Friday, May 9, 2008

Studio Visit: Bernadine Schroyer, Grande Prairie 2008

A U of A BFA ‘95 graduate, Bernadine Schroyer has returned to actively painting after participating in 2007’s Prairie North workshop. A biennial workshop run by artists Tina Martel with the assistance of Kent Housego, Prairie North brings in two professional artists to workshop with an intimate group of registered participants. Past facilitators have included Harold Klunder, Aganetha Dyck, and Monica Tapp, whose colour palette and approach has significantly impacted her newest works, Schroyer says.
Working on a series of painted windows, all taken from the same residence to preserve a certain identity and memory, the shift from canvas to a 3D real and used material has changed the entire focus of how light affects paint in its texture, density, and viscosity. Remaining in abstract with aspects of kineticism, perhaps through the influence of Tapp or perhaps just through opening herself up to new styles, Schroyer’s recent painted works injects movement into her alignment of layers, an aesthetic she has continued to develop from early on.
Sharing her studio work divided between her home studio in the mature suburbs of Grande Prairie and the studio in the nearby Prairie Art Centre, Schroyer was at the time thinking of holding a open home-based exhibition of her work in lieu of available exhibition spaces. Although she has produced a new body of work, there is not the same drive to exhibit as there are simply not enough spaces or programming. Remote and seemingly isolated, the individuals working remain resilient in their practice and make do how they can, and the result is often more rewarding.

There are several projects on the go, including large strips of painted landscapes that are meant to wrap around trees, providing a 360 degree perspective of nature by nature; the window frame project; and new works using three layers of painted plexi glass. The effect of the bright spastic colours build upon each other as they slide over one another. There is a basic industrial look to the finished product, mounted simply and fastened by large steel bolts. Still at the stage of shuffling the sheets of plexi to create different outcomes, there is a sense of pure wonder at play and at work that continues to be fascinated with the basic principles of light, colour, and form--only in a whole new direction.

Visited March 24, 2008

All images Bernadine Schroyer, 2008

All photographs Amy Fung, 2008

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