120307-AbstractDave Fraser, Northumberland News
COLBORNE — The Colborne Gallery is getting specific with the abstract as they welcome the Visual Poetry Group. Made up of a group of 10 women from Peterborough, Newcastle and Grafton, the Visual Poetry Group will be bringing its unique brand of abstract art to the Colborne Gallery March 10.

"Visual Poetry is a way to capture the essence of what we are trying to do in bringing poetry, which is the language of something that is or has been inspirational to us, into visual terms," said group member Bea Quarrie.

Ms. Quarrie said the group has been working together for 10 years both individually and as a group.

"We coalesced over a workshop in abstract painting and out of that we started to get together," she said, adding they had such a wide range of experience between them that really seemed to work.

Ms. Quarrie said there are many advantages to working as a group, but the main thing is the support, synergy and the energy that comes when they are together.

"We are all seeking new ways to look at things and new ways of expressing old things," she said.

Grafton resident Anne Plaxton said although there is a geographic distance between the members, the emotional bond is very strong. Ms. Plaxton said they inspire each other and that, along with the camaraderie, is what has kept them together all these years. Although they are a group of individuals, they all share a love of abstract painting and the process that goes into creating their art, she said.

"It evolves as you go. You let the canvas talk to you, it's a dialogue. Sometimes the canvas is in control, sometimes I'm in control," Ms. Plaxton said.

Interim Colborne Gallery curator Jillian Roos-Markwitz said it is a pleasure to have a group like Visual Poetry
at the gallery.

"To have a whole group of abstract pieces together is a really good visual and a good learning process," she said. "We are always learning and always developing."

Ms. Roos-Markwitz said they have eight shows a year, two of which are from guest artists such as Visual Poetry. It really benefits the gallery because it brings a whole new group of people to their space who might not have visited Colborne before, she said.