This week, I had the good fortune to speak with the talented minds behind She Said, He Said, She Said, a group show on display at Peace Gallery North featuring works by Sandy Troudt, Miep Burgerjon, and Volker (Mike) Kroecher. All three are local bulwarks of the art scene in Fort Saint John and active members of the Flying Colours Artists’ Association.
The trio have a long history of collaboration, as well as many similarities, such as their long-time residence in the Fort Saint John area, a background in education, strong ties to their community, and a deep love for the Peace River and the local landscape that is expressed vividly through their work. The impetus behind this exhibition is to celebrate their creative commonalities as well as their differing approaches to their shared muse: the Peace River valley.
When asked about the idea behind the show, Troudt remarked that her and Kroecher’s work had often been compared, as both artists use vibrant colours and expressive brushstrokes to represent similar scenes of riverbanks and aspen forests. However, she added, when viewed alongside each other, the two artists’ distinct styles contrast beautifully.
“You need neutrals to spark the colour,” said Sandy, speaking to the harmony of colours on her canvases.
In this exhibition, Burgerjon’s quiet, contemplative work serves as the neutral rejoinder to Kroecher’s and Troudt’s bombastic palettes. Always exploring new mediums, Burgerjon’s series of eco-monoprints were created using locally sourced botanicals and their naturally derived colours. In Miep’s series, nature is able to speak for itself as the artist has allowed for chance and natural processes to dictate the final results, and with great success.
A shared concern for the environment underlies this show, whether it is expressed through Burgerjon’s choice of eco-friendly materials, Troudt’s gently rendered sunbeams, or Kroecher’s unflinching linocut print, The Rape of the Peace. The artists’ concern and love for this land is evident, and stunningly expressed.
She Said, He said, She Said will be on display at Peace Gallery North until Feb. 6. It is also viewable online on the Peace River Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists website here. An encore show addressing the same themes as this exhibition is slated for 2023 at Peace Gallery North.
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