The Colborne Art Gallery is pleased to host a solo exhibition by Avril Bull, Everything Moves, which runs from April 19 to May 25.
Spend some time with Bull, and you will find yourself infused with her irrepressible energy and passion for the outdoors. The collection of her new works in Everything Moves gives us a view into that energy and passion.
Bull begins most days with a walk, ride or ski through the fields around her Baltimore home, storing mental images of light, colour and design that work their way into her drawings, prints and paintings. Often collecting photos of the scenes she is most drawn to, she will use the photos as reference for her compositions — however it is the memory of movement in the landscape that seems to infuse her work most strongly.
The show title also describes Bull’s way of interacting with her world, from morning walks, energetic gardening, hiking and kayak trips through creative leaps of imagination and an uncontainable tendency to burst into dance while working in her studio.
It’s not surprising, then, to find that she works in a variety of media, moving from one to the other to capture the essence of her current subject. Watercolour painting works best when she wants the movement and light of early morning sun on snow to come through in her lively brushstrokes.
In carving the linoblock for a relief print, Bull finds that she is physically involved in the process in a way that relates back to the essential physical place that initially inspired the piece. The resulting prints have a boldness that captures that physicality.
In order to portray a more dreamlike impression of the natural world, she has developed a monotype process that requires many repeated layers to build up finely detailed texture and colour. She describes this process as a bit mesmerizing and meditative, allowing the image to unfold in a less deliberate way which keeps the magic of a fleeting moment. A simple image of a few leaves floating through the air retains the momentary sparkle of light and shadow, but also has a timeless quality which keeps you pulled in to the image.
The combined effect of these varying approaches to the subject of the natural world helps convey the changing moods of the weather, time of day and mood of both the landscape and the artist who so passionately shows us her viewpoint.
The opening reception for Everything Moves, on April 19 from 2 to 4 p.m., will give you an opportunity to speak to Bull and the other member artists and enjoy refreshments. All are always welcome to attend, and admission is always free.