Wylie: Wave reveals the creatures within

Fate can have tricks up its sleeve…animals in her abstract shapes began to spontaneously appear.

Sea Song by Aunaray Carol Clusiau of Peachland at the Kelowna International Airport's departure area.

If you are flying out from Kelowna during this holiday season, leave yourself a bit of time to check out the latest in the series of six-month-long art commissions by the Kelowna Art Gallery at the satellite art wall space in the departures well-wishing area at the Kelowna International Airport.

The current work is called Sea Song, a 35-foot-long painting by Peachland-based artist Aunaray Carol Clusiau. The work depicts an enormous ocean wave of intensely blue water that puts one in mind of surfing, even if you have never tried that sport.

Clusiau’s original intention for this piece was to stop right there, and have the painting depict just a huge, powerful wave of moving water. This is the vein in which she normally works, whether painting rocks and water, or landscape—a kind of semi-abstract approach, without precise naturalistic detail.

However, fate can have tricks up its sleeve for us, and we can be humbled into accepting that we are not in control of our own destinies. So it was that when the gesso under-painting of the form, texture, and relief of the wave had been painted, before any colour was laid on, Clusiau began to spontaneously see animals in her abstract shapes. Much in the way we can pick out images of creatures or castles in cloud formations on a summer day, various animals began to make themselves rather forcefully visible to the artist. Fish, birds, a dolphin, even a mermaid and an empty canoe appeared, and Clusiau felt compelled to colour in their forms and give them representational life.

I think many people think of an artist’s time in his or her studio as relaxing and peaceful, even therapeutic—mixing their paints, dreaming their dreams, maybe some good music playing, what could be nicer? But those of us who have close friends or loved ones involved in a creative pursuit know otherwise—it actually can be extremely stressful. One is never sure of what one is doing, never confident that any given decision has been the right one. So the process of creating this painting was highly fraught for Clusiau, especially as it was such a departure from her usual work, and at such a huge scale.

No matter what you may think about the animals frolicking in the scene, the artist has demonstrated courage in rendering them.

Sea Song is a timely commentary on water use and the growing water shortage crisis currently being faced in many parts of the world, and which some predict will soon be a more pressing issue in the Okanagan. We may perhaps take water for granted for only a short while longer. All the creatures in Clusiau’s painting rely on water as their habitat. Will they continue to be able to do so?

Aunaray Carol Clusiau: Sea Song will remain on view at the gallery’s satellite space at the Kelowna International Airport until May 9.

 

Just Posted

Lake Country joins celebration of local government professionals

The district joined communities across the province by planting a new tree

Kootnekoff: Nervous about random drug testing?

Are you an employer with workers performing safety sensitive activities, but without… Continue reading

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Okanagan FC kicks off regular season Saturday night

OKFC starts their inaugural season of the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) in Penticton

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada forecasts thunder, cloud and rain for one more day

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Okanagan woman celebrates 101 years young on the back of a Harley Davidson

Last Saturday Violet Madeline celebrated 101 years. A member of the Lower… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read