White Rock painter Marilyn Dyer and Vancouver ceramic sculptor Gailan Ngan are teamed for Delineations, a current exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery.
Although they’re from different generations and work in different mediums, both artists share an interest in the environment, and are fond of using bright colours in their exploration of the tension between line and form.
In Delineations, running until June 6, Dyer is particularly concerned with humankind’s intrusion into nature. Her paintings contrast sharp, machine-like edges and curved organic forms, defying the typical tropes of landscape painting and modernist abstraction.
Figurative representations of mountains are likely to juxtapose with abstract colour blocks suggesting boats on water. Other pieces hint at a merging of exterior and interior worlds, inviting meditation on the nature of perception.
Within her own medium, and in recent work emphasizing the role of the human body in inspiring clay vessels, Ngan’s ceramics subvert the conventions of fired clay forms and surface in West Coast naturalist ceramics.
Using materials from a wide spectrum of natural B.C. sources — including rocks, ash, and rare earth metals — Ngan creates smooth glazed textures in ultra-bright colours, providing a whimsical commentary with her works, while challenging traditional perceptions about the role of ceramics and sculpture.
In her central sculpture “Double Hearing,” for example, Ngan balances two solid shapes or “characters” on a thin, curvy ladder typical of children’s playground equipment.
Dyer spent five decades teaching art, much of it in teacher development, at the Calgary Teacher’s Centre for the Fine Arts, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, and University of Cape Breton. Her own studies, beginning in the 1950s, were with Arthur Lismer at the Art Association of Montreal and William Scott at the Banff School of Fine Arts.
A professional painter since the 1960s, Dyer has lived in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Africa, and Taiwan. She has painted professionally since the 1960s and her paintings, drawings, and lithographs have been shown internationally.
Ngan grew up in a family of artists on Hornby Island in the 1970s and 1980s. A BFA graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, she received a North-West Ceramics Foundation Award of Excellence in 2015.
Her works have been part of exhibitions at Canadian Craft Museum, Museum of Anthropology, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, Centre A Vancouver, San Diego Art Institute, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, among others.
Surrey Art Gallery (at 13750 88 Ave.) is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4 to 7 p.m., or Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To pre-book a visit, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-501-5566, ext. 1.