Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hiraeth & Where I Live

Well gosh. Friday night we opened two shows, Hiraeth featuring new work by Megan LeForte and Caitlin McGuire; and Where I Live featuring new work by Craig Baltzer. It was a busy night at the gallery and we are so grateful to all our community members and gallery artists who came out to support these three artists.

Caitlin and Megan's show, Hiraeth, featured oil and acrylic paintings that are a nod to the past. Here they delve a bit more into the concept of "hiraeth" and their approaches to the work.

Megan LeForte and Caitlin McGuire

Pronounced hir-eath, a Welsh concept with no direct English translation, loosely defined as:
"A homesickness for a home you cannot return to, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for lost places of your past.”

Megan LeForte, Sleepover, 20"x24", Acrylic on canvas

: I was meandering through the Internet one day and stumbled on the word “hiraeth” and its definition. I read and reread it over and over. Here, in front of me, was a foreign word from a language I’ve never heard, perfectly describing the motivation behind nearly everything I paint. Clich√© aside, I’m an old soul. I live in an old farm house. I work in a museum. I’m most happy in an antique shop, in the pages of a history book, or in an archive surrounded by the smell of old paper. All of this comes out in my artwork. This collection of paintings is the first installment of what will be an ongoing project. The paintings here represent memories, glimpses, and feelings from a time gone past. What is most important to me, through this body of work, is that it brings forth memories to the mind of the viewer, and I hope they’re good ones.

Caitlin McGuire, Time for Judge Judy, 12"x24", Oil on canvas

Caitlin: Megan presented the concept of “Hiraeth” to me at the perfect time. It was almost funny because it encompassed the work I was already making. Last summer my Opa passed away. We were very close and I would count him as a soulmate. We were very different people but we just understood and appreciated each other. He lived in Bayfield, Nova Scotia, in an old blue schoolhouse he fixed up in the 1990’s, which was practically my second home. This house holds so many memories for me and was such a big part of my life. It’s currently up for sale. After he passed I started making work that was centered around my Opa, as a way of grieving his loss. This body of work is an extension of that. It encompasses the nostalgia, the yearning and the grief I feel for my Opa and his home, and that many of us feel for those special places and people in our lives.

Craig Baltzer discussing his new works.

Funnily enough these two shows work really well together. While Megan and Caitlin's work looks back cultivating nostalgia, Craig's new work, Where I Live, a series using watercolour and ink on board, looks at what is currently the present but may one day be the past. In fact one of the locations featured in Craig's new work is already gone as of the show opening!

Craig Baltzer, Clear Sky Over the MacDonald Bridge, 6"x24", Watercolour and Ink on Board

Thank you again to everyone who came out to support these three artists, we couldn't do what we do at the gallery without all of you!

You can see both shows at the gallery until the end of September, and online by clicking on the links below: