Aggregates with Max Chiasson at The Art Centre Powell River Public Art Gallery. Jan- March 2020. Hosted two public drop-in hangout drawing sessions during exhibition hours.
After a two year Artist in Residence position with The City of Victoria, my wife and I moved back to Powell River one year ago. In that time I have been balancing commercial work with a push to experiment more in the studio. A selection of this studio work will be in the upcoming exhibition at The Art Centre. Over the years I’ve been interested in urban walls layered with graffiti, painted-over coats, accidental art, time and nature. Creation and decay as a collaboration. In 2016 I incorporated this interest for a mural gig in Victoria. Instead of painting over all the history of markings and graffiti on the wall, I collage sections of the wall’s texture into a landscape. Since 2016 I’ve painted eighteen murals, including two in Powell River. One in the Library’s Teen Room and a collaborative mural with Meghan Hildebrand on the Library’s back alley wall. Themes from most of these murals became a starting point for my studio work from the past year. Unlike most of my commercial work that involves a pitch or a plan, I wanted to try and explore less familiar territory. Experimenting in various mediums with no expectations in the beginning stages. I think of this recent collection on a molecular level. Like viewing separate particles up close in the microcosm. Stepping back to see all as one in the macrocosm. I’m happy to be showing this work in an open and beautiful space like the The Art Centre. I want viewers to step back to view this work. Most of my art over the years has been about peering-in. This time my intention is immersion over inspection. It’s been rewarding creating this work with a feeling of confidence and unknowing. Like when I look up in awe of a starry night. I have no idea what is going on in the chaos held together. It’s nice to feel grounded in this observation. To enjoy the beauty and simplicity from afar. Similar in my studio practice, being open to what arrives on the canvas. It’s also fun to see what universes exist in the mundane and finite. Whatever the medium or message, art is still keeping me engaged. -LR 2020