This month James Kelly presents Form and the Living Line at Art 10 Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Painter highlights ‘the space between things’ in new Art 10 Gallery exhibit

Bowser-based artist James Kelly presents ‘Form and the Living Line’

Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery is beginning the new year by featuring the work of one of its newest members.

Painter James Kelly said “it’s a lonely station” working in his home studio in Bowser and joined the Art 10 group in the summer to associate with other artists.

“I’ve had a lot of departures away from painting…” Kelly said. “So since we moved to Bowser we bought a house [with] a three-car garage and my wife said, ‘That belongs to you.’ And since then that became my messy studio.”

This month Kelly presents his show Form and the Living Line on the gallery’s feature wall. The exhibition includes large paintings, as Kelly likes to “enter into the space of the canvas,” as well as smaller sketches.

Kelly said in his work he’s concerned with balancing the elements of line, mass and space. He said he came upon that philosophy when he was painting a fishing boat and found himself strangely intrigued by the shadow of the bow.

“We’ve got this whole boat here and everything and the rest of the harbour … why is this particular thing interesting?” he asked himself. “So then I started looking at it from that kind of a standpoint. I started looking at the space between things as well. So I’m in that sense shifting off of objects onto the spatial relationships between the object and space.”

Kelly said when he finishes a piece he no longer considers it his. As for what viewers make of his work, he said, “I never really thought of it that way.” Kelly just tries to stay faithful to what he’s doing.

“If I’m not faithful to that then really I’m lost because I’m working on intuition all the time,” he said. “So if I start to question the intuition, then it’s no longer intuition.”

WHAT’S ON … James Kelly presents Form and the Living Line at Art 10 Gallery, Nanaimo North Town Centre, until the end of the month.

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