An exhibition of select paintings and drawings from two series of works. Silverpoint, watercolour and pastel paintings and drawings from my Sanibel series (2015) - depicting animal subjects native to the Florida Gulf Coast island identified in the title – draw upon the 19th-century visual style of John James Audubon and Martin Johnson Heade, as well as first-hand observation.
Oil paintings from my Memento Mori series (2015 – 2017) add a counterpoint, taking inspiration largely from the art of the Baroque and Romantic periods. The animals depicted in these paintings represent threatened, endangered or extinct species: victims of environmental damage, poaching, hunting, finning and whaling. The works exhibit traces of 17th-century tenebrist painting and the influence of 18th- and 19th-century compositions by Francisco Goya and John Singleton Copley, amongst others. In this respect, they recall works which were contrived to move the viewer to reflect upon matters both spiritual and sublime. As the title declares they are ‘reminders of death’: not only reminders of the passing of those species we threaten, but of our own mortality and the loss we inflict upon ourselves through our troubled relationship with the natural world.
Bestiary exhibited at Arts Place Gallery (714 King Street, Port Colborne, Ontario) from May 7 - June 18, 2017