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Margaretha Bootsma, Clearing, (2002), mixed media on board [Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, May 11-Jun 1]

Margaretha Bootsma: “Point in Time”

Bau-Xi Gallery
Vancouver May 11-Jun 1

Working with paint, sand, leaves, branches, dirt, photographs and corroded metal, Vancouver artist Margaretha Bootsma creates “landscape assemblages” that evoke odd feelings of déjà vu. This may be because her work traces and reconstructs the cycle of life, growth, decay and death inherent in all things including the landscape, the human race and objects crafted by people.

More than any previous series, Bootsma's new work suggests scenes of human activity despite its minimalist style. She has embedded photographs that read like landscape markers alongside painterly spreads with hints of geologic texture. The low-key colours and surface patinas impart a brooding feel to the settings. Stark tree lines, dark rusty ponds and winter skies emphasize both the ominous and the emptiness.

Intended or not, this work is more documentary in feel than metaphoric. It simultaneously conjures up images of the frontier; of vacant lots and crime scenes; of geologists and land surveys. Her careful placement of the simple elements of each piece seems studied, as if a message is intended. It is fascinating art.

© Mia Johnson


 Mon, Apr 15, 2002