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Deon Venter, Landing #2

Deon Venter, Landing #2 (2004-2012), charcoal on paper [Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring Island BC, Jun 1-30]

Deon Venter: Midden: Charcoal and Oil Wash Drawings

Duthie Gallery
Salt Spring Island BC – Jun 1-30, 2014

For those who have contributed to one, a midden is little more than a garbage dump. For the archaeologist, it is a record of what people ate. For artist Deon Venter, it is both a metaphor and a method. “Drawings and paintings are like an artist’s midden. [They are] the detritus, bones, shells, history – often discarded yet formulating the final composition of the work.”

Now a Salt Spring Island resident, Venter emigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1989. For the past 14 years, he has maintained a ferocious creative pace. His paintings are represented by numerous galleries and exhibited across three continents. It is his most recent drawings and paintings of harbours, ferry landings and vineyards common to BC’s Gulf Islands that form the basis of his current exhibition.

Venter, whose materials and style bring to mind a tidier, less inverted version of fellow South African William Kentridge, works with an awareness of the grid. Though that grid is less explicit in his new works, such as Dolphins (2003–2012) and Tree (2004–2012), it is nonetheless apparent in the perspective precision of these pieces – set in place there like an archaeologist lays down a grid in advance of an excavation.

Michael Turner

Deon Venter, Dolphins

Deon Venter, Dolphins (2003-2012), charcoal on paper [Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring Island BC, Jun 1-30]

Deon Venter, Tree
Deon Venter, Tree (2004-2012), charcoal on paper [Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring Island BC, Jun 1-30]

Deon Venter, Mia Seated
Deon Venter,Mia Seated (2012), charcoal on paper [Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring Island BC, Jun 1-30]


Deon Venter, Landing #4

Deon Venter, Landing #4 (2003-2012), charcoal on paper [Duthie Gallery, Salt Spring Island BC, Jun 1-30]


 Fri, Jun 6, 2014