Artist delves into the myriad of lifes roles

Nanaimo artist Sara Robichaud's exhibit Double Life and Falkland artist Ann Kipling featured at Nanaimo Art Gallery.

Nanaimo artist Sara Robichaud explores the roles she plays in life through her series Double Life.

Her acrylic paintings combine raw shapes, surface textures, saturated colours, forms, patterns and positive and negative space to convey personal and symbolic meanings in her life. She wants people to have an immediate reaction when they step into the gallery. Robichaud said the size of her work, with the majority of painting measuring 2.6 metres by 1.6 metres, often evokes an immediate reaction.

“Because of the scale they are visceral, you have an immediate response,” said Robichaurd, adding everyone has their own reaction and interpretation to the work. “A shape one person sees as a skull another person may see as a shell. So I want that elusiveness so that it is broader.”

Robichaud’s newest collection Double Life is on display at the Nanaimo Art Gallery campus location until Nov. 3. Double Life explores Robichaud’s life roles as a wife, mother and artist. Viewers of the collection can see the formal process Robichaud undertakes in her work to combine abstract perspective and delve into elements of production that combine colour, form and texture. She combines pouring, dragging, scraping and taping to express personal and pivotal moments in her life on the canvas.

Robichaud’s work can be found in private and public collections in North America and the Middle East.

Ann Kipling’s work is also on display at the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s campus location. Her show The Solitudes of Place is a collection of 43 of Kipling’s drawings, which showcases her distinctive style.  Each of her drawings were created in one sitting and are interspersed with dots, dabs, lines and broken marks that explore culture and political discourses and her fascination with change, movement, energy and the transformation of forms.

The exhibit title refers to the creative process Kipling undertakes to create her drawings; usually she is alone working with only the natural landscape of her Falkland home surrounding her.

Kipling said her art are more studies than drawing and stories of how natural terrain relates to each other. Her art comes from her “unique way of seeing.”

“It’s a familiarity but a constant rediscovery in the same area,” said Kipling. “It’s a different way of seeing and the way of seeing is always changing.”

Kipling said she’s been creating art since she was born. Yet, it wasn’t until she attended the Vancouver School of Art in the 1960s that drawing became a medium of expression for the artist. She had been a painter before but in her first year of students weren’t allowed to paint.

“Drawing caught me then,” said Kipling. “Drawing took me over. Drawing was the way to connect my ideas of what I wanted to say about things.”

Kipling’s work can be found in numerous galleries and museums across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Both Robichaud’s and Kipling’s exhibits are at the Nanaimo Art Gallery campus location, located at 330-900 Fifth St. Robichaud’s Double Life show runs until Nov. 3 and Kipling’s The Solitudes of Place runs until Dec. 15.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com