The past year, with all its upheaval, has left many people pondering their foundations—perhaps rethinking what remains solid and unshakeable in their lives. In this show, two Pender Island artists, Andrea Spalding and Annie Smith, explore that which is foundational for themselves and encourage viewers to think about their own “solid ground,” as well. Through book art, portraiture, watercolour, and washi screens, Andrea and Annie celebrate family, friends, literature, and nature – those elements that have given them strength and sustained them in the time of Covid.
'Foundations' runs October 15th-31st. In-person gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays 12-4pm and Sundays 12-3pm.
Covid safety protocols in place.
Annie Smith – artist, educator
In exploring the theme of Foundations, I am currently creating new work in several streams. My portraits are considering people as the foundations of our communities, as well as thinking about our personal foundations—what forms us, what supports us, what rock do we stand on? My watercolors are hyperrealism, and in conjunction with my artist books, have to do with rocks as the foundations of creation, of my island home, and as a metaphor for strength and permanence.
Andrea Spalding – artist, author
Books have always been my retreat and foundation. As a child, living in an uncomfortable inner-city environment, I escaped into the pages of hundreds of library books whenever I had a spare moment. They became the foundation of knowledge, my window on new worlds, and told stories that fed my imagination. I thought books were forever items. If you were lucky enough to own a few favourites, you kept them on a special shelf, and they moved with you to be read over and over again.
Along came Covid. I hunkered down and escaped again, reread my favourites and devoured new books of all genres. They grounded me, offered windows into the past, and took me travelling beyond my isolation. But in the digital age - out goes the physical form of books.
I was devastated to see books being stuffed into collection boxes, and truckloads going to the dump. That’s when I decided to change my art practice to include rescued books, discards that spoke to me. I worked on giving them new life in the form of Book Art sculptures that release their inner spirits. This then led me to explore many new forms of ‘the book’ itself.