Former local teacher to open art exhibit at gallery

Meet artist and former Campbell River resident Marilyn Chapman on Thursday for the opening of her exhibit “Fragile Entanglement” at the Campbell River Art Gallery.

Marilyn Chapman’s exhibit “Fragile Entanglement” opens Thursday night at the art gallery.

Meet artist and former Campbell River resident Marilyn Chapman on Thursday for the opening of her exhibit “Fragile Entanglement” at the Campbell River Art Gallery.

Chapman now lives in Victoria and taught in School District 72 for many years. The exhibit was inspired by the extraordinary landscape of Vancouver Island landscape.

She sees the scrolls of rainforest foliage, weathered driftwood beaches, swirls of sea patterns and repetitive raindrops, and expresses the inner life that teems beneath the outward vision.

In Fragile Entanglements, Chapman steps inside the landscape to represent nature abstractly and organically. She lends an artist’s eye and a painter’s skill to environmental awareness. Using acrylics on large canvases, she explores the delicate co-existence of ecosystems and the interwoven, complex life systems we rely on.

“I paint in an organic, layering style where blankets of fluid, watery colour are built up on large canvases, superimposed with intricate patterns to represent nature’s delicate detail,” says Chapman. “The resulting abstractions are interwoven, interdependent environments.”

With our modern lives taking awareness away from our dependency on nature, we are often oblivious to the fact that we rely on complex life systems constantly working together at many levels: revolving universes, sunrises and sunsets, tidal ebb and flow, swirls of sea patterns; microcosms and macrocosms. This reality is an essential element of Chapman’s art-making process, calling us to see our role and responsibility within the complex whole.

When Chapman steps inside the landscape to record and represent nature, her journey reveals intricacies rarely acknowledged by the naked eye. Her contemplations unveil an elaborate convergence of organisms and forces and each piece reveals a dynamic, high-density whole.

Chapman’s art studies took place in Manitoba before she left the prairies for the West Coast. She has exhibited extensively in Vancouver and Victoria in numerous shows and tours, as well as in Studio Vogue in Toronto.

Chapman will also be working with local pupils once more – this time leading three school tours at the gallery to discuss her exhibition and take students through a printmaking exercise that will become part of a larger mural or sculptural installation in their schools aimed at increasing environmental awareness.

Thursday’s opening starts at 7 p.m.