April 24 – May 12, 2019
Sharron Corrigan Forrest and Michelle Letarte bring together their respective impressions and connections to the history and landscapes of their travels; in particular, canyons, gorges and caves. The rich layering of mediums, embedded materials and highly textured surfaces complement the parallel perceptions of their experiences.
Travelling to an ice age cave in Serbia, a prehistoric decorated cave in France and rock-carved churches in Ethiopia, inspired a series of colourful and highly textures paintings. It was quite emotional to enter these secret spaces with natural ornaments which our ancestors frequented for cultural and ritual practices, and where they often added their own pictorials. Centuries later, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians painfully carved churches from “living rock” to symbolize spirituality and perhaps recreate sacred underground retreats.
Cava Resava, located in a limestone hill near Despotovac in Serbia, is a portal to the ice age, dated from 45 million years ago. It was discovered by a shepherd in 1962 and opened to the public ten years later. Cava Resava contains numerous chambers, galleries, columns, draperies and stone waterfalls created by dissolution of calcium carbonate with the addition of colours from minerals carried in the water, red from iron oxide, white from calcium crystal and yellow from clay traces.
The Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, also knows as Grotte Chauvet, is located in the limestone cliffs of the river Ardèche in the south of France. It contains the earliest-known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating back from 30,000 years ago. The cave was closed off by a rock fall approximately 20,000 years ago and therefore remained sealed until its discovery in 1994, helping to preserve its integrity. Grotte Chauvet, with more than 1,000 drawings, constitutes the best-preserved artistic expression of the Aurignacian people and is an exceptional testimony of prehistoric cave art. The amazing reproduction of the cave allows the viewer to step 30,000 years back and share moments with the artists who created these marvellous painting
Lalibela is a rural town known around the world for its Ethiopian Orthodox churches carved from porous red volcanic tuff surrounded by basalt rock. Most of the churches date from the reign of King Lalibela (12-13th centuries), who intended to build a New Jerusalem of rock. The churches emerged from within the earth “living rock” as monolithic isolated blocks or as carved faces of a cliff. Mosses fed by infiltrating water have given green, bright yellow and orange hews to the porous rose-coloured church facades and surrounding cliffs, creating natural paintings in an arid landscape.
Sharron Corrigan Forrest
For a number of years, I have been interested in a visual exploration of my travels to various locations that have strikingly powerful landforms. These experiences included awe-inspiring vistas of canyons, gorges and valleys.
Some are seldom visited areas within the Canadian Shield including the quiet beauty of the Agawa Canyon, the rugged coastline of Newfoundland and British Columbia and of course, the high peaks, ranges and plunging valleys of the Rocky Mountain range.
I have also been fortunate to travel through the mountains in Nikko National Park in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is one of the most breathtaking natural locations with temples, shrines and bridges that work in harmony with the beautiful scenery. Another place of fascination is Taiwan where we trekked along the gorge of the Tianxiang river in beautiful Taroko National Park. Nature was always present from the multi-hued mountains, to the beautiful trees and lichen covered marble walls. The most compelling aspect to me was the language of the land itself, in particular canyons!
The result was the creation of a new body of artwork that I am looking forward to presenting in an upcoming exhibition at Propeller.
It would be a pleasure to share this new work with you and to have you join my fellow exhibiting artist and friend, Michelle Letarte, and myself at the upcoming Opening Reception at Propeller Gallery on Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m.