September 2-30, 2017
Michelle Contois – Alex Peck-Whyte
OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY, SEPT 2, 2017, 1-3pm
PUSH is an exhibition of paintings, drawings and collage pieces by Alex Peck-Whyte and Michelle Contois. Alex is a graduate of the University of Alberta; Michelle a graduate of the University of Calgary. Each earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction. Alex is represented at the Bugera Matheson Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta.
As artists and friends, we developed a creative connection reinforced through regular critique sessions. These sessions provided that ‘second pair of eyes’ to view the work more clearly and provide the incentive to produce stronger, better art. We have discussed, experimented, shared, borrowed, and fundamentally built upon each others’ successes.
Our aim with the show is to provide a window onto this reciprocal creative relationship. While the pieces are not explicitly in dialogue with each other, shared considerations of line, gesture and colour are evident. We have been fascinated to see the change and growth in our work due to this mutual influence and are excited to share the results of this creative alliance.
Painting and drawing have long been a way for me to explore, connect, and maintain a connection with my space, with others, and myself. This way of integrating my world has evolved to focus on an abstract aesthetic, one where the layering and repetition of line is both playful and meditative, and where mark-making is spontaneous and gestural, but most of all candid.
During a studio session, the paint and graphite are often flying and there is a dance that happens. It is often an awkward, frustrated, strange sort of dance that is sometimes a bit wild. Then, at some point, there is a need to step back from the image, to slow it down. The expression becomes more efficient and thoughtful, neither restrained nor random.
In this current series of abstract florals, the straight lines or grid provided some stability within the movement and energy, acting as a kind of framework or structure. Sometimes the grid came first, at other times later. Altogether trying to capture that beautiful union where chaos and calm occur.
To read more about my inspiration and process please go to my website: alexpeckwhyte.ca
After working for many years as an Interior Designer in Alberta and on Vancouver Island I’ve recently turned my attention back to the making of art.
As a designer, my focus had to be the development of a functional space. As a painter, released from the strictures of practicality, this focus has evolved into the creation of visual environments. I’m interested in the visual tension created through contrast: organic/structural, gesture/contour, saturation/neutrality.
These interests are, for now, best served through abstraction. The original impetus for a work can come from almost anywhere. It sparks a process similar to a call and response rather than one which moves linearly from one point to another. Working in this open ended manner encourages my creative curiosity.