In April of 2017, Propeller member Gwen Tooth decided to organize a companion show to run concurrently with her solo show “Indian Ocean Variations”. She invited five other artists, Jacques Descoteaux, Bianka Guna, Michelle Letarte, Irina Litinsky and Shannon Moynagh to show with her in a curated exhibition “The Evolution of Abstraction”.
The opening, artists in attendance day and the informal artists’ talk about their work events were all well attended.
INDIAN OCEAN VARIATIONS:
Gwen Tooth is an expressionist who has completed several series of paintings revealing the various moods and energies of water – whirlpools, waterfalls, and tsunamis.
Gwen’s current installation project, “Indian Ocean Variations”, is a series of abstract acrylic paintings inspired by the vibrant colours, visual sights, sounds, and scents of India. Gwen experienced these in depth during four visits to the Indian subcontinent. Enhancing this process, she studied basic Hindi, Indian cuisine and immersed herself in the deep history, architecture and culture of India. The colours used in Gwen’s expressionistic paintings are reminiscent of spice markets, silk factories, richly ornamented temples, beautiful saris, exquisite jewellery and the paintings evoke the churning energy of the Indian Ocean. www.zhibit.org/gwentooth
THE EVOLUTION OF ABSTRACTION:
THE EVOLUTION OF ABSTRACTION:
Six journeys of abstraction as curated by Gwen Tooth.
Jacques Descoteaux, Bianka Guna, Michelle Letarte, Irina Litinsky, Shannon Moynagh, Gwen Tooth – each artist presents a unique approach.
JACQUES DESCOTEAUX - abstract essence landscapes “beyond the landscape” in oil. Jacques has been playing with adding streaks – sometimes on the side, sometimes at the bottom; at times very bold, at times more subtle, and at times, they’re not there. By adding this element, the image becomes something else. It is a landscape, and yet it isn’t. He is taking the image from landscape to “beyond landscape”. www.jdcoto.com
BIANKA GUNA – Bianka is an abstract expressionist artist who explores universal themes and symbols of humanity. Her work draws the viewer in through its strong, vivid colours and highly textured surface. The imagery is whimsical, serene, ethereal, and delicate, yet bold and direct. She believes in unity, diversity, proportions, contrast, balance and the unexpected. She has recently been working extensively with incorporating complex acrylic skins into her paintings. www.biankaguna.com
MICHELLE LETARTE – Michelle travels the world extensively and develops a new series of paintings from each unique experience. She often uses various textures to elaborate her artistic statement. In her Anatolia series, she reflects images that witnessed history but are eroded by time and earthquakes and are now integrated into natural fresh landscapes. She uses pumice and sand to create the texture of these large surfaces. Her palette reflects the colours of Anatolia and its ancient sea. www.michelleletarte.ca
IRINA LITINSKY –Irina paints her natural emotional response to the world and people around her. Her reaction to what she sees is a fascination with the inner world of human beings and their aesthetic external beauty. Combining pencil drawing sensitivity with the energy of fluid acrylic paint strokes results in colours, shapes and lines that generate a unified image that is also ambiguous and open-ended. She often engages the use of abstracted figures in her work. www.irinalitinsky.com
SHANNON MOYNAGH - Shannon explores various themes in nature through her work, including biology and evolution. For the acrylic series ‘Organics’ she combines her study of microscopic organisms with experimental use of viscosity differences in acrylic. Shannon states: “My artistic goal is to create living, breathing microcosms of paint, artworks that borrow forms wondrous and varied from the natural world. Executed by a combination of systematic and improvisational methods, and utilizing the behaviour of the paint itself, the finished painting is like a fossilization of the paint in motion, a relic of those precious viscous moments of the paint’s ‘life’ frozen in time.”
Shannon's art: https://www.facebook.com/shannonsproudpapa/
GWEN TOOTH - Gwen is an expressionist painter. Her most recent series “Red Series: Gentle Waterfalls”, was an exhibition of acrylic paintings interpreting gentle waterfalls on red backgrounds. Nature was full of joy once more. Works from this show are a transition to her “Indian Ocean Variations” exhibit. www.zhibit.org/gwentooth
"Fifteen years ago I started taking photographs of the pond near our home,
while standing in the same place every day — an activity that I have since
applied to other locations as well. Along with these day-to-day photos, I
began taking rapid sequence photographs as I moved through various
landscapes, such as the route of the Toronto Subway and the Gardiner
Expressway in Toronto. I then used each photo collection to create a
composite image made up of individual multi-layered transparencies. The end
result is always a slow surprise, evoking a dreamlike memory and the spirit
of each unique location.
This most recent series has a common theme of Generative Art. This work is
photo based from hundreds to thousands of photographs taken daily from the
same location or moving through space that are algorithmically processed to
create an average. Like much of my work it deals with objective decision
making processes." -- Art Lucs
A few spaces left in Propeller's Art Grant Workshop
If you ever considered trying to get an arts grant and felt overwhelmed by the prospect, we have a workshop to help guide you through the process and improve your chances of success. Just a few more spaces left for this 2 hour workshop on Sunday, May 8th, from 2 - 4 p.m.
Happy to announce our new series of stories about the artists of Propeller! This blog will be a chance for you to get to know our artists; to have a look into their studios; and hear about how and why they make art. Our first blog will be about Frances Patella, who, in addition to being a fabulous artist also works incredibly hard in her volunteer role as co-chair of Propeller.