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Victoria artist showing at Courtenay gallery

Virginia Whitehead exhibition at Artful : The Gallery
Some of the pieces of Virginia Whitehead’s Angles of Healing Series 2022. Photo submitted

“Transitions: More Than Paint” is a visual record of the lifetime’s art production of Victoria artist Virginia Whitehead.

This retrospective summation culminates with her prolific pandemic production of the Angles of Healing series.

Created within the time capsule of COVID, Angles of Healing illustrates Whitehead’s exploration of trauma and healing, both personal and collective. The healing power of the hand is a timeless universal symbol. From the 30,000-year-old ochre handprints discovered in Chauvet, France to the 12,000-year-old hands with dots and patterns from Borneo to the Hopi Healing Hand with a spiral in the center of the palm; the hand represents healing and protection.

Whether the Jewish Hand of Miriam or the Muslim Hand of Fatima, the open palm has always been seen as offering divine protection. Through ancient Mesopotamian artifacts and Hindu iconography, the hand represents unity, and is common throughout many world religions. A dot, spiral or eye, centered in the palm, focuses transformational healing power.

Whitehead’s transition is witnessed through multiples: transformation through time. The 14 paintings in the Angles of Healing series graphically mirror the deterioration of the pandemic time frame. Beginning with bold clarity of colour and design, each iteration witnesses the further decomposition of the previous, a traceable descent into chaos, echoing the simultaneous wider cultural disorder, disintegration, and dismay. Finally, these works incorporate mixed media collage, with the climate concerns of the world represented by human debris and detritus destroying the environment.

Transitions: More than Paint represents a selection from the various periods and themes of Whitehead’s lifetime as an artist, documenting half a century of artistic production and is on through May 14th at Artful : The Gallery.