The two new exhibits recently been mounted in the ACT’s Passagio Gallery capture a mood of quiet reflection that is well in tune with the autumn season.
Artists Zuzanna Vasko and Jan MacLean both strike an introspective chord in their artwork, revealing a shared affinity for the parallel landscapes of the environment and the human soul. Yet, they each approach their subject in a uniquely personal way.
Vasko’s exhibition, Buried Drawings, grew out of a drawing project based on a local wooded area in Maple Ridge.
When each drawing was completed it was hidden in the location in which it was created, and, in the weeks and months that followed, the environment inevitably left its own marks on the artwork.
Vasko later retrieved each drawing from its woodland niche, and photographed it.
“The photographs include forms created by me – and responded to by the forest – as well as the forms of the forest itself,” Vasko explains.
MacLean’s display, called Intertwined, explores the territory of the inner landscape and its nuanced relationship with the outer world.
“The earth, our bodies, and the longing for connection are entwined in ways that are irrational, messy and beyond our ability to comprehend,” says Maclean.
“Yet it is this interplay of mysteries that propels, pushes, guides and cradles us throughout our lives.”
Both artists share a vision that is poetic, and somewhat elegiac in tone. Yet the message is one of affirmation for life in all its seasons and inexplicable turns.
Maple Ridge artist and academic Zuzana Vasko has a bachelor of fine arts in Visual Art and a masters and PhD, both in arts education.
Her research focuses on how the arts give us means to form personal connections with natural environments close to home, stemming from the belief that we are more likely to protect and care for areas we know and love. She teaches with the Faculty of Education at SFU.
Jan MacLean lives in Deep Cove, and holds a bachelor of fine arts in studio art, and an MA and PhD in arts education.
She has been active in the arts as a visual and performing artist, and arts educator for more than 20 years and is currently a lecturer with the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.
In her artwork MacLean loves to combine the spirit of play with reverence for nature.
• Intertwined and Buried Drawings will be on display until Oct. 6. Located in the ACT’s upper lobby, The Passagio Gallery is accessible without admission from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.