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Exhibit gets the word out

Kemp and Patton bring abstract concepts to light

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 06:00 am

WORD ART – Artist Bonnie Patton likes to work with words in a way that makes the viewer stop and smile.
WORD ART – Artist Bonnie Patton likes to work with words in a way that makes the viewer stop and smile.
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Metaspect/Ordinary Walls
Artworks by Lorna Kemp and Bonnie Patton

Opening reception Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. during the June ArtWalk
Show runs until June 27
VASA Gallery
25 Sir Winston Churchill Ave. (the Hemingway Centre for the Arts)
Call 780-460-5993 or visit for more information.

A duo of artists is taking over the Visual Arts Studio Association with pictures and words, or pictures of words at least.

Lorna Kemp works in abstract encaustics, the kinds of melted wax images that can make the eye and mind wander through universes or oceanscapes or vibrant hallucinations. For the artist, there’s something about the medium that is entrancing in its own way.

“While I was creating this series of 30 miniature encaustic paintings, I was always so conscious to the sheer sensuality of the wax,” she explains in her artist’s statement. “Sensuality, being one of the elements of seduction, led me to name this series Metaspect, which comes from the Journal of the Institute of Idle Curiosity for Elements of Seduction.”

The research program of the institute, according to its website at, is concerned with “the way human beings deal with the uncertain, the complex and the unknown in social and political interaction.”

Bonnie Patton, Kemp’s counterpart in the show, takes a more literary approach, saying that she uses language and text as “both an inspiration and a medium.”

Her works are best described as wordy. She starts with things that she hears or reads, random ideas, or “odd phrases from conversations or song lyrics or things I read that I thought were interesting and needed to be written down. I was aiming for a general overview of my work with this exhibition that would also complement Lorna's bright colours.”

“I like to incorporate a sense of play or humour into my work because I like connections and interpretations of ideas that take me by surprise. And I think that sometimes the simplest method works best for these ideas and that sketches can be just as interesting as a more ‘finished’ piece, so I have a rather raw, gritty style that aims to be graphically interesting while expressing or invoking thoughts that the viewer may not have thought of before.”

She hopes her images make viewers stop and smile, and think about how language works or can work, and “maybe challenge what art is.”

“My art isn't painting, and not many people feel like they've seen it before!”


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