Bridging the Form

Bridging the Form


Chrissy Nickerson & Wanda Ellerbeck

Exhibition Dates:   June 19 - July 15, 2019
Opening Reception: June 22, 2019 , 2:00 - 7:00pm

Curated by Mortar & Brick | Arts and Events

Chrissy Nickerson’s Artist Statement

I am an established landscape artist reaching my 40s.  Bridging the Form shows my newest work, which pushes boundaries beyond the traditional approach to the landscape.

I recognize art history, my education, my development as a painter, and where I am now.  I am incorporating a broader sense of compositional form and understanding to my landscapes.  I want the “landscape to be a metaphor in itself depending on how it is contextualized and interpreted” Wanda Ellerbeck.  I want my landscapes to be viewed as an opportunity for interpretation. 

I invited Wanda to explore Bridging the Form with me.  My hope is that the viewer will have an experience of growth will moving through our exhibition.  The balance between subtle to intense colour, from representation to abstraction, from horizontal landscapes to vertical open spaces of paint, the viewer will have an opportunity to develop informed preferences on mark-making and the balance between representation and abstraction.

There is a newfound space within my abstract brush work.  The eye can rest in the depths of the representational landscape or investigate the varied mark making in the foreground.  Sometimes I have incorporate stripes, or boarders within my paintings to emphasize that 2-dimentionality of the painting.   Sometimes I use a 8”trowel to drag impasto paint across the surface.  This is paint, first and foremost, then it has content, but first it is paint. 

 I am engaged in my regional environment I represent it while making comments on where we live or what is going on in our lives & hearts.   By painting from life, I maintain a personal connection with my work.   The new paintings embody my growth as an artist, my stepping forward farther into abstraction.   Change is constant, I embrace it, welcome it, and run with it to develop intentional meaning within my work.

(Ian Wallace of Vancouver put stripes in his photography,  Sean Issac put solid black stripes down through his sky.  I am pixilating my foregrounds or dragging serious paint through my compositions.   I am creating space within my work.) 

I am a regional landscape painter.  I am a contemporary artist who is choosing to combine elements from abstraction and traditional work to explore new directions in my development.  I am Chrissy Nickerson now painting Southern Alberta.

Wanda Ellerbeck’s Artist Statement

I use the physicality of paint to work through form and find poetic resonance.  I am interested in the juxtaposition of strength and fragility as metaphor for the shifting atmosphere of nature and life.  The colours, textures and form reveal their relationship through the work leaving me to search for essence the core of my work - the unedited version.

Deeply inspired by the natural world I seek to uncover meaning beneath the surface of that which I know, like an archeological excavation.

I explore ideas and impulses through abstract form to ground my experience of living in the landscape. The process of painting opens me to intuitive shifts that influence my intention. I look for the softness between destruction and change - the struggle plays out in the studio until the work “sits right in my bones” . 

Landscape is a metaphor in itself. These paintings are fragments from the landscape of physical memory of being in a place. The memories can bring up tensions and concerns around the fragility of the land and life.

Bridging the Form is a part of an ongoing dialogue between what I consciously know and what I do not grasp consciously.  The dialogue creates tension between representation and abstraction - one working on the other. The conversation goes back and forth.

This work poses more questions for me than answers but consistently drives me back to the ragged call of the paint and the impulse to excavate that feeling.

Working with Chrissy Nickerson is wonderfully inspiring.  We share ideas, feelings and a deep connection through our art. We discover these connections in process.  We see how we might start at the same place but express a concept differently. Digging deep leads to many great visits and conversations.