Hong Kong: Islands of Contrast Series (1987-88)

Exhibited at Sarnia Public Library & Art Gallery, Sarnia, ON, February 19 - March 21, 1988

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Artist's Statement

Hong Kong - exotic, mysterious, teeming with colour and motion, in recent years has become one of the most sought-after destinations in the Orient. It does not disappoint us. The city of Hong Kong assaults our senses with unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells -ultra-modern, wealth and high style mingling with back streets and marketplaces. Yet the contrasts do not end there. On the other side of the island, expansive bays push into a shoreline which rises gradually to the central Victoria Peak. One can walk in the gently sloped mountains, with lush foliage framing vistas of islands that recede mistily into the China Sea.

I have tried in this exhibition to illustrate the myriad images of Hong Kong.

In preparation, I have had time to think as I work, about the motivation behind such an effort. For me, the time was right to explore other subjects, to push further in the constant attempt to be the ebst that I can be. There is, in me, a deep need for solitude, a time for meditation and reflection, without which this body of work could not be completed. I have also a strong desire to see beauty in life and to strive to achieve it in my work. By this I do not mean a surface prettiness, but the beauty that emanates from natural objects in all conditions.

Within the single focus of Hong Kong, I was able to renew a long neglected interest in figurative work, to paint landscapes which invoke a sense of mystery and to further explore objects from my own peculiar viewpoint.

I am not a direct painter, but instead enjoy the reflective aspects of the drawing underneath, getting to know the subject, searching for rhythm, moving, simplifying and abstracting until the composition feels just right. Without this feeling of compositional rightness there is no point in continuing. The painting is built up gradually with subtle washes, pushing and pulling the colour and values until a harmonious while is hopefully activated. The close-up studies which I have enjoyed experimenting with in recent years re-emphasizes the concern with rhythm, balance and colour within a different compositional framework.

Art in it's true sense is a spiritual endeavour, a reaching beyond oneself. This is my endeavour - "Hong Kong - Island of Contrast". I give it to you for your consideration.

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