Joyce Ozier with some of her abstract panel paintings at White Rock Community Centre.

‘Panels’ show offers insight into the appeal of the abstract

Artist Joyce Ozier relates her improvisational painting approach – now on display at White Rock Community Centre – to dance and music

Joyce Ozier said she never starts a painting with a plan – just a palette.

“I basically start out with a certain decision on colour,” she said. “It kind of takes on a life of its own.”

The artist – whose show, Marked Panels. Panels. Panels, opened this week as part of the city-sponsored Art On Display program at White Rock Community Centre (15454 Russell Ave.) – says she loves painting her abstracts in an in-the-moment, improvisational way.

But it’s not just about “slapping paint on a canvas,” she said.

“I compare it to music – it’s equivalent to classical music,” she added, standing among the works, which consist of sequences of four or more six-foot-by-one-and-a-half-foot panels, not unlike the divisions found in musical composition.

Similarly her intuitive combination of bold brushwork and pastel line accents – full of rhythm, mood and movement – implies forms without specifically drawing any.

Each has it’s own equivalent of melodic statement, elaboration of theme and harmonic underpinning.

And, like music, the works have their own sense of an integral rightness and balance, while entirely subject to individual interpretation – the reactions are often as much of a surprise as the finished pieces are to Ozier herself.

“It’s about how you react – and everyone will react differently,” she said.

What’s not surprising is that OIzier’s trajectory through the arts has embraced multiple disciplines, all of which have informed her work in some way.

A graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., she possesses a master’s degree in theatrical design from UBC. Her career has included experimental theatre, teaching, building an award-winning display and design company and arts management, particularly in the field of dance.

“I love dance, although I’m not a dancer myself,” she said. “I think that’s where so much of the movement in my work comes from. When I’m painting I basically dance in front of the panels.”

The panel concept comes from a pragmatic place, she admits – while moving toward larger and larger formats, she has had to confront the impracticality of transporting a huge single canvas.

Working with a series of panels has offered a natural solution to the problem (“generally I can put six panels in my car,” she said) and has provided an additional element of flexibility to a work in progress.

“On one composition I’ll move them around and repeat the process until it feels right,” she said.  “Sometimes I’ll even turn a panel upside down. I never know what the final product will be – I find that very exciting. And every artist will tell you the same thing – the painting will tell you when it’s done.”

She finds that working with panels allows her different options in hanging each work.

“Sometimes I bolt them together;  sometimes I hang them with spaces between the panels – I find it interesting to have spaces in-between them. There’s a lot of flexibility in these pieces.”

Most of the pieces in the current exhibition are from a show first hung in Vancouver’s Zack Gallery last October, said Ozier, who was a visual arts resident at  the Banff Centre for the Arts earlier this year.

She submitted her work for the White Rock show after seeing an advertised invitation for submissions, she said.

“I was very happy to be chosen,” she said. “This is my first visit to White Rock – I understand it’s very beautiful. I’m going to have to walk around and look at it. It’s a great opportunity for me to check out the area.”

Ozier said she is hoping her work will resonate with local viewers, although she’s well aware that some viewers are uncomfortable with non-representational art.

“Without wanting to seem arrogant, I think that a lot of people are intimidated by it. It’s really just a question of how open you are.

“When you are open to the work, you will feel this energy coming from it – and everybody will feel a different energy.”

Marked Panels. Panels. Panels. continues at the Community Centre to July 17.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Glenn Rose

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read