The second show in White Rock’s Art On Display summer series is the antithesis of Joyce Ozier’s current abstract exhibit, Marked Panels. Panels. Panels.
Being Human by Langley artist Gina Kling (White Rock Community Centre Gallery, 15154 Russell, July 23-Aug. 28) consists, as the title suggests, of paintings of people – as opposed to the more implied forms of Ozier’s improvisational canvases.
But there’s a lot more to Kling’s work than that.
Her large, imposing canvases convey images of life, love and hope in a way that harks back to the work of old-world masters.
Whether painting in watercolour, or drawing free-hand on cotton stretched canvas, and investing her painting with richness and detail through her skill with oils, the Emily Carr-trained, Federation of Canadian Artists member is clearly traveling the same paths as the masters.
And like them, she doesn’t shy away from material that encompasses the spiritual as part of the human experience.
Drawing inspiration from lesser-known biblical verses, she seeks to depict and evoke the human spirit and all our flaws – and perfections.
In her artist’s statement and promotional material Kling says she also seeks to capture a universality of humanity – “a celebration of our uniqueness and our differences, yet (which) establishes a visual cohesive synergy of existence, of being human.”
In the context of contemporary art, she admits, her choice of biblical verses as material is unusual – even challenging for some.
But she leaves to the viewer her purpose – whether, in choosing such material, she is illustrating a verity she feels needs to be repeated, or touching on the conflict between cultures and beliefs as a means of launching a dialogue.
“The beauty of being Canadian is our freedom to have a creative voice, even if it is provocative or controversial,” she says.
Kling believes, further, that in her current work she is helping lead a movement toward a resurgence of a more historical style of painting, in response to an audience yearning for authentic visual elegance.
Her devotion to historical technique has led to many hours of painstaking, detailed work to ensure that each painting, more than simply capturing a moment in time, is embodying a depth of feeling, too.
“Sometimes you just want to absorb and observe and not have to work so hard to understand,” Kling says.
“The subject matter at the very least needs consideration. Art should make you feel and hold you.”
The exhibit will be launched with an opening reception Thursday, July 23 (7-9 p.m.)
Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
For more information about the Kling and her work, visit www.AbsolutelyART.ca