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Stopping Place at Wall Space Gallery + Framing. Photo: Ava Margueritte.

Stopping Place at Wall Space Gallery + Framing until August 27

By Sonya Gankina on August 17, 2022

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When was the last time you fully stopped in your tracks and looked at your surroundings? Looked up into the sky at the clouds? Noticed a bumblebee busy on the flower bed?

Stopping Place, a new group exhibition at Wall Space Gallery + Framing open until August 27, asks us precisely these questions. “Along the journey, pause for a rest and feel the environment around you,” says Curator Tiffany April. “The styles of artists represented here are quite different — Boyd Waites and Laura Culic explore their expression and experience with nature tied to memory and emotion. Ariane Beauchamp has a strong environmental message behind her structured and delicate pieces — what is our place in the environment and our reaction to it?”

Stopping Place at Wall Space Gallery + Framing. Photo: Ava Margueritte.

I attended the opening reception and had the pleasure of chatting with all three artists about the works they submitted to this exhibition and their artistic processes.

Laura Culic’s works are bright, colourful, and heavy with details — the artist uses oil and cold wax on wood panels to create layers of textures. Exploring her travels through Canada, Culic creates both representational and more abstract pieces, featuring a similar colour palette through the collection in Stopping Place. You can see one of Culic’s paintings in the image above. When I ask the artist what’s been her favourite spot to visit in the country, Culic says: “I love the skies in Saskatchewan, the little lakes and gentle hills. I also love the ocean in Newfoundland. I don’t make art about other places; it does not have the same meaning as Canada.”

Explaining her process, Culic shares how she adds layers and creates body on the painting, always working on the wall, without easels. Using spatulas, cabinet scrapers, and palette knives, she builds and removes to play with the structure. “When do you stop?” I ask. “German painter Gerhard Richter said once: ‘I stop when I don’t see anything else I have to do.’ I feel similarly,” says Culic.

“Art is a discipline. It’s a painting practice. You don’t just wait for inspiration to come, you go to the studio on difficult days, and that’s where you grow and learn,” says Culic. I can see the dedication and commitment in her pieces — you can look at them for hours on end, discovering something new, transporting you to a place in your mind.

In contrast with Culic’s vibrant pieces that feature many distinct elements, Boyd Waites’ oil paintings are delicately blended to a beautiful and still calmness, with evocative light shining through (see the artwork on the left below).

Stopping Place at Wall Space Gallery + Framing. Photo: Ava Margueritte.

“I am painting as much as I can when I can,” says Waites. “I use landscape or the idea of nature as an essence behind portraying a mood, a human reaction to that landscape, in a very simplified way. I show my feelings about places I’ve been, but each piece is not just one place: it’s an amalgamation of all the places I’ve been.”

The piece in the photo above is a representation of land somewhere in England, where it’s dark, with the sea in the background. Yet, there is still light. “I am always trying to uplift or lighten. Right now, I’m in a soft calming phase, which can be seen through the centre of light being present in the pieces — it symbolizes something beyond what you are looking at.”

“I hope my painting touches people, I hope they come to see it, and they feel something from what I do,” says Waites.

Displaying yet another distinct art discipline in the exhibition, Ariane Beauchamp’s structured collages feature painstaking paper cutouts, pens, inks, and more.

Ariane Beauchamp artwork. Photo by Sonya Gankina.

“In my practice, I really like object-making,” says Beauchamp. “People were surprised by how 3D my pieces are! My idea was to focus the pieces more about the environment they are in and less on the animals themselves. I am exploring the relationship with the urban environment, nature, and the rural environment.”

Back to Stopping Place‘s theme, Beauchamp touches on the importance of disconnecting: “A lot of people have lost the ability to just be in the moment, look and observe. We are in the city, but we are still in nature; we are nature. We can still pay attention. Take time to smell the roses.”


Visit the exhibition on display at Wall Space Gallery + Framing until August 27.

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