New exhibits capture transformation, calm and intuition

By Contributor
June 7th, 2012

The exhibitions Illuminating Peace by Alberta artist Amy Loewan, curated by Robert Freeman and Linda Jansma,and Too Still to Move  by Vivi Harder of Nelson, curated by Helen Sebelius, were first presented together in September, 2011 at the Kootenay Gallery in Castlegar, BC.

Amy Loewan’s artistic practice centres on creating work as a vehicle for personal transformation and promoting human understanding. She is dedicated to peace building and her career as a visual artist provides her with an avenue to carry out that task. For the past ten years she has been focusing on exploring site specific installation work, aimed at integrating Western and Eastern sensibilities.

The centre of Illuminating Peace is Lantern an octagonal structure resembling a gigantic lantern, which is lit from within and hangs above a field of wheat. The eight panels of A Peace Project (on loan from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts) hang horizontally above a band of Jasmine rice. Long Scroll hangs vertically and occupies the height of the gallery. This exhibit also contains an interactive element for viewer participation.

Hand written calligraphy and computer-generated typography printed on strips of rice paper are used to weave together eastern and western languages, to intertwine world cultures and religions, representing eight values vital in human relationships: compassion, kindness, respect, understanding, patience, tolerance, gentleness, and forgiveness. More than thirty-five world languages are interwoven into this work.

In this age of distraction we are constantly bombarded by noise, both visual and auditory. The series of paintings by Vivi Harder titled Too Slow To Move encourages us to slow down, take a breath, and re-focus.

Curator Helen Sibelius alluded to our need for slowing down in her statement regarding Vivi’s work,

Too Still to Move is, in a sense, an antidote to the speed that defines contemporary life. The calming effect of repeated square formats and subtle colour combinations, and the unmistakable traces of the artist’s hand, quietly jolts us out of 21st century frenzy. Favouring the personal, intuitive and spiritual, Harder moves away from the immediacy of intellectualizing life in a “just in time” culture. It is with the former that she offers her invitation to decelerate, or even stop, for a moment when we can imagine another way of being.”

There will be an opening reception on Saturday, June 9 from 1-3 p.m.  Amy Loewan and Vivi Harder will be present to talk about their work. Both exhibitions will be on display until Sept. 1.