A painting entitled ‘The Airman Commences’ by Shari Pratt.

A painting entitled ‘The Airman Commences’ by Shari Pratt.

Celebrating our soldiers through art

Maple Ridge artist Shari Pratt latest exhibition pays homage to Canadian soldiers

Maple Ridge artist Shari Pratt’s newest series Attention is an assemblage of mixed media figurative paintings, focussing on the relationship between the courageous portrayal of military men and what is concealed beneath the surface.

Courage, for these men, meant going against their fear and anger to do that what was scary and tough to do.

All of the military men on all sides around the globe showed courage as they fought for their countries.

Pratt chose to place their unforgettable portraits above several layers of found objects and warfare related memorabilia, which are then carefully excavated and detached to reveal the meaning and truth below the surface.

Having no war experience and no political message to convey, this series, while paying homage to our troops and to the precious lives that are lost during a conflict, is more focused on the profound courage that our men need to have and often need to portray.

Pratt graduated with a degree majoring in art education from the University of British Columbia and in fine arts from Kwantlen Polytechnic University College.

After spending nearly two decades as an art teacher, Pratt now spends her time in her studio painting.

She considers herself a mixed-media figurative acrylic painter.

She is currently interested in the correlation between the built surface and traditional figurative painting.

A strange, almost haunting, feeling is found in her subjects which draws in and captivates viewers. Her work is influenced by artists such as Alice Neel, as well as contemporary artists such as Paul Robert Turner and Andy Beck.

• Attention is at the Fort Gallery, 9048 Glover Road, Fort Langley until Nov. 12. The gallery will be open on Monday, Nov. 12 in honour of Remembrance Day.

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