March 1 – April 1, 2023
Lonsdale Gallery is pleased to present Surge a provocative solo exhibition of Guelph artist Jessica Masters’ Wave Series March 1 – April 1, 2023, in the gallery’s Project Room. The artist’s works are displayed with entrancing ambient soundscapes of the ocean and crashing waves, designed to create a meditative and immersive gallery experience.
How does one capture the sensation of being faced with something immeasurable?
Jessica Master’s wave series is a poignant visual exploration of the powerful and transformative nature of water. Her bold hyper-realistic pastel paintings of crashing waves are dynamic and bursting with life. Masters seeks to capture the unpredictable and sublime nature of the ocean. It’s serene glass-like surface, which can swiftly become surging and heaving waves. She highlights the sensation of observing something so vast and unknowable as a site of self-reflection and transformation.
Masters’ painstakingly renders her images in pastel with such remarkable detail that, at first glance, they appear like photographs. Sensual jewel toned waves dance below a field of rich dense black. By isolating the subjects from the landscape, the artist draws viewer’s attention to their beauty and majesty. Her imagery conjures countless of sensations and emotions, similar the overwhelming feeling of standing at the edge of a cliff or looking into a volcano. Untethered to a specific time or place, the artist able to capture the timelessness and enduring spirit of the ocean, while encouraging deep contemplation of what might linger under the surface.
The series was born from Masters’ intense fascination with the ocean and her memories. Inspired by time spent in Maine, on the Atlantic Ocean on the Northern U.S coastline, with her family. The artist draws on her experience watching the ocean with a combination of joy, fascination and fear.
Water continues to be a recurring theme in Masters’ work. She explores water as a metaphor for the complexities of human nature. For the artist, contemplating the nature of the ocean – its depth, intensity, energy, and mystery – helps unearth hidden knowledge and meaning. Water is as a sublime force of nature, which reveals as much as it conceals. 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 self-empowerment.