DENMAN ISLAND — This Thursday evening, the Seniors’ Gallery presents Outside Inside, an exhibit of acrylic paintings by Robin Mayor and Katarina Meglic.
The artists share a fascination with the interplay between the interior and the exterior, although their paintings are quite different from one another’s.
In Katarina’s case the interaction is on a human level: what we allow others to see, and what we keep inside; in Robin’s, the exchange is more contextual: the world, or objects on the outside if you are inside.
Katarina will present eight or maybe more of her paintings. She paints on canvas, and heavy cotton, and two will remain as hangings. Her paintings are concerned with our innermost thoughts, fears, and hopes, invisible to all but those with whom we are intimate, but which govern so much of our exterior life.
They tell stories of recovery from grief, our opposing desires to reveal or conceal ourselves, and the pain caused by hurtful words. Sorrows for Goldfish, a large canvas, shows hands taking sadness and sorrow with them as they reach down to feed a swirl of brilliant goldfish, transforming sadness into joy.
A canvas which has a very personal meaning for the artist shows two Katarinas, one being silenced by the other to one side of her, with an arm going off the canvas to the other side. The woman in the middle is pulled in two different directions: to reveal or to conceal?
This theme of two Katarinas (with a bow to Frida Kahlo and her two Fridas) is echoed in a painting of the artist’s daughter: two Ondines, one playful and one more ethereal.
There is a feminist undercurrent to these paintings: a combining of traditional women’s work with artistic statement. Just as the stories on the canvas are woven into the artist’s painting, she has woven and stitched to some work, trailing pieces of fabric which complement the composition and add to the theme.
Robin’s exhibit includes two series of paintings: a fog series and a travel series.
In the former, the B.C. West Coast fog envelopes and transforms familiar objects into subjective images: trees become dancers or assume creature-like shapes, the ferry dock looms through the mist in an otherworldly way. There is a combination of fullness and emptiness; the fog reveals and conceals at the same time.
For the Mexican series, Robin photographed village scenes from the window of his bus, and combined several into a single painting. Artifacts and faces from statues in museums of Mexican indigenous cultures are transposed into the paintings, giving them a multi-faceted complexity.
The fleeting nature of the scenes glimpsed briefly from the bus window deepen the sense of isolation felt by the artist as the bus speeds on and the scene recedes. Village carnivals or markets to which the artist was invited but cannot really be a part of, due to isolation from culture and language, echo this feeling.
The show runs until Sept. 6 at the Seniors’ Gallery. Opening night is this Thursday at 7 p.m. and the gallery is open every day from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.