Three new exhibitions open at Gallery 78 this Friday

Category: arts 32

New work by Raymond Martin, Stephen Hutchings and Céline Genest will be on display beginning November 5.

Gallery 78 is putting the final touches on three new exhibitions set to open Friday November 5 with a reception from 5-7 p.m. These exhibitions include Raymond Martin’s cheerful Chats et châssis, Stephen Hutchings’ contemplative Introduction, and Céline Genest’s Confluences.

Premier Servi by Raymond Martin.

Chats et chassis by Raymond Martin

In this delightful and colourful exhibition of works, Raymond Martin explores new themes and revisits past subjects. During a pivotal visit to a home where a free-spirited and gregarious family cat made themselves comfortable at the head of the table, then explored further by climbing onto the table and sniffing nearby plates of food, Raymond was undoubtedly charmed. He expanded this idea and created a humorous body of work in which bold and cheeky cats take a seat at – and in some cases on – the table, much to everyone’s surprise. In the background of nearly each scene is one or two other views on the wall. Are they paintings, or windows to the outside? Raymond subverts the idea of what a painting is and what its subjects should be.

This new series is augmented by additional works from past exhibitions due to their popularity.

Three Trees on the Estate of Turner and McLaughlin by Stephen Hutchings.

Stephen Hutchings’ Introduction

In his debut exhibition for Gallery 78, Stephen Hutchings bases his nostalgic and evocative series on Pictorialist photographs from the turn of the last century.

Pictorialist photographers used the camera and photograph as an expressive technique and medium. As Stephen writes, they “eschewed the documentary aspect of photography inherent in the camera’s indexical nature,” and saw the photograph as a work of art rather than an image my by their latest technology. “Their grainy, soft-focused images were characterised by strong contrasts and deep, obscuring shadows.”

The source of each of his paintings is an original black-and-white photograph, which he used to create a fully-realized charcoal drawing on wood panel with oil paint put on last – note that all the colours you see are of his own devising.

“My use of charcoal drawing (…) is an obvious connection to the stylistic aspects of Pictorialist photographs,” says Hutchings. “I have used some of the Pictorialist images as references in a few of my previous paintings. In this series, however, I am retaining the original photograph’s proportions, using the left-over space in the square format of the paintings for stripes, or bars, of colour.

“By re-stating the original photographic image in a contemporary context, I am also interested in looking at things that were considered “beautiful” in their time, questioning whether this idea of beauty is still relevant within a contemporary context.”

Renaissance by Céline Genest.

Confluences by Céline Genest

Featuring all-new works, Céline Genest delves into figures and nature, and the human presence within landscapes, weaving them together as linked parts in a reciprocal relationship rather than presenting them as fragmented binaries.

Her play of light and shadow suggests different interpretations, from the joint interactions of peace and threat, carefree and anguish, and the familiar and the strange.

“In November 2020, as winter was coming along and amidst the chaotic confusion resulting from the global pandemic, I sat in my studio trying to fuse all these feelings together,” says Genest. “My sketches revealed a need to confront and oppose conflicting impressions. The diptych form appeared as the best way to illustrate my intention. Canvases are linked to one another even though each side has its own essence. They compare and challenge and by doing so, individually intensify and enhance one another.”

In her single canvases, such as the one above, affinity and connection unfold in a carefree atmosphere of solace, displaying the other side of isolation’s mirror. In her smaller framed landscapes, nature’s soothing qualities strengthen and ground.

The works in the exhibits are available online, opening in-person on Friday, November 5, from 5-7 p.m. The exhibits will be on display until Saturday, November 27, 2021.

As per the Government of New Brunswick’s latest mandatory order, masks are mandatory indoors and we will be checking proof of vaccination and IDs at the door.

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