Vernon and North Okanagan
Sep 15, 2012 / 9:17 am
Formative events in an artist’s life help shape the body of work they produce. This is true of Armstrong artist Alistair Rance whose exhibition ‘The Everett Series’ is currently showing at the Vernon Art Gallery until October 11th.
After witnessing his childhood property undergo development, the concept of urban sprawl became an integral part of his work, and something he admits incorporating from the Okanagan. Other considerations also factor into his paintings.
“I model them after life a little bit because we go along and do things. Some things we regret but we can’t change it. Life just keeps going on. If you screw up you have to just keep going, right?” says Rance.
A construction worker by day, with four young children, he began his art career at UBC and completed his MFA from NSCAD, going on to win the BMO 1st Art Prize for British Columbia.
Rance recently struggled to find a new shape to replace the architectural squares he used in his previous work until he chose lines.
“I was looking for something I could do faster. I don’t want a lot of time to think about what I’m doing. I want to act intuitively.”
“I was with Everett, my youngest son, and one day we’re on the computer on MS paint. He was on my lap and I gave him the mouse. I picked the brush tool and he just started whizzing his arm back and forth. He did a couple of those and I was like, ‘Yeah this is it.’”
The largest canvas in the exhibition measures twelve feet by eight feet and required a U-Haul to transport it.
“I pour them (the paintings). They’re on the floor and I have a big arm type thing that clamps onto a yogurt container that has two holes cut out of the lid. And I pour the paint like that.”
But abstract art isn’t always appreciated.
“It was my daughter or my eldest son, they were at school and supposed to be drawing something but they were just making an abstract weird mess and the teacher wasn’t very happy. My wife had to explain to the teacher that they come from a house where her husband is an abstract artist and anything goes,” joked Rance.
When asked about the similarity between his style and Jackson Pollack’s, Rance said he felt a kinship to the famed artist but references many sources, including Canadian artist Agnes Martin.
Vernon Art Galley is hosting an Artist Talk Saturday, September 15 with Alistair Rance. The event takes place at 1:00 p.m., and is open to the public. Admission is by donation.
The artist plans on showing slides of his earlier work to demonstrate his evolution as an artist, as well as discus the themes and practice of his paintings.
Books of Rance’s work are available at the gallery.
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