Contributed by RVAC staff
This July, the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre is featuring work from a range of talented local artists: The Big North Art, Matthew Timmins, Maja Swannie Jacob and Bill Fell.
In the main gallery, The Big North Art’s Cher Van Overbeke and Estée Sylvester showcase over 40 original pieces in acrylic, ink and watercolour. This show is abundant with pieces in their signature style and brightly coloured palette.
The side galleries feature three photographers each showcasing their unique styles, including Bill Fell with his black and white photos capturing the movement of water, Maja Swannie Jacob and her immersive installation of portraits, and Matthew Timmins and his landscape twilight scenes
The Big North Art
The Big North Art is the combination of the artistic endeavors of creative duo Cher Van Overbeke and Estée Sylvester. With vibrant colours and a fun take on the local flora and fauna around Revelstoke, this exhibition is sure to make you smile. In our giftshop their water colour greeting cards of chubby chickens and passionate hedgehogs have been fan favorites, and we’re beyond excited to showcase their bigger pieces in our main gallery. With over 40 pieces, not including their 30-plus pieces on the ‘Wonder Wall’ this gallery is bursting with colour and life.
“This collection of work represents our fondness and appreciation of the wondrous natural world around us. Over the years, habitual nature wanderings have created within us a curious sense of wonder and connection to the Pacific West Coast. We have witnessed beautiful sunsets in the mountains and experienced magical walks through the forests. These encounters are spiritual connections and we wanted to challenge ourselves to express this visually.
“In this group of works, we have painted our own solo pieces as well as collaborated together on multiple pieces. We are showcasing our unique bright and colourful styles and blending our combined efforts inspired by our experiences, visions, and styles.
“We hope that this ensemble of paintings and drawings will evoke the viewer to feel the marvel that connects us to our natural backyard. We think connection and appreciation can invoke a deep awareness that stimulates action from ourselves to protect these spaces and creatures for the future.’
—Cher & Estée
Be sure to visit the gallery this July to take in the marvel of The Wonder Wall, a beautiful series of Revelstoke Flora and Fauna.
Kootenay Civil Twilight
After spending the past few years capturing photographs in New Zealand, Australia, Myanmar, Finland and Iceland, Matthew Timmins is back in Canada. Currently based out of Revelstoke B.C. as a freelance photographer, Matthew continues to capture nature, adventure and sports.
“‘Kootenay Civil Twilight’ is a collection of photos based around the fleeting moments of Civil Twilight. Scientifically, this is when the sun is six degrees below the horizon in the morning or evening. Lasting only a few minutes twice a day, it is also often the most colourful time of day in the mountains — when peaks begin to glow, the moon gets a splash of colour or the sky turns a moody blue before darkness falls. No matter how much planning I do to know when the moon will set in the morning or when the sun will rise, there is always the unknown factor of mother nature, always there to add her own spin on even your most planned photo.
“These photos are taken in or near the Kootenays and around the always-changing moment that is the civil twilight. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.”
Matthew utilizes an acrylic printing technique which adds another dimension to his work, one which needs to be seen in person to appreciate. Check out his full show in Gallery One at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre.
Maja Swannie Jacob
“I recognize that there is a vulnerability in standing in front of the camera, allowing it to record our faces and fix them in time. The beauty I see in these faces is as much about what’s inside as out.”
This photography instillation is based on the compassion and resilience of the women in Revelstoke. Maja Swannie Jacob explores the beauty in women that lies deeper than the surface and the friendships that sit at the core of our being. What’s truly captivating about this instillation is Maja’s printing techniques, done on a clear paper to essentially see into the portrait and through to the portrait behind.
“This project began as a thank you to these wonderful women who I have been fortunate to get to know over the last few years. I moved to Revelstoke with my family in 2017. We quickly found ourselves welcomed and supported by the warmth, kindness and generosity of the people around us. This past year especially has presented huge challenges for everyone, here in Revelstoke and across our world. It has also given us all a bit of time to reflect, and to be grateful for what we do have. I am so thankful for this beautiful valley, fresh air and freedom to breathe it in, and for the close connections of family and community.
“I wanted to take these pictures as a way to fill a room full of friends in the middle of a pandemic, and to recognize the beauty that I see in each of these women. There is a vulnerability in standing in front of the camera, allowing it to record our faces and fix them in time for close inspection. We are our own worst critics, yet we do not examine each other under the glare of that same hyper-critical light. In each other we see so much more than what’s on the surface.
“The shallow focus and transparent film material allows the images to float and overlap, to be not quite so fixed as a print on the wall. The images are interleaved a little here & there, showing glimpses of each other through each other. It plays on ideas of surface and depth, the transparent and the ephemeral, the fact that we are internal beings, yet reliant on our relationships, and our connections with one another. How do we see ourselves? How are we seen? What do we show of ourselves, what do we hide?
“Our connection to one another lies much deeper than the surface. It’s the depth of that connection that binds us together, as friends, as family, as community.”
– Maja Swannie Jacob
Standing immersed within all these portraits feels like a warm embrace of the women surrounding you. Enjoy this comforting feeling and find joy in this portraiture version of human connection.
Water … An Essential Element
‘The essential elements of the ancient Greeks — earth, water, air and fire — were, in combination, the foundations of all things on earth
The essential elements of art art stylistic features within an art piece to help the artist communicate to the viewer.’
Bill’s collection for his exhibition is all captured in black and white, allowing the viewer to focus on the textures, movement, and forms of the pristine environment. Take a moment from the bustle of life to look at the details of a gnarled branch and appreciate the forms of nature. Bill hopes that the appreciation for the beauty of nature might drive others to do their part in protecting that environment.
“Black and white photography allows the artist to concentrate on the essential elements of lines, shape, texture and form of the subject. Whether the subject is a single shell on a beach or a flowing waterfall, the artistic essential elements delineate the uniqueness of the subject.
“By observing and incorporating the different qualities of the available light, as well as the shadows and visible contrasts, a ‘light drawing’ can be created that best illustrates the essential elements of the selected subject.
“Water, and its effect, are an essential element of many of my photographs. I hope the exhibition illustrates and communicates the importance of water as one of the essential elements.”
All images on display in Bill’s collection were produced using traditional film/darkroom techniques. After the photograph was taken, each negative and print was individually hand processed by Bill.
Exhibition runs July 2–July 30
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.