Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Greater than the sum of the parts...

Migration with Day Tripper and Night Dance in the background

 The SHIFT exhibition opening was a wonderful night! The show was very well attended by an enthusiastic audience.  To open the show, only Barbra Edwards's dramatic paintings were in the exhibition space.

Beautiful World and Form Speaks to Form
both 54 x 48" oil / wax on panel
Grey Rhythm 48 x 72"
oil on canvas
with  Confluence in foreground

  My pieces came out individually on models, bringing each piece to life with sculpture. After each model walked though the gathered crowd, she took her position in the exhibition, as the pieces would be displayed for the duration of the show.  Then everyone had the opportunity to move into the exhibition space to interact with and view in detail the paintings and felt pieces.  It was a fantastic evening!

  Barbra and I worked separately on our pieces through the spring/early summer and only shared hints of our directions in our work. We had never met before being paired for this exhibition and only met twice throughout the process, each working in our separate studios, on our separate islands. In our occasional conversations though, the most amazing relationships in our work began to become apparent, as well as  commonalities in life experiences.  Barbra's palette is bold, but always has an earthy base. My use of plant dyes is the same. This guaranteed some cohesion in our exhibition. But the degree of cohesion could not have been foretold or expected to be as amazing as it is here.

L to R
SHIFT #3 with Rift
Creature Love (48 x 60" oil on canvas) with Stratum in foreground
Day Tripper
60 x 43"
mixed media with oil

Rift with SHIFT #1 (diptych)16 x 32"  oil/with wax
  What was the most remarkable surprise and continues to give me such great pleasure is just how strong and beautiful the relationships our pieces have with one another.  Each of Barbra's pieces has a unique connection with one of mine, through form, line and colour. 

Beautiful World 54 x 48" oil /wax on panel with Hegira (right)

 Great and insightful reviews in the newspaper today, and two of my pieces sold!  I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to get to know Barbra and her work. And to the Salt Spring Arts Council for pairing us in this exhibition.  I'll be etching out some quiet moments at the gallery over the next week to soak up the relationship of these pieces. Together, greater than the sum of the parts...

You can read our artists statements here.

And see more of Barbra's work here.

Warm wishes,


  1. CONGRATULATIONS !!! Fiona (and Barbra)
    So great to have this wonderful exhibition together and it really adds up !!!
    Two pieces sold, marvelous ! (no wonder !!!)
    What a great idea to have the dresses on real models during the opening ;-)
    Love, Els

  2. Your pieces came out beautifully - not surprisingly containing your wonderful details and subtleties! Also, amazing how the paintings and wearables interact and that neither of you mapped it out extra-intentionally beforehand. How exciting to have the shift dresses worn by models at the opening!

    Your student,

  3. Don't you just love it when things come together like this! There must have been some synchronistic energy between you and Barbra. Your stunning, living 'shift' sculptures fit and hang so beautifully. Bravo Fiona!

  4. Wow. That is so exciting. Well done everyone. I went to the opening of an exhibition here in Western Australia earlier this year with very similar concepts. A group of Printmakers worked in a similar way, with only a limited contact with their partners who were poets..... clever and amazing work was presented. As Pat said above, definitely some synchronistic energy was there too.
    Being a felter, I commented at the time that it would be interesting to do the same thing with felters and poets maybe but now I love your combinations allowing the inclusion of colour.

    At first, I thought yours was a group exhibition but re-reading I realised the felt was all your work. Very impressive.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Regards from a new fan in Western Australia, Brenda Warner.....Feltnitnstitch