Reading the Wave
In the adjacent gallery Janet Read, who is no stranger to the Durham art scene having shown work at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and the Station Gallery, exhibited her new Reading the Wave series of paintings.
Janet, who is also a published poet and musician creates visual music and poetic rhythm with dramatic acrylic colour. Reading the Wave, is our invitation to explore her world of metaphor. Although on the surface the viewer might think that most of Janet’s works are non-figurative abstractions, it becomes apparent after silent reflection with the works that land, sky and water are recurrent themes. It is a strange coincidence that I felt that her small piece “Quiet Sea” held me with the compositional power of a large Gerhard Richter to find out later the same day that a work by the same artist sold at a world record for a living artist.
Another small work on the same wall, “Morning in Giverny” suggests that Janet, like impressionist Claude Monet who resided in Giverny, attempts to record the dramatic effects of light. The use of complementary colours within the works and their effective installation on a poppy red wall imbued the diminutive works with added punch. But the double knock-out punch came from two 14 foot Tyvek paintings “Reading the Wave” and “Reading the Wave 2”. Janet’s painterly compositions in red and blue on this synthetic polyethylene material have her experimenting with a whole new level of scale, leaving us wondering where she’ll go next. We can’t wait to ride her next wave.
Steven Frank for Surfacing, Durham Region Arts Magazine, 2012.