Namibia Moments | Michelle Letarte & Marlene Etherington
August 5-21, 2020
“A dream vacation in Namibia with co-exhibiting artist and friend Marlene Etherington was the inspiration for this show. A daunting task was to select the favourite moments from thousands of photos and reliving the trip’s incredible moments. I based the exhibition on the photos themselves, altering them digitally to amplify the colours and textures and transferring them to board or canvas, and completing with acrylic. Incomplete transfers were overlaid with additional photos forming the basis of more abstract representations. Collages were also produced, incorporating fragments of photographs, Sekishu papers and even Namibia sand.
Our trip led us from Windhoek, the capital, to the Etosha National Park, a saline desert rich in wildlife. A series of images depicting giraffes, elephants, zebras and other jungle animals meandering the arid landscape in search of waterholes, at sunrise and sunset.
Our voyage continued to Damaraland, a vast, untamed region with highly colourful and very old rock formations, a petrified forest 260 million years old and the magnificent Twyfelfontein petroglyphs.
Driving for several hours through mountainous and vast and dry areas, we arrived at the Skeleton Coast and Swakopmund, a small German resort, nestled between desert and the Atlantic Ocean. And 4×4 drive through the dunes took us first around and above magnificently pink saltpans where flamingos stood in their majestic poses.
These three locations inspired all my artworks in this exhibition. Please share these Namibia Moments that will make you dream of one day visiting this magnificent land.”
— Michelle Letarte
RADIO-CANADA interview, August 13, 2020 L’exposition Namibia Moments de Michèle Letarte à la galerie Propeller Art Gallery
Michelle Letarte travels the world for scientific meetings and for teaching Immunology courses in the developing world. She often takes holidays around those trips. The diversity in people and landscapes encountered provides endless inspiration. She relishes painting on location and the more exotic, the better. She is particularly fascinated by Africa and has traveled to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Ethiopia, Benin, Namibia and South Africa. She takes a lot of photographs as inspiration for subsequent studio work.
Marlene Etherington is a visual artist in Toronto. She began taking art classes at the Art Gallery of Ontario School in the late 1990s to find a new way to express herself creatively. She has not looked back from the first Introduction to art class she took, exploring drawing, sculpture and painting in both acrylic and oils at the AGO, The Avenue Road School of the Arts and now at Project: Art. There she has a small studio and works under the guidance of Ewa Stryjnik and with the support of the marvellous other artists working and studying there.