Sunday, July 8, 2007

Be:Hive, Sydney Lancaster and Jenny Keith-Hughes, Cafe Select South, July 7, 2007

Image courtesy of Jenny Keith-Hughes, 2007

Born from a playdate between Hughes and Lancaster in the latter's studio some months back, these two Edmonton-based artists are exploring their sense of mixed media represenation through the use of wax. Although not an entirely new form, or even exclusive within Edmonton (Jennifer Berkenbosch is just one other), the pairing between Lancaster and Hughes provides a complimentary view of nature itself. While Lancaster applies 3D objects, from bones to feathers, directly onto her canvasses, Hughes continues her whimisical drawings of nature's creatures sometimes caught out of their element (Although Hughes is new to the medium, she is extending her form into the abstract, a new mode of expression but one that is entirely promising) .
Where one is abstract, the other is vividly concrete. Where Hughes provides a story of nature, Lancaster places the actual object directly before the audience.
The use of wax can't help but give off a sense of warmth, and fragrance, as the beeswax is not only visually and olfactorially pleasing, but also haptically engaging. More apparent than most paintings, the sense of the artist's hand in wax is evident in its tracings and uneven porous nature.

Image courtesy of Sydney Lancaster, 2007

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