September 10 – October 15, 2022
Join us for the Opening Reception:
Saturday, September 17, 2pm – 5pm
Lonsdale Gallery is pleased to present Changing Tides, a group show featuring three female artists exploring the symbolic and metaphorical associations between water and feminine identity. Water has always been a source of inspiration and veneration for artists, poets and writers. Ancient and auspicious, the element of water nourishes all life. Dominant metaphors connect the element of water with the feminine – yin energies, the subconscious, intuition, strength, depth, and reflection.
Showcasing a selection of works by Jessica Masters, Lisa Johnson, and M’Liz Keefe, the exhibition dives deep into the associations between feminine energy and water. The works assembled shed light on the boundless and infinite nature of water, as a source of potency and life, rooted themes of memory, self-reflection, and embodiment. Explored through a feminist lens, the exhibition expands the metaphorical allusions associated with water, beyond the Romantic tradition, to identify a more complex and multilayered approach that speaks to the contemporary female experience that is not fixed or static, but instead contains multitudes and is constantly evolving.
M’Liz Keefe’s mesmerizing seascapes of the North Atlantic reveal a profound field of vision that stretches endlessly into the infinite. Keefe has been living and painting on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, since 2013. She moved to the Island from the States and built her home and studio in the community of Barr’d Islands. Deeply meditative, Keefe’s paintings reference the cyclic life of water and the sky, capturing their ever-changing states. She looks to the ocean as a fierce affirmation of selfhood; an embodiment of strength, fragility, solitude and resilience.
As an artist, Keefe approaches her canvases using a deeply personal abstract visual language. What emerges is an evocative visual representation, which expresses the power and fecundity of the natural world, while simultaneously becoming a powerful metaphor for contemplation and self-exploration. When regarding the artist’s hypnotizing sumptuous layered paintings, the viewer is confronted with the vast boundlessness horizon – it’s sublime beauty, infinite depth, and relentlessness – that come alive before your eyes. She conjures the sensation of gazing into the great unknown, the illusive state between being and becoming. As a metaphor, her paintings speak to a sense of exploration – like a curious wonderer embarking on a journey of discovery seeking inner spiritual strength.
Jessica Masters’ bold and lively pastel paintings of crashing waves communicate the powerful and potent nature of water. Her Wave series offers a provocative meditation on water as a sublime force of nature, which reveals as much as it conceals. The series was inspired by time spent on the Atlantic Ocean on the Northern U.S coastline in Maine, with her family, and the artist’s experience regarding the ocean with a combination of joy, fascination and fear. Drawing on memories, and a profound fascination with the ocean, Masters looks to water as a metaphor to communicate the complexities of human nature. Her paintings shift between calm smooth tides and forceful intense currents taking the viewer through an emotional journey; evoking feelings of nostalgia, peace, vulnerability, and empowerment.
Masters’ images are meticulously rendered in pastel, with such remarkable detail that at first glance they appear as photographs. Isolating the subjects from the landscape allows the artist to create a full sensory experience of their beauty, majesty and splendour of the waves. Flowing and undulating below a field of rich dense black, Masters is able to communicate the timelessness and enduring nature of the ocean, while simultaneously presenting it as a site of reflection. Liberated from a specific time or place, she able to create a space for contemplating memories and emotions that linger under the surface. Water is recurring theme in her work. For the artist, contemplating the nature of the ocean – its depth, intensity, energy, and mystery – helps unearth hidden knowledge and meaning.
Lisa Johnson’s atmospheric landscape paintings investigate space and movement. Her rich gestural compositions capture water dancing and along the rocky shoreline, a waterfall streaming down through a majestic mountain ranges, and bodies of water extending into endless expansive vistas. She infuses her canvases with a sense of movement, revealing the rhythm and energy of the landscape. Johnson builds her compositions through layering atmospheric plains of colour with spirited gestural brushwork. Her gestural approach expresses an embodied connection between the artist and their subject matter, rooted in memory and the physical and psychological sensations of the terrain.
Mazinaw, Field of View
18 x 48 inches
Illustrating sites where the water intersects with the land, Johnson draws attention to the ceaseless cycles and rhythm of the natural world. The tide rolling in and out, licking against rock-covered shores evoke a sensual dance. Johnson depicts this moment as a site of transformation. Over time the water erodes and wears down the rocks, carving channels, smoothing and polishing their surface. The feminine energy of the water meeting the masculine qualities of the rocks, in their eternal push-pull, shed light on the dichotomies and sense of balance found in the natural world. Johnson’s paintings bear witness to the movements and processes of the natural world. They transport the viewer to a space that resides between the real and imagined, the tangible and intangible.