Exhibition coverage & documentation

Photos courtesy of Studio 21

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AT THE GALLERIES: Shows depict nature of existence
Elissa Barnard
Originally published in the Chronicle Herald; September 7, 2013

High realism, the art of erasure and architectural images of houses all dwell in the same meditative territory in three very different art shows at Studio 21 Fine Art in Halifax.

Richard Davis, Katie Belcher and Charley Young each explore the nature of existence: Davis in still lifes and self-portraits, Belcher in drawings on Mylar of fur and feathers and Young in collages of houses, also on Mylar.

Emerging artists Belcher and Young share a drawing exhibit that celebrates mark-making and is meditative in nature.

Young examines domestic architecture as a frame for considering the nature of human life in her collaged images of image transfers, pencil, chalk, ink, thread, tarpaper and text on Mylar with some judicious bolts of colour.

Two masterful pictures are Architecture As a Loom with a partial “woven” hanging dropping from a high wall in a modernist architectural space and Inside/Outside. This is a split-level combination of a close-up shot of ornate interior windows placed above an architectural drafting image of a house. Gold cloths billow about the tiny dwelling.

Belcher uses an eraser as much as charcoal and graphite in her ethereal, blurred images of fur and feathers on Mylar. There is a dramatic tension of dense black spaces versus diaphanous wisps. One considers presence and absence, life and death.

Belcher uses her own experience, found objects and museum specimens as a starting point, and in this series mainly explores natural and man-made feathers in her purposely, spatially complex images.

“I am interested in how we process experience and build memory — specifically, how layers of memory accumulate to create fictional structures. I aim to explore this process and also to imitate it by forcibly conflating images in a single composition or sequence of works.”