Exhibitions | “Birch Poems”
Teresa Posyniak - “Birch Poems”
April 19th to 21st, 2012
Please join us for an exhibition and sale of
Teresa Posyniak’s latest series, Birch Poems.
An opening reception will be held
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 6-8pm
Artist in attendance.
Refreshments by Classic Catering and Wineboy.
About Birch Poems:
There is a magnificent weeping birch in Teresa Posyniak’s backyard. For over twenty-six years, it has filled the bay window of her kitchen – a steadfast companion and witness to her family’s life. “It has grown with me and my family. My kids have climbed it. I have climbed it.”As this beloved tree approaches the end of its life cycle, Posyniak’s engagement with it has become more urgent and personal. Birch Poems represents the artist’s emotional and wistful meditation on her tree. Each work is a detailed view of one aspect of the tree, the larger whole represented in one magnified part set against the vibrant blue of the sky. Seen up close, the tree bark reveals the traces of its life journey in black scratches, parallel striations and irregular marks on its smooth white skin. In their intimacy and verticality, these tree paintings seem more like portraits than landscapes. Posyniak does not show the tree in the context of a copse or as an element in a broader view. Nor does she depict the birch in its entirety. Instead, the tree fragment, cropped at the top and bottom, is seen in isolation, yearning in its upward reach. Each cylindrical form is massive and volumetric, creating an emphatic tactile presence, presented in beckoning proximity. There is no foreground to anchor the viewer’s position. Instead, the vantage point seems to be from a point suspended between ground and sky. This spatial ambiguity contributes to a sense of dynamic tension that is enhanced by the diagonal trajectory of a single tree trunk, or by the overlapping intersection of two or more branches. Paradoxically, this movement and energy co-exist with an overriding sense of timeless, sun-bathed serenity.
Posyniak studies her subject intently and makes no preliminary drawings before marking the surface. When she is ready, her approach is spontaneous and bold as she first applies black ink in swift, confident and fluid strokes. Then she adds colour in oil and pastel to create solid forms, elusive cast shadows and high tonal contrasts. Her approach to the tree is very similar to the way in which she painted nudes and indeed she considers these works to be essentially figurative. Characteristically, the lyrical and evocative tree paintings, like her earlier nudes, suggest a more profound dimension that transcends surface beauty and materiality. (Monique Westra)About The Artist
Calgary artist Teresa Posyniak was born in Regina in 1951. She brings to her art an incredibly versatile professional training that includes different disciplines and a wide range of materials. She has degrees in literature and drama; a BFA in printmaking and painting and an MFA in sculpture. Over the course of her thirty year career, she has worked with materials as diverse as steel, wood, silk, handmade paper, felt and oil. Her art has evolved from bold installations to paintings of tremendous sensitivity and beauty. Posyniak is best known for her work with encaustic, using hot beeswax to create rich, sensual surfaces that incorporate textures, drippings, splatters and layers of tinted, glowing colours. This is an extremely difficult medium demanding great skill, dexterity and speed. Posyniak has always been a socially engaged artist and her activism, primarily on behalf of women, children and the environment, informs her practice. In essence, Posyniak’s paintings deal with the human condition; her nudes are emotional, raw and layered in meaning. Notable among her works is Lest We Forget, 1994, a large scale sculpture dedicated to murdered women, which is permanently installed at The Law School at the University of Calgary. Posyniak’s oeuvre also includes culturally sensitive portraits of women. Consensus is a recent series depicting Blackfoot women, a unique collaborative project with Elder Linda Many Guns.
Posyniak has taught in the Art Department of the University of Calgary and at the Alberta College of Art + Design. A recipient of many awards and grants from the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments as well as The Canada Council, Posyniak is represented in many private and public collections, including the Glenbow Museum, The City of Calgary Civic Art Collection and The Alberta Foundation for the Arts. (Monique Westra, 2012)
2115 - 4th St. S.W. Calgary, AB T2S 1W8
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00a.m. - 5:30p.m.
Tele: 403.245.2064 1.866.245.0616 (toll free) Fax: 403.244.1636