Fort Gallery artists Bruce Giesbrecht and Fiona Moes are the latest pair to take over the walls of the artists co-operative gallery in Fort Langley. They’ll do so with their abstract exhibit In Transition, which officially opens on Friday but can be viewed beginning today (Wednesday, June 22).
That the exhibit’s title was a perfect description for both artists’ lives, should come as no surprise, they say.
After all, most things are changing, all the time. But for Moes and Giesbrecht, the differences have been, perhaps, more notable lately.
Moes, 22, recently completed university, earning a bachelor of fine arts at UFV, and is ready to make the next move — namely finding work as an art teacher.
Giesbrecht, meanwhile, has wrapped up a career in the film industry (he did post-production work) and is down shifting into life as a painter and sculptor.
“Art is something I grew up doing,” said Moes, a Langley Christian High School grad who joined the gallery co-operative last January. But the pieces she’s chosen to exhibit are easily the most abstract she’s ever created.
Her process could be described as a bit out of the ordinary, as well.
“I bought a bunch of glass pieces from a thrift store and smashed them. Then I had a little photo shoot,” she said.
A Mason jar, a wine glass and a cup are among the items Moes shattered and shot.
On large canvases, she used paint and embroidery thread to ‘reconstruct’ the objects, in a manner of speaking. The artist stopped short of incorporating the actual broken glass into the pieces, but admits, it did cross her mind.
For Moes, the works are metaphors for ‘people as vessels’ and represent the beauty that can be in the brokenness of a human being.
Giesbrecht’s artistic journey has included its own share of breakage.
He has spent recent months breaking away from the rigid constraints of straight lines and geometric forms, which characterized his first exhibit — one that hung alongside work by former Fort Gallery artist Betty Spackman, with whom he took his first lessons.
“I wanted to break free, become looser,” he said.
He ditched the straight edge and started working freehand. Eventually, the nice, round shapes became even less formal.
“It gets right down to finger painting,” he said.
The pieces he’s created for In Transition reflect that more relaxed approach to form, but the brightly hued acrylics in which he works are also all about what his gut tells him.
As a viewer, Giesbrecht said, “I get more of a visceral reaction to coloured blobs than (intricate portraits) painted in photographic detail, using tiny brushes with two or three hairs.
“I’m big on form and colour; the abstract expressionists are my favourite artists.”
In Transition opens Friday, June 24, with an artists reception at the Fort Gallery running from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and runs until July 10.
The gallery is located at 9048 Glover Rd. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. Call 604-888-7411.