Barbara Milne

Atelier Gallery, Vancouver
April 26 - May 10

Poppy III (1997),
oil on panel

BARBARA MILNE is a Calgary painter known for her small oil-on-panel landscapes. She has a distinctive soft-focused style that is reminiscent of dark passages and moody weather.

Her painted landscapes can almost be described as "mediums" in the spiritualist sense, since they appear to act as intermediaries between the visual environment and the other-worldly forces of nature.

In her latest work, Milne moves more directly into symbolist territory. Her mystic landscapes have dematerialized into shadowy background spaces. Single flowers or other botanical objects are centered in the foreground of the pictures and are more realistically rendered than her earlier content. These simple, unexpected garden specimens underscore a sense of nature as both fragile and foreboding: it becomes a presence that seems poised between the domesticated and the untamed. While these works are less ethereal than other recent imagery has been, they are definitely provocative.

© Mia Johnson