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The ‘wait’ envisioned by seven artists

The women behind the Full Circle Art Collective (from left): Rina Pita, Hannamari Jalovaara, Wendy Morosoff Smith, Milos Jones, Jocelyn Barrable-Segal, Heather Aston and Julie McIntyre. - Contributed
The women behind the Full Circle Art Collective (from left): Rina Pita, Hannamari Jalovaara, Wendy Morosoff Smith, Milos Jones, Jocelyn Barrable-Segal, Heather Aston and Julie McIntyre.
— image credit: Contributed

Inspired by the myth of Penelope, the Full Circle Art Collective’s latest exhibition explores a time of transition with In Wait.

Featuring seven professional artists from across the Lower Mainland who work in printmaking, collage, acrylic and water colour media, most of the pieces in the exhibition bear evidence of their collaborative approach.

“These women all demonstrate a love of line, which probably relates to their shared printmaking background,” says curator Barbara Duncan.

“I was also impressed by the care and deliberation shown to ensure that each piece retains balance and clarity, much the way each voice in a musical ensemble must strive to keep their individual contribution distinct, but perfectly blended.”

Featuring work by Heather Ashton, Jocelyn Barrable-Segal, Hannamari Jalovaara, Julie McIntyre, Milos Jones, Wendy Morosoff Smith, and Rina Pita, the Full Circle Art Collective got together after meeting at the Malaspina Printmaking Society on Granville Island several years ago.

After agreeing that they would like to work towards a truly collaborative project, they devised a plan whereby they would give expression to a shared theme by sharing some 200 uniformly sized (12” square) panels amongst the group. Each artist would add their own mark or other effects, in the medium of their choice, then pass it on to another artist for her artistic contribution.

Each individual piece therefore carries layers of different meanings, which, assembled together in this ambitious gallery installation, is rich with colour, the beauty of line and surface effects.

The title, In Wait, references the ancient tale of Penelope, who faithfully awaits the return of her husband, Odysseus, for some 20 years while scores of suitors attempt to convince her of the folly in her faithfulness.

Rather than reject them outright, Penelope creates an obstacle to any offers of betrothal by claiming that she must finish weaving a shroud before entering into any new love commitment.

Although Penelope weaves steadily through each day, she and her maids carefully unwind the weaving each evening, so the shroud’s creation becomes a virtually endless task.

The ‘wait’ envisioned in numerous forms in Full Circle Art Collective’s exhibition refers to any number experiences of waiting, and the state of mind that accompanies it.

Sometimes the wait is a period of mourning or illness or anticipation of some important life event. The artists, in their shared contemplation of the state of waiting, note how much time in our life is marked by restlessness, a longing for resolution and transcendence so that ‘normal life’ can resume.

In Wait is at the Maple Ridge Art Gallery until March 15.

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