Celebrating Women in the Arts; this exhibition is a collaboration between the directors of Bugera Matheson Gallery, Scott Gallery and The Front Gallery, in Edmonton’s Art Gallery District on 124 Street
Opening Reception: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
“Born in 1963, my formative years were during the women’s liberation movement. I grew up in a family environment that was gender-equal. Yet, I encountered gender inequalities as a student and in my professional life.
I wanted to collaborate with Rachel Bouchard (The Front Gallery) and Heather Hamel (Scott Gallery) to bring a broad audience to an exhibit featuring women artists; to celebrate women in the arts and to explore the discourse around gender in the art professions today. Is it still relevant?
Bugera Matheson Gallery artists Karen Yurkovich, Wendy Skog and Alex Peck-Whyte were raised here in Edmonton. Each graduated with fine arts degrees from the University of Alberta at different times. With a common foundation, Alex, Karen and Wendy are professional artists from different generations with unique perspectives.” Angela Bugera Matheson
My education, my experience in the business world, and my art career have all evolved without gender-based concerns. I would say that my collaborations with the woman in all areas of my life have helped measurably in building confidence, strength and maintaining humour which has helped in every aspect along the way.
When viewing my work, one may interpret something of a traditional feminine quality to the imagery, which in many ways has been a source of strength in those paintings. This body of work is a continuation on the abstract, energetic floral/ foliage/ theme that I’ve been working through, where the mark making is spontaneous and gestural, neither random nor restrained.
The natural world is the basis for my work and this particular series expands what can be considered landscape. If landscape can be defined as all the visible features of an area which interact with each other, then those features can include not only trees and houses but also colour, shape and cultural references. Having extracted elements such as branches, fruits and taxonomies out of particular landscapes and recombining them into new ones, these new works extract from direct observation of the landscape, from sections of existing artworks, my own and others, and photography. These different extraction works then create their own meta-landscape of possibilities.
“There is no place anything like this place, anywhere near this place, so this must be the place.” (Street sign)
The histories of landscape and humanism are intertwined. Simon Schama has examined ” Landscape and Memory”, Edward Relph written “Rational Landscapes and Humanistic Geography”, and Leon Battista Alberti invented linear perspective to explore his humanist ideals.
The contemplation and conceptualization of landscape defines who we are: on reflection, who we want to be.
My work is a wordless meditation expressed as energy moving in space. The organic rather than architectural forms embrace both the rhythms of nature and the roundness and softness of the female principle. The paintings are an interpretation of the spirit, energy, confusion, surprise, excitement, tragedy, unpredictability, drama, and innocence collectively experienced through lifetimes. The work draws from the vulnerability and consciousness gained through these experiences without their graphic portrayal. Typically, the work searches for an element of mystery as the paintings subtly approach image without becoming anything at all, so that in striving for conceptual meaning the viewer is gently turned back to the purely aesthetic experience.