Nanaimo artist Carole Reid presents Home Sweet Home? at the Nanaimo Arts Council gallery from Feb. 4 to 27. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo artist reflects on the meaning of home

Local artist Carole Reid presents new mixed-media show at Nanaimo Arts Council

In her previous exhibition, Carole Reid displayed a series of works created while she was undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment. This time around, she thought she’d do something less vulnerable and more enjoyable.

“The last show, the breast cancer show, that one had so much introspective and heartfelt pain and this one is way more fun. I guess I wanted to do a total flip,” the Nanaimo-based artist said.

As soon as that show was over, Reid began work on Home Sweet Home?, a collection of painting and mixed media pieces inspired by the artist’s joyous childhood. The show opens at the Nanaimo Arts Council gallery with a reception on Feb. 8 and continues until Feb. 27.

“Once you’re diagnosed with breast cancer or some disease, you have to start thinking about life,” Reid said. “Life now, life in the future and sometimes you look back. I’ve been doing all three.”

Reid said the work not only contemplates home life in the past, present and future, but in the afterlife as well. She noted that in the Home Sweet Home? ascending ladders frequently accompany the house imagery. But she added that not everyone is fortunate to have a childhood they look back on fondly.

“I started thinking, ‘Well, I want to do a show about home, but I want to acknowledge that some people have good memories and some people don’t have so great memories, so that’s what the question mark is about,” Reid explained, referring to the title’s punctuation. “And when you look at the artwork you can see that there are lots of hearts in it but there are also some not-so-happy images in there, too, and that some of the hearts fade, some are very strong.”

Reid’s goal is to keep that conversation going by welcoming viewers to take part in interactive projects.

The exhibition will feature a public canvas where gallery attendees may draw their own images of home. Reid said she hopes to donate the painting following the exhibition. The NAC will also hold a drawing event where members of the public will be given art supplies and encouraged to create work inspired by Home Sweet Home?

“I’d like some kind of discussion to happen about home and what your memories are about and how your childhood affected what you’ve created in your own home and then to pass that down if you have children,” she said, later adding, “I always create art to evoke an emotion from the viewer … so instead of just evoking emotion, I’d like to talk about what’s causing the emotion.”

WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for Carole Reid’s exhibition Home Sweet Home? comes to the Nanaimo Arts Council gallery, 78 Wharf St., on Friday, Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. The show continues until Feb. 27.



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