Stephanie Aitken, Untitled #3 (2012), oil on linen [Deluge Contemporary Art Gallery, Victoria BC, Mar 15-Apr 13]
Drama of Perception is a three-woman show of recent paintings by Stephanie Aitken, Katie Lyle and Shelley Penfold, all Vancouver-based artists. This show is curated by Sandra Meigs, a highly regarded Canadian painter and Associate Professor of Painting at UVic since 1993 where Aitken (1994), Lyle (2010) and Penfold (2009) completed their graduate studies.
Meigs explains that, Each of the three artists has unique processes for constructing her work; painting and repainting over images of women, rubbing pigment into canvas underwater, turning paper around and around while drawing, then painting from the drawing.
Shelley Penfold paints most of the time in response to an inner dialogue. Katie Lyle, awarded an Honourable Mention in the 2012 RBC Painting Competition, paints the female face, allowing various references and influences to come to the surface, while Stephanie Aitken, the best known of the three, paints inspired landscape elements...that entice yet forbid entry.
Meigs writes, My mind constructs and reconstructs what I think I see in the paintings. What appears before me is not really what it appears to be. I feel like the paintings need me. They breathe into me, not oxygen, but other physical elements of the world
strange and unusual colours, slippery fields, boundaries and shapes I have not known in the world now enter into me through my perceptions.