto, Ontario.
Sierra was raised in Silver Hill, a hamlet in Norfolk County. She began working with wax in 2010, after the ancient painting method called encaustic, was described to her by a family member. The painting technique was completely new to Sierra and she was fascinated by the idea of melting wax and using it as a liquid to paint with. She began a series of tests in her family barn and cobbled together her own understanding of wax painting. This curiosity has evolved into her full practice that now uses proper materials but is still based on earlier techniques that she has since learned to control and apply.
Beeswax is traditionally used as a preserver and over the past few years Sierra has been exploring the concept of preserving and storing memories in wax to prevent change. Her new series titled “Collection” combines both oil painting and encaustic on birch panel. Paintings of vintage collectibles are created in oil; contained within a beeswax honeycomb frame to interpret ideas of collecting, preservation and nostalgia.
Alice Lingard, a musician/performer/teacher, upon retiring, took her experience and moved into the art form of weaving baskets, beading pouches, creating copper jewellery and waxed linen pouches using a variety of materials. Reed, waxed linen, silver and copper wire, leather and other materials are used to create these beautiful pieces of art. Some baskets are utilitarian and some are simply seen as art objects. Dyed materials, basket designs and classes are developed in her studio in Strathroy. Alice shows her baskets and beads in art galleries and juried shows throughout Ontario. Her beaded works are intricate and made with beads that have been collected on five continents. She has spent some time in India teaching basketry at the Anglican compound in the slums of Durgapur in the northeast of the country. As well, Alice has taught basketry both south and north of the border and in Ontario. Her journey in basketry and beading has introduced her to many creative teachers and students who have become great friends and colleagues. Currently Alice’s baskets are sold at Main Street Gallery in Bayfield, Ontario along with her fur-cuffed mitts and hats, beaded pouches, waxed linen pouches with beads and shells and copper wire and beaded bracelets.
Gale Lemery has had careers spanning Education Assistant to the owner and operator of The Café in Waterford, Ontario, for twenty-five years. Gale was born and raised in Simcoe, Ontario and settled in rural Norfolk County with her husband, Neil and two children, Chrystal and Tenneil.
Gale’s thirst for knowledge and profound appreciation for nature and all it has to offer, allow this self-taught artist to express herself through many mediums. Thoughts of spring and new beginnings during a long, unsettled winter, along with her love of working with fabric, gave Gale the inspiration for this collection, “The Flock”.