Nixie Barton/Katherine McLean:
Still Life On & Off the Wall

West End Gallery, Victoria
May 29 - June 13

Spring/Green Tableau (1997),
ceramic sculpture

SELDOM is an exhibit of work by two artists in two different mediums complimentary to the work of each. This joint exhibit of Katherine McLean's ceramic still life sculptures and Nixie Barton's vibrant paintings is such a unique exception that it would appear they have a muse in common.

Like majolica-ware gone Pop, McLean's sculptures of fruits, vegetables and flowers come off the wall and dominate decorative ceramic stools. They are exultant and buttery, infused with colour and three-dimensional detail. Barton, like McLean, is a Canadian artist whose work has been widely exhibited with high acclaim. Applying what she describes as "a wonky sense of composition," imagery partially rooted in forms taken from the extensive garden surrounding Barton's Vancouver Island studio falls in and out of the picture plane -- illuminated, clashing and dramatic.

Complementary as their work may be, this collection of still-life paintings, table-top tableaus and wall pieces represents only their second collaboration in seven years.

© Mia Johnson