Heather Cameron and Tawny Maclachlan Capon have long admired each other’s work and next week the Gabriola Island textile artists are exhibiting together for the first time.
From Nov. 6 to 8 Cameron and Maclachlan Capon present Beneath the Surface at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre. Six guests will be allowed in the gallery at once and face masks are requested.
Despite never teaming up in the past, Cameron said when they first met early on to show each other what they were working on they found they were already on the same wavelength.
“In our notes she had written ‘Beneath the Surface’ and I had written ‘Beyond the Surface,’ so entirely separately but we were thinking along the same lines,” she said. “So that was just one of those little moments where you go, ‘Yes, it’s meant to be.’”
Cameron created her pieces during the pandemic and said they examine the difficulty of communication due to COVID-19. Drawing on her graphic design and advertising background, Cameron incorporated text into her work.
“There’s a lot of layering of words and I think it reflects the feelings of loss or frustration with not being able to communicate freely with our friends and family when it’s all now mediated through Zoom or Skype or text messages,” she explained.
Maclachlan Capon will be showing newer pieces as well as items exhibited in Toronto last year. Her body of work is inspired by the ocean and the orcas living “beneath the surface.” She said living on Gabriola she rarely spots orcas, but when she does it’s “an amazing gift.”
She said she often uses a range of materials in work and her latest creations utilize furnace filters. She also makes use of numbers to create patterns relating to the three pods of southern resident killer whales.
“So much of their life goes on just under the surface, just out of our reach,” Maclachlan Capon said of the orcas. “so I’ve used text in some of the pieces which I’ve covered with this interesting sheen material that you use as a filter to [prevent you] from being able to go there because they’re so elusive.”
Cameron said that while both her art and Maclachlan Capon’s are very different from each other, they share many connections as well.
“I think her work is a little more lyrical, delicate, has a lot of movement to it whereas mine is maybe a little more earthy,” Cameron said. “But then Tawny is originally a dancer. I’m a gardener. So that comes through.”
WHAT’S ON … Heather Cameron and Tawny Maclachlan Capon present Beneath the Surface at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre, 476 South Rd., Gabriola Island, on Nov. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. and November 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 778-674-2929 for a private viewing.