Two Spaces…One Show…Lots of People: Square Foot Opening Reception a Hit!

So, the 1st Annual Square Foot Exhibition was not so ‘Square’, rather it was the place(s) to be last Friday night. People from all over Middlesex County and beyond, drove through Friday night traffic and battled temperatures in the high 30’s to enjoy a night out at The Art Exchange in Wortley Village, London. Armed with plenty of cool drinks and nifty little hors d’oeuvres, both galleries enjoyed a full house.

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The ‘madding crowd’ at The Art Exchange home gallery. Photo courtesy of Douglas R. McGlynn

The theme of this exhibition is, you guessed it, work created on a 12″ x 12″ surface. With over 300 pieces of art over two galleries, the square foot size requirement makes for an interesting display of various styles in one space and allows for more work to be hung at one time. At first, the 12″ x 12″ surface created a bit of panic within me, as I am used to painting on large surfaces. But once I relaxed about the size of my canvas, I was able to concentrate on the image making process. As they say in some circles, “size isn’t everything”, and this certainly was the case for this show. Like many of the artists exhibiting in this show, I chose to create a ‘mini-series’ of sorts…three paintings that share a central theme. I had played around with the concept of how I could paint the human soul…or in other words, what my interpretation of the soul would look like. Would it have shape, texture, colour? Would it be recognized by the viewer as something from the ‘inner self’?

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Soul In State: Pain

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Detail of Soul In State: Rest

I had no idea where to begin, apart from knowing that the image would not represent a particular religious standpoint but I knew I wanted to incorporate a ‘body’ or mass. My objective was to challenge my past study of movement (http://www.artistsincanada.com/homepage/?id=13857&page=gallery&name=McGlynn,Laurie-Lynn&gid=873) from the tangible to something intangible and the concept of the human soul fit this challenge. My hope is that the viewer will be able to discern an action taking place, captured in the moment. Through the use of colour, texture and brush strokes, each painting strives to reveal an emotion (Rest, Pain, Ecstasy) and therefore represents the soul in that very state. I can assure you that this was not an easy task…to use paint to create an image that represents something ethereal, and without substance, and yet give it an organic mass, motion and E-motion.

In some ways I think the 12″ x 12″ size restriction was not so much a hindrance as it was an aid to containing purity of the image. But that is the view point of the artist. I am interested in knowing what the viewers think of this exhibition and my series Soul In State: Rest, Pain, Ecstasy. I encourage you to share your thoughts and to please feel free to offer constructive criticism. Thanks to those of you who came out in that wild heat, to share in the Opening Reception. As local artists, we rely and depend on the support of our communities which in turn helps to foster an appreciation for arts and culture but especially for the visual arts.

Artist Laurie-Lynn McGlynn with Soul In State: Pain in Background

Watch this blog for news on my next upcoming exhibition in Toronto at Rainbow Cinemas in Market Square (July30-August 30).

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