Eight artists from the Malcolm Island Artist’s Collective held an art show and sale July 21 on the lawn of Betty Carlson’s home.
The collective was initiated approximately nine months ago and has 11 members up to this point. It was formed with the intention of making more information available on and off the island about studios, art and artists on Malcolm Island. The first stage in this process was the creation of a website called www.malcolmisland.ca. The website acts as a portal where each of the member artists can have a single page that presents a sample of their work and their contact information. The collective also helps bring artists together to generate ideas through conversation.
There was a wide range of media, styles and approaches included in the show.
Fabric artist Robin Smith takes recycled thrift store clothing, dyes it back to its basic level, then ecodyes it with natural elements like rust and salal berry for an earthy and exotic effect.
Tim Motchman carves wood burls, not because it’s easy, but because he likes the effect of the speckled and finely grained wood. He is “inspired by nature and the beauty of the coast” making semi-abstracted organic carvings of animals and sea life. He demonstrated his working process by carving a relief of an octopus during the show.
Deb Wiggins makes fused glass art by arranging bits of cut coloured glass on top of glass and then melding them together in a kiln. The effect is like stained glass, but with a predominance of blues and greens and depictions of aquatic life that reflect the watery ecosystems of the West Coast.
Painting landscapes in watercolour, Sheila Roote’s use of translucent highly saturated colour and swirling designs make these otherwise everyday scenes look “other worldly.”
Kathleen Blohm works in a variety of media, including jewelry, pottery, assemblage, printing, painting and sculpture. Although her personal style is not easy to pin down, the very diverse collection emanates an enigmatic and mysterious vibe.
Gabrielle Dey, of Sedna Designs, is a jeweller with an assortment of rings, earrings and necklaces that, though made from some earthy materials, have a classic and elegant simplicity to them.
Janet Etter, calling her display the “Folk Art Shack,” sold knitted purses and hats, gift cards and “folksie” impasto paintings that express her fascination with tugboats.
In addition to displaying several large canvasses of her work on the lawn and some of her fabric compositions in the trees, Carlson also invited people into her studio to view more examples of her work. Using a predominance of bright primary and secondary colours, her paintings express a playful spirit and a child-like fascination with everything in the world from fish to cats.
The collective was joined by another artist’s group, The Malcolm Island Arts Society, who provided goodies and refreshments. Carlson says, “That’s how we work here. Somebody gets an idea and, all of sudden, a bunch of people want to help. We’ve got a couple of volunteers helping that just showed up. That’s one of the reasons why I like living here.”
Carlson concluded with, “Many hours and many hands helped pull this off, and, of course, fabulous weather and a great turn out.” She said she has spoken with people at the show who were from Italy, France, Germany, Alert Bay, Port Alice and Port Hardy. She adds, “Whether this is an annual event remains to be seen, but it was definitely a fun afternoon.”
– Debra Lynn article