Monday, March 7, 2011

Liz Parkinson at Benedicta Art Centre, Minnesota

Above image from an installation of Liz Parkinson's "Popular Nature Project",  earlier last year at Visual Arts Centre, Clarington.

We recently posted about Paul Dignan's exhibition at the Benedicta Art Centre at the College of St. Benedict/University of St. John in Minnesota. By a strange co-incidence, Liz Parkinson, also a KWT artist is exhibiting there, at the same time, in the Gorecki Gallery. (Note to Paul, Liz and Pearl: try to find a warmer place next time...Minnesota, Banff...brrrr! It's cold enough here in Toronto! )

Liz Parkinson's "Popular Nature Project" is an ongoing accumulation of images that aspires to completion as a collection. Each twelve-inch unit, although an independent composition, is seen as a possible component of the larger taxonomic entity: Popular Nature. Overall the project explores relationships between "natura" and "nature inspired" objects and systems of understanding. The portable scale of individual panels enables them to be worked on while traveling, as such acquiring aspects of the souvenir. Often, added to in the studio and inserted into the logic of the growing collection, the gathered information changs as it is influenced by surrounding references. Each addition and reorganization of the collection presents a revised understanding of what is meant by "nature". And like most collections, it may never be complete nor, like nature, its meaning fully explored.

These small mixed media works are a painterly departure from Parkinson's more traditional printmaking practice, but incorporate familiar techniques and media, including Japanese Paper, Rag Paper with litho, drypoint, relief, gold leaf, flocking, encaustic, plaster, and acrylic painting. Parkinson is widely respected as a master printmaker, but we love this new direction too, and we understand she plans to continue with it in a much larger format in the near future.

You can see images of Parkinson's earlier work (from the "Morphology" series at KWT) here.

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