Work by Duncan artists Donovan Rose and Barclay Martin (from left) will be on display at Gallery Merrick from Oct. 19 to 21. (Images courtesy the artists)

Artists Donovan Rose and Barclay Martin show work at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Rose and Martin also run the Ou Gallery in Duncan

Duncan’s Ou Gallery is coming to Gallery Merrick as artists and Ou proprietors Donovan Rose and Barclay Martin prepare to show their latest creations in the Harbour City.

The work is so fresh that the artists have been “frantically painting away” in the days leading up to the show. The exhibition, Here and There, kicks off with an opening on Friday night and continues through Sunday.

Both artists will be showcasing their figurative work inspired by early-20th century artists like Henri Matisse and Egon Schiele. Rose has had his pieces hanging at Gallery Merrick for the past six months, but this will be Martin’s commercial gallery debut.

“I’m just playing with the sort of Renaissance male nudes and modernizing them in my own way and then playing with some themes that I’ve been using,” Donovan said. “Such as cigarette smoking and putting still-life plants in there … My past couple series that I’ve been working on have been depictions of lakes and beach scenes in the 1960s.”

Added Martin, “like Donovan, my stuff’s pretty figurative and so far they’re mainly on black backgrounds, really focusing on the character and the portrait.”

The duo have different takes on the show’s title. Rose said it refers to time, with ‘here and there’ relating to ‘now and then,’ as his work draws from old traditions and his own past but is presented in a modern style.

Martin said Here and There can also refer to place.

“Donovan and I both travelled a lot and lived in a lot of different places and so I feel like our artwork is a reflection of that in a lot of ways,” Martin said. “And for me, that’s ‘here and there’ because it’s pulling from inspiration and stories and moments to create this palette of work.”

WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for Donovan Rose and Barclay Martin’s Here and There is at Gallery Merrick on Friday, Oct. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. Show continues until Oct. 21.

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