Date: March 27 • 2020
End date: April 23 • 2020
March 27 • 7pm to 9pm • 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam
Artists interpret the experience of war in Civilian Impressions: Remnants of Conflict. There are many well-known artworks that depict the brutalities of front-line battles and suffering of military personnel, but what of the toll taken on those left at home, displaced, orphaned or otherwise traumatized? Civilian Impressions is a collection of artworks that illustrate some of these experiences, either lived or viewed second hand. Personal battles are fought both at home and around the world by family members, friends and colleagues.
Gathered in this group exhibition are interpretations in various mediums from paint to sculpture, sharing the experiences of artists from different generations and backgrounds who now call Canada home. The exhibit also includes books such as Olga Campbell’s A Whisper Across Time detailing her family’s Holocaust trauma and Nora El Najjar’s memoir Life of Promise about enduring the effects of the Lebanese Civil War.
These art pieces are important. Civilian Impressions features works of suffering, hope, resilience and memory created by artists of our community. They connect us to each other and open dialogue about conflicts that those around us are carrying with them, whether visible or not.
Join us on Friday, April 17th, 2020 from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Leonore Peyton Salon for our Civilian Impressions Artist Panel, where artists will share the stories and life experiences behind their artwork and be available to sign their books.
Please note: the Leonore Peyton Salon is a multi-purpose space; therefore, viewing times are limited. Please call 604.664.1636 for viewing availability prior to your visit.
Elsa Chesnel has always been seduced by charcoal. The black mess engulfs her as drawings emerge. Although charcoal is her medium of choice, its limitations pushed Chesnel to use acrylics to express herself in larger formats, experiment with colour and apply this approach to pastel figures on paper.
As her art grew and asserted itself, Chesnel realized that automatism guided her process. When creating, she loses herself in shape and mass, then she cleans up the image and finds meaning through line as she explores her thoughts. Whether creating abstract or figurative works, Chesnel’s pieces reach a stage where form becomes secondary after feeling and the two styles begin to merge; shapes become concrete and figures lose their structure in the realm of abstraction.
However, once a piece is complete, its meaning does not belong to the artist anymore. Chesnel succeeds when her creations trigger emotions in the heart of the viewer; when the work acquires a life of its own.
In many ways, Figurative Abstractions is Chesnel’s own amusing version of Rorschach’s inkblots.
These paintings come from the artist’s deep love for Ukraine, a country she frequently visits. The rural way of life will most likely disappear in the coming decades. Before Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union, people did not have the choice of living on a farm or in the city. With freedom comes choice; many young people today prefer opportunities to earn a living in urban areas. Tretiak celebrates a rural way of life in which children learn embroidery, folk dancing and song at school, and teachers go home after a day’s work to plow their fields behind a somewhat faithful horse.