Everything and the counter.sink in Maple Ridge art show

Pamela Cambiazo elevates the humble subject of piles of dishes in solo exhibition

Misplaced Onions

Misplaced Onions

A new solo show at the Maple Ridge Art Gallery put a new spin on the kitchen sink.

Counter.sink, a collection of recent paintings by artist Pamela Cambiazo, elevates the humble subject of piles of dishes in the kitchen sink to the status of a still life.

“When I have been away from paint for a while, I have always had the practice of returning to still life,” says Cambiazo. “A few years ago I initiated the process again but felt frustrated with the contrivance of the usual fruit and oddly shaped bottles I pull out for these times. So I looked around at my `still life’, and what was actually at hand? Strewn clothing, a small landslide of books and paper, a pile of paper clips mixed with coins and pushpins, and stacks of dirty dishes . . .”

It was the dishes that caught Cambiazo’s eye as she stepped back and looked at the scene as an object of purely visual contemplation.

Thus began the series, counter.sink, a dual reference that takes into account the subject of the artist’s gaze in both its physical and abstract dimensions.

There is both irony and elegance in Cambiazo’s light touch as she captures the scene with a compelling sense of colour and scale.

The more recent works, some as large as six feet on the longer side, work beautifully in the neutral and capacious Maple Ridge Art Gallery.

Cambiazo is an artist and film maker with a number of distinguished awards to her credit including the Delta Arts Council’s Award of Excellence, Artspacific 2007, the Vancouver Foundation’s Helen Pitt Scholarship and the Okanagan College’s Florence Bond award.

Educated mainly at the University of Victoria, Alberta College of Art and the Okanagan College, she currently lives and works in East Vancouver where she paints in her home studio.

• The exhibition counter.sink, opens on Saturday, May 14 with a public reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Artist, Pamela Cambiazo with be in attendance. counter.sink is at the gallery until June 18.