FUEL: works by Gary Blundell

at the Clarington Visual Arts Centre
May 27-June 24, 2012

This past Sunday I attended the opening reception for Gary's work at the Clarington Visual Arts Centre located in beautiful downtown Bowmanville, Ontario.  The gallery is housed in what appears to be an old mill located next to a wonderful babbling stream.   Upon entering the gallery space you are confronted by Gary's vibrantly patterned large scale works of geological strata and patterns developed by the passage of time on the landscapes around us.  The work is invigourating, complex and filled with color.  

In a small side room off of the main floor space Gary is presenting a new series of work dealing with the aging process in meat.  The works are smaller in scale but just as complex in detail as the larger works.  The palate is fresh and appealing.  I spent a lot of time in this room before heading upstairs to the third floor space.

Entering the third floor space was it's own religious experience.  The room itself is fantastic with large wooden pillars and beams exposed and in some places still showing the remnants of the hundreds of birds that at one point made this their home.  Here Gary has presented his latest works based on the mining industry in Northern England.  Gary received a Canada Council grant to travel to England last summer and to explore the remnants of a once thriving mining industry laid waste by the Thatcher government.  These works will be a travelling exhibition in England in 2014.  The patterns presented represent the visual experiences of miners deep beneath the earth's crust.  The works are dark and moving.  The attention to detail from the wonderful musical soundscape which accompanies the work transports you to another time and another place.

I encourage you to make the trip to Bowmanville and to the Visual Arts Centre.  If you are looking for a weekend destination I recommend a picnic lunch outside the gallery by the stream...idyllic.  The Clarington Visual Arts Centre is located at:

143 Simpson Avenue,
Bowmanville, ON

The gallery hours are:
Mon-Fri  10 am - 5 pm
Sat  Noon to 4 pm
Sun 1 pm to 4 pm


FUEL: Gary Blundell at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

Pentimento Fine Art Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition of the latest works by Gary Blundell, FUEL at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington.  The opening reception is taking place this Sunday May 27, between 2 - 4 pm.  The show runs from May 27 through to June 24, 2012.  If you are looking for a way to spend a summer afternoon why not head east to Bowmanville and visit this exciting exhibition!


"The work of Gary Blundell reveals a life-long exploration of observed patterns in the landscape.  His paintings embody these patterns found in rock and earth, etched by countless eons of wind and rain, receding ice, and by the intrusive hand of man.  In his large oils, done on wood panel, it is the artist's hand that transforms material.  "I use a router to tear into my surfaces and acrylic plasters to build them up.  They mimic how the land is transformed over time by human activity."  The paintings exude rich and vibrant colour, pulled from the varied palette of the earth itself.  In a recent series of "Figure" paintings depicting hanging portions of locally raised or caught moose and deer, the artist equates the patterns and transformations of animal flesh to that of the earth.  As does the surface of the earth, the body erodes, deteriorates with time, eventually revealing the underlying structure of bone and sinew.
In May 2011, Gary visited numerous collieries in North and West Yorkshire, England.  He came to know the people, the miners who drew their life sustaining "Fuel" from the earth.  A remarkable series of "Coal" paintings resulted.  We see the patterns found at the feet of the miners, illuminated by their lamps as they wander the underground.  A trained Geologist, Gary completed an Hon. B. Science in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo.  He and his partner, artist Victoria Ward, live in a cabin in the woods near Gooderham, Ontario.  As seasons shift, snow and ice recede to reveal new patterns in soil and rock, a continual reformation; the artist's own backyard providing source material, "Fuel", for his creative vision."

This exhibition has been curated by James Campbell.

The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington
143 Simpson Avenue,
Bowmanville, Ontario