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Andy Gifford, Stormbird II (2002), oil on linen
[Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria,
Victoria, BC, Feb 13-26, 2003]

Andy Gifford: “Stormbird I”

Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria
Victoria BC Feb 13-26, 2003

Stormbird I takes viewers on a picturesque journey, from the outskirts of Victoria, B.C. down the coast of Washington, as Victoria painter Andy Gifford documents homemade birdhouses erected along the waterfront.

The series is like a travelogue. Glimpses of tiny, imaginative constructions are set against the enormous abstract landforms and windswept skies of the Northwest Coast. The birdhouses and the poles on which they’re erected are almost talismanic in their simplicity, with the look and feel of New Image painting.

His paintings depict the strong texture of the wood from which the birdhouses originally were created, while sweeping bands of colour stand for landscape and sky. The tactile brushstrokes and saturated colours with which he represents the birdhouses are as deft and expressive as folk art.

Gifford’s restrained approach is admirable. The tone of his art matches its subject matter: modest, unpretentious, unassuming. The viewer experiences the simple grace with which the original architects of these dwellings conceived and executed their projects, as well as the unaffected enthusiasm with which Gifford recorded them.

© Mia Johnson

  

 Mon, Feb 3, 2003