McMaster makes paper and allows for it to take shape organically, which gives the paper the chance to develop its own texture, patterns and shape. Using tea, water, wine and aqueous dyes, the paper is coloured in unpredictable ways. She also uses embroidery in the paper, which can represent healing or wounds. There is a sense of time passing in her artworks that adds to the layers of meaning.
“With all these pieces there is a strong random element happening, so I’m just working with that random element and in some cases the paper even falls apart so I have to stitch it back up and that becomes part of the art,” says McMaster about the process of making her artworks.
Ruptured Planes is a reflection of the earth and sky through a historical and mythological lens. Using the paper for its porous, shifting and multifaceted characteristics, the artworks explore previous theories about the structure of the world. Firmament is inspired by the flat earth belief that the sky is a protective dome and the stars are portholes to the space beyond. The holes of the artwork allow the viewer to peer into the beyond and simulates the feeling of being an ancient astronomer.
Other works in the show speak to the hollow earth theory, where the holes once again acts as a porthole to another layer of our world. Hollow Earth is a piece that allows you to see into the different levels through holes on each of the layers.
“You have ideas in mythologies about how you would be at a lower level under the Earth and emerge into a higher level and finally emerge into the Earth’s crust. That’s what’s happening here and you can look through it,” says McMaster of her work Hollow Earth.
The show is a visually interesting collection of pieces that use the colours, shapes, textures, and negative space to take an interesting look at some historical perceptions of our environment, that are still relevant today. This is an exquisite showing I recommend checking out before it’s over.
The Espace Pierre-Debain is associated with the Montcalm Gallery in Gatineau, and is a beautiful art space. The walls are a stark grey colour, as opposed to typical white walls, which works very well against the artworks and creates deep shadows and strengthens the dimensional element of the pieces. Entrance to the gallery is free, as is the rear parking. STO bus 59 Parc-O-Bus Allumettières will take you directly from Rideau Street to the Espace Pierre-Debain.
Located on Principle Street in Aylmer, the gallery is close to shops, free museums and restaurants. The Aylmer Marina and an accompanying beach is within walking distance, so as the weather warms up, this could be a part of a beautiful afternoon excursion to see the show which is going until Sunday May 5th, 2019.