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Leigh Bridges: Hinterland

Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery
Vancouver BC – Nov 1-30, 2007

Leigh Bridges, Debris Shelter

Leigh Bridges, Debris Shelter (2007), oil and acrylic on canvas [Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery, Vancouver BC, Nov 1-30]

Hinterland by Vancouver artist Leigh Bridges is a series of oil and acrylic paintings from 10 inches to 5.5 feet in size inspired by her recent year living in Berlin. Drawing on art historical sources from 19th Century German romantic landscape painting to colour field abstractions, and with the ad hoc subject matter of her contemporary Etienne Zack and the high-key hues of photographer Greg Girard, Bridges carves her own visual territory with oddly littered landscapes and toxic colours.

Bridges’ paintings are “nominally representational” in the manner of manipulated Polaroid photos or surrealist dreamscapes. They are psychologically suggestive spaces with titles like Stump, Garbage and Flower, Debris Shelter or Sword, Shield and Arrow, where she plays with camping gear, star formations, ladders, huts, tents and sparse evergreen trees, all silhouetted against dramatic blooming skies. She hints: “Perhaps we are viewing a campsite (park), a children’s tree fort (backyard), or an isolated survivalist home (wilderness),” yet the work overall appears to allude to more transcendental experiences.

Leigh Bridges graduated from the University of Victoria with a Master’s in Visual Arts (2005) and from the University of Alberta with a B.F.A. (1994). Her paintings have a kind of visual and symbolic logic that is not immediately apparent but extremely tantalizing to decipher.


Mia Johnson

 Sun, Nov 11, 2007