It's amazing what one finds on the shore on a sunny day after a storm, and for beachcombing artist Eliza Massey Stanford, there's always something new to discover in the way natures arranges itself in colours and patterns at the place where water and land collide.
Driftwood sculptures, photographic prints, and hooked rug art make up the collection of her newest exhibit, Sticks & Stones, which opened at Peace Gallery North on February 1.
"I grew up down on the coast, so I have a deep, deep attachment to that zone where water meets the land, whether it's on a lake or river or ocean," Stanford says.
"Oceans are a little bit more interesting and dynamic because of the tide, but it's just fascinating what washes away, and what comes in one year is not there the next year. Things that are left there for you without a human having organized it.
"It's beautiful. It's very inspiring for me."
Stanford began collecting driftwood for her sculptures at Williston Lake last fall, and has been amassing photographs of shoreline rocks and driftwood over the last few years. Some of those rocks served as a template for the smooth shapes and marbled patterns of Stanford’s brilliantly vibrant and fluffy hooked art.
"I just really enjoy all the mediums, I can't really land on one as being my thing," Standford says. "They all feed into each other and they inspire each other."
Stanford has moved some walls around in the gallery to open up space to complement her work for the exhibit.
"When you walk into a gallery space, it's not just about the individual thing on the wall, it's the collective feeling you get when you walk into the space that has that art in it," she says. "That's what i'm trying to create here."
Sticks & Stones is on display at Peace Gallery North until February 23.
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