The Beauty of Mediums

The Beauty of Mediums

The Beauty of Mediums, written by Margit Nellemann

An important part of creative expression is the choice of one’s medium. The artist is the vehicle through which creativity emerges, and the medium allows one’s creative voice to be expressed, documented and shared - be the result a song, a film, a painting, a sculpting or any other performative or visual arts.

For me, this medium is clay. I was drawn to clay from an early age when I visited my aunt and uncle’s home and studio on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark. Both were ceramics artists, and their home vibrated with ideas, crafts and art. I felt an immediate kinship with their world. However, it wasn’t until years later that I had the opportunity to participate in a clay sculpting workshop. The connection between me and the clay was rekindled and this time I embraced it fully.

I have now worked in clay for over 30 years and my love and respect for this medium is as alive as it was when I first encountered it as a little girl.

I have thought about what expressive medium I would have chosen had I not fallen in love with clay, or if I had had to choose another medium out of necessity. Thankfully, as artists we have access to endless ways of creating and I am always intrigued when artists switch mediums. Moving from one medium to another connects the artist with diverse modes of expression. Each medium brings both opportunities and challenges and artists that are able to work in multiple mediums can access a more nuanced creative vocabulary.

In November, the Gallery at Westholme is featuring the works of two such local artists. Harriet Hiemstra and John Robertson both spent many years working as full-time potters; after retiring from clay, they switched to painting, collage, multi-media and sculpture.

Drawing inspiration from Cowichan’s natural beauty, Harriet has now found a new creative outlet with the help of a paint brush. Harriet’s paintings display a perceptive sense of colour and mood. Dreamlike figures, and striking naturescapes catch the eye of the viewer.

John, who also excels musically at the double bass, constructs enthralling sculptures by combining and reassembling an amazing array of found objects. Witt, whimsy, a keen eye for form, and a great imagination are the driving force behind John’s distinctive sculptures.

Visit the Gallery at Westholme during the month of November to view and enjoy the results of multiple mediums at work.

The exhibition runs from November 3rd – November 21st. Gallery open hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11-4pm.

Gallery Reception Thursday November 4, 6-8pm.

Meet & Greet the artists Friday November 12, 1-3pm


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