Man and machines inspire Maple Ridge artist

Kristin Krimmel captures beauty of construction sites in exhibit

A Liebherr crane painted in acrylic by Kristen Krimmel.

A Liebherr crane painted in acrylic by Kristen Krimmel.

Artistic inspiration is everywhere, it would seem – you simply need to know where to look for it.

Daily trips past the multitude of construction sites that seem to dominate Lower Mainland roads provided just the catalyst Maple Ridge artist Kristin Krimmel was seeking.

Her upcoming exhibit at the Fort Gallery, Construction/Deconstruction builds on the idea that a construction site is more than just concrete and gravel – it has its own eye-catching elements as well.

Over the past five years, there has been an unusual amount of construction going on around Greater Vancouver in preparation for the Olympics, including the cut-and-cover construction of the Canada Line near Krimmel’s former home at Cambie and 41st; and later in Maple Ridge near her new home, with the construction of the new Pitt and the Golden Ears bridges.

While the construction itself was disruptive and grungy, Krimmel took a childlike interest in the bright coloured machines that made it all happen – the excavators, bulldozers, cranes and other equipment. On a grey day, a bright yellow ’dozer or a bright orange excavator can be the only lively looking thing, amidst dirt and gravel.

Construction is about new building, said the artist.

It sometimes requires demolishing or taking apart what was there before – its deconstruction.

In painting, she is interested in the “guts” of an image – the shapes, the textures, the surface qualities, the spatial relationships and the colour harmonies.

The construction machines have given her the opportunity to deconstruct the original photo-like image into component parts, to abstract it, to play with ideas of weight and balance, shapes, formalities of composition, and ideas.

• Construction/Deconstruction opens with an artist’s reception on Saturday, June 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The show runs until June 19. Gallery hours are noon to  5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday at 9048 Glover Rd. in Fort Langley.