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

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

Immigrant finds Kelowna job market challenging

Pearl has a Master’s Degree in Finance and was able to find work through KCR

Okanagan Eats back for another year

Okanagan Eats features vendors, chef demos, and so much more. This isn’t your average food show.

Kelowna landfill flooding

The ground is soggy at the Kelowna landfill

Open letter to Premier John Horgan

LETTER: Group called First Things First Okanagan promotes action on climate change

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Salmon Arm RCMP arrest one male on child pornography charges

Search of Canoe residence leads to seizure of computers

Letter: We need a parity electoral system

I suggest that it’s high time we consider a system based on a synthesis of available data

Most Read