Nanaimo painter Gerda Hofman and sculptor Joel Prevost are holding their first joint exhibition at the Vancouver Island Sculpting Studio on Thursday, Feb. 8. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Sculptor Joel Prevost and painter Gerda Hofman present first joint exhibit

In ‘Body of Works’ the artists depict the same models in clay and paint

After spending the last decade in Montreal, Nanaimo sculptor Joel Prevost is back in the Harbour City and presenting his first exhibition at his newly opened studio.

The show, Body of Works, is a joint effort with local painter Gerda Hofman. The artists have known each other for 20 years but have never collaborated before. Prevost instigated the partnership upon his return last fall when he asked Hofman, who leads life drawing workshops, if she could recommend models to hire for his sculpting classes. At the same time he heard that Hofman lost 10 years’ worth of drawings in the Jean Burns Building fire.

“I had the idea then to say to Gerda, ‘Would you like to accompany me when I interview [and sculpt] the model?’” Prevost said.

“Instead of being my myself it was great because Gerda joined me to paint and … we really felt that we were connecting right away. It felt so natural, it felt so easy to work together and that’s when the idea of an exhibit together came along. ‘Why not let’s do a duo show of what we’re doing right now?’”

“And for me it was a good incentive to really go back because after getting over all that fire it did take a little while and it was a good incentive to start really seriously working again,” Hofman added.

The exhibition features four sculptures and 10 paintings of four male and female models. An opening reception will be held at Prevost’s Vancouver Island Sculpting Studio on Thursday, Feb. 8. On Saturday, Feb. 10 the duo will be painting and sculpting a live, clothed model from 1 to 4 p.m. and members of the public are welcome to observe the process.

The artists say that although their materials are different, they share a similar outlook.

“What you can express in clay you cannot always express in painting, so you always have your own take on it because the material that you use is very important for the expression of your piece of artwork,” Hofman said.

“It’s interesting, Gerda and I have two different backgrounds but in fact we do have very similar vision … We both work always from live models. From the live model what comes across is the energy of the model,” Prevost added.

“And that what you try to interpret in your artwork,” Hofman said.

Prevost said working together with the same subjects in a common space was easy because when an artist is fulfilled, content and established, “the ego goes away.”

“We’re two well-accomplished artists. It’s not about our egos. We are here doing our craft… It gets to the point where we just enjoy the process,” Prevost said.

WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for Body of Works by Joel Prevost and Gerda Hofman at the Vancouver Island Sculpting Studio (294 Harewood Rd.) on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. The exhibition continues until Feb. 18.

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