NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

WILD about Blue Mountain Birch Cove

goodnightsuzie2020Goodnight Suzie, by Shelagh Duffett, in WILD

Where there is landscape there is light.

The seam of searing yellow above midnight-blue trees in Mark Brennan’s painting Sunrise At Honeymoon Bog is visible from far across the room at the Chase Gallery,

Brennan is one of 10 artists in WILD, an exhibit in support of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s Save the Wild Blue Campaign for the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness. The show, at the Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Ave. at Robie St., runs to Feb. 28.

There are sunrises and sunsets aplenty and a riot of colour and pattern for the winter-weary viewer.

Works are as inexpensive as $15 in Melanie Fontaine’s haunting miniatures of blue cyanotype prints of macro views of patterns in trees, leaves, tall grass and feathers. They are as high as over $4,000 for large, detailed, old masterful canvases.

The artists are donating sale proceeds to Save the Wild Blue, a campaign to purchase 575 acres of private land at the heart of the 5,000-acres of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes protected wilderness area between Hammonds Plains, Timberlea and Halifax. The Nature Trust wants to buy the private land to connect two parcels of wild land to create a 12-km. wilderness corridor.

While most of the paintings are not specifically of this area, they are of lakes, birch trees, pines and expansive views – the type of nature one would see at this wilderness preserve.

GordMacDonald36x48The Choice to See by Gord MacDonald

This show includes wonderful realist landscape painting by Brennan; Gord MacDonald with one of his famous sunsets in The Choice to See; Anne Marie Spears, whose use of gold light and gold specks for leaves is engaging, and Timothy McGuire, a thoughtful, detailed, Impressionist-style painter.

His large, atmospheric landscapes of creeks in summer and winter are beautiful, subdued works with a depth of colour and variation of light.

timothymcguire2Winter Creek by Timothy McGuire

Three artists use a lot of pattern in depicting land and sky, Danny Abriel being the most intense with a striking palette. His painting of the famous Shubenacadie tree near Stewiacke places the tree in autumn reds against a clear blue sky. The grass is like a hooked rug with a mass of tiny pockets of colour in greens and yellows.

Suzanne O’Callaghan’s expressive, high-energy, semi-abstract landscapes are a riot of colour. Autumn Leaves is a like a stained glass mosaic of multi-coloured leaves against the lead came of tree trunks and branches.

Shelagh Duffett is fanciful and storybook with a strong sense of composition and play with foreground and background in her enchanting, brightly coloured, nature images. Her stars in the night sky have tiny dotted trails; her fireflies dancing above art nouveau flowers are lively spirits.

Duffett’s use of light is also very dramatic particularly in an image of the large wing of a crow coming in from the left against a golden sky above a sea of dappled blue and yellow.

Duffett’s vivid blues suits her neighbouring artist Kimberley Eddy’s series of stunning turquoise and darker blue, oceanic abstracts that gleam in colour beneath resin. Eddy suggests Caribbean waves on sandy beaches as well as shipwrecks in explosive watery depths of contrasting light and colour.

Lori MacDonald uses wood as the base for her delicate, exquisite etched landscapes. The  untouched wood becomes a fantastic sky for a lone pine tree.

The Nova Scotia Archives is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 to 4:30; Wednesday,
8:30 to 9; Saturday, 9 to 5.


Kimberley Eddy

suzanneocallaghan2Suzanne O’Callaghan


Mark Brennan 


Melanie Fontaine


Lori MacDonald


Danny Abriel


Anne Marie Spears

Categories: Uncategorized

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