OF EARTH AND SUN
Of Earth and Sun is an exhibition of work by Pamela Swainson. Of Earth and Sun II is an exhibition of work curated by Pamela Swainson. Both shows run from July 22 - August 17, 2016
The environment around me inspires and challenges me. This body of work is where I explore the relationship between humans and the natural world. It has evolved from my previous work in landscapes and the human figure. It has felt like a natural progression to combine them in a series of works delving into my felt connection to the earth as a living entity.
I am been impressed with the interdependency of living things-humans included. Some of my inspiration comes from my practice of knitting. As I knit, turning string into cloth, I become aware of how the transformational process is everywhere. Sheep eat grass, fed by the sun. We gather the wool and knit the sun into garments that keep us warm.
This is the place farming has for me and for my art practice. They feed each other.
I decided some time ago I don’t have to choose between being a farmer or an artist. So I do both. And they feed each other.
Of Earth & Sun II
Last winter, in planning for this show, it became important to include work from rural artists who have connections to working the land and committed to a rural life.
As artists, we often practice alone in our studios as art making is usually solitary work. When artists live and work in a rural setting, opportunities for contact with other artists is even less. You could say some of the same about farming or working the land. So as I painted, I thought about other artists I know, whose work reflects similar sensibilities and philosophy.
All the artists in this show engage in themes and questions related to sustainability, our connection to the earth and it’s creatures—including humans. They draw from their lived experiences, creating works that call us to consider the interconnections that make up our world.
Stephan Hederick’s photographic images of local farmers are emotionally evocative without being nostalgic. Fenn Martin, a ceramicist living in Antigonish County, investigates rural farm life and history. His work is not only innovative and raises interesting questions, it is superbly executed. Susan Sweet, a painter from Hants County, has spent a lifetime painting animals. I have included two of her cow paintings as she ‘gets’ cows. She demonstrates sensitivity to the creature and is able to communicate it with paint. Deb Plestid, a quilter from Tatamagouche, has long been a resident in the Cobequid Hills. She draws from her daily life experience, research and her extraordinary skill to create transformative images. Adele McFarlane, a painter living in Antigonish County, loves to paint! She uses her sensuous style to explore narratives behind what we see. Meghan MacCulloch, printer/painter, lives on an organic farm in community with others. Cultivation of the land and living in nature inspire her work, often using unique materials on which to place her images.
It has been a great privilege to be able to engage this group of gifted and skilled artists for Of Earth & Sun II and bring them to the Fraser Cultural Centre for this showing.
Acrylic on Wood
In the Fall Garden
18 x 36 Oil
Acrylic on Canvas
Oil on Canvas