Artist Carla Stein’s artwork using pears to represent human body language is on display at Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery in November.

Artist Carla Stein’s artwork using pears to represent human body language is on display at Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery in November.

Pears symbolize body language

Carla Stein’s new acrylic series explores body language, the unspoken component of human communication

Part social commentary, part emotional exposé, and full of tongue-in-cheek humour, Carla Stein’s new acrylic series, A Gesture of Pears, explores body language, the unspoken component of human communication.

Each painting uses pears as stand-ins for human subjects and looks at postures which suggest emotions such as love, pride, envy and suspicion.

The pieces are hallmarked by intense colour and bold brushwork. Some pieces also incorporate palette knife work and sgraffito (scratching into the paint).

“I chose to use various varieties of pears in order to keep the focus on movement and gesture rather than on personality,” Stein said. “Pears have versatile shapes and contours. I think that’s one of the reasons many artists have chosen to paint them. They can also be very sexy, without being sexual.

“I have an affinity for surrealism and fantasy, so it was fun to create compositions with fruit that moved away from traditional still life.”

Stein was born in Chicago, Ill., and immigrated to Ontario in 1975. She lived in four Canadian provinces and currently resides with her family in Nanaimo.

Her art career includes a diploma in fine art from Fanshawe College in London, Ont. She works in a number of mediums including watercolour, oil, acrylic and pastel.

Her latest show will hang at the Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery in Nanaimo North Town Centre throughout November.

An opening reception open to the public is set for Nov. 10, 7-9 p.m., at the gallery.

For more information, please call 250-729-3947.