Prairie landscape takes over art gallery
Patterns of Places explores relationship between humanity and the land
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 06:00 am
Patterns of Places
Featuring the works of Linda McBain Cuyler, Linda J. Hawke and Pam Weber
Opening reception Thursday, Sept. 6 during ArtWalk from 6 to 9 p.m.
Show runs from Sept. 6 to 29 at the
Art Gallery of St. Albert, 19 Perron Street
Call 780-460-4310 or visit www.artgalleryofstalbert.com for more information.
Linda McBain Cuyler is the first to admit that she has more than just a passing fancy for landscapes, and not just in the artistic sense. She always tries for the window seat when she flies and she has a bit of a thing for maps.
“I like maps. My mom always was driving so I always read the map,” she said, remembering her early experiences with reading the passing landscape.
“I think my first word I learned to read was vacancy. ‘No vacancy!’ ‘Vacancy!’ she said, recalling how she used to exclaim at the sight of hotel signs.
Cuyler’s current artistic works reflect a love of the landscape, both the traditional horizontal perspective seen from the ground and the overhead view of the prairies divided into sections of farmland, intersected by rivers and other natural features.
Cuyler works in fabric and one of her notable pieces now on display at the Art Gallery of St. Albert is a suitcase.
The gallery’s latest show, Patterns of Places, combines three Alberta artists’ exploration of landscape from the ground up.
All of Cuyler’s work is made with only fabric, thread and acrylic paint.
The suitcase, she said, was made for a craft biennale in Korea.
“This is the one that started it all. I actually started out not having it in a suitcase. I was thinking of what I was going to do and I said to my husband, ‘if we had a thing – because it’s going to travel so far away – but folded up, it would go better.’ It needed depth too, and then I thought, ‘wait a minute! That’s like a suitcase.”
The result shows an important aspect of her family’s heritage, a view of her grandfather’s new homestead after he arrived from Holland to find land in the new country. It’s called Coming to Canada.
Another of Cuyler’s pieces is a small block that looks stratified with dirt and clay layers that lie under our feet.
Artist Linda J. Hawke, on the other hand, takes sewing patterns and paints over them to create the geographical land section look that is normally experienced by flying overhead. She adds found objects too, but mostly her work is about how the connectivity between people and the world plays a major role in shaping humanity.
Pam Weber, the last of the triad, paints rural and rustic scenes in bold colours, the rolling hills and farmhouses reminding city dwellers that they’re not so very far from fields of wheat and canola.
While these three artists each have their own unique forms of expression, there is still a lot of cohesion in the show, said Glenda Haughian, the education curator at the gallery.
“All three of them do very different things but the connectedness is really rich and it’s really obvious,” she said.
“They are talking about places and the patterns that exist in there and how we react to the landscape, and how the landscape reacts to us.”