For her 8th solo exhibition, Vancouver artist Ann Goldberg presented a series of paintings exhibited at the Pendulum Gallery in downtown Vancouver displayed over the holiday season. The subjects primarily consist of Canadian perennial flowers.
The works include original oil paintings on canvas with photographs on Dibond (aluminum) and white framed inkjet premium paper. The pandemic isolation caused Ann to consider the human connection to flowers and, more broadly, the collective connection to nature.
She began to see anthropomorphic qualities in these flowers. Human emotions in these plants were revealed as the multitudes of tragic pandemic stories were reported. She observed these subjects in more detail than usual, with all her senses.
Colours, sounds (and silence), smells, and textures were all experienced with heightened sensitivity.
From the Artist Statement: Ann Goldberg
For my 8th solo exhibition, I present a series of paintings exhibited at the Pendulum Gallery in downtown Vancouver, BC. This is work uniquely influenced by the period of self-isolation and physical distancing necessitated by COVID-19 in the context of that difficult time.
As can be seen in the works for the show, the subjects primarily consist of Canadian perennial flowers, an inspiration born from the isolation enforced during the pandemic. The works primarily consist of original oil paintings on canvas, but also include photographs on Dibond (aluminum) and white framed inkjet premium paper.
Our current global pandemic has resulted in significant social and economic disruption. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear triggered and deepened emotional and mental health issues in many. Alcohol, drug use, insomnia, and anxiety were often an unfortunate consequence.
During this period of self-isolation and physical distancing necessitated by COVID-19, I began to find myself responding & connecting with nature; seemingly even more than with people. This exhibition presents my practice through my paintings in the unprecedented social context of this tumultuous time. I found artistic, social and environmental inspiration in isolation.
While isolating during the early part of the pandemic, I happened to be painting flowers for a previous show. This isolation caused me to consider the human connection to flowers and more broadly our collective connection to nature. I began to see anthropomorphic qualities in these flowers. Human emotions in these plants were revealed as multitudes of tragic pandemic stories were being reported. These revelations led me to engage with plants as a significant source of life, connection and inspiration. I observed these subjects in more detail than usual, with all my senses. Colors, sounds (and silence), smells, and texture were all experienced with heightened sensitivity.
These observations were given meaning and context by the Richard Powers novel “The Overstory”, which I was reading at the time. Powers uses his climate fiction novel to encourage us to reshape our thinking and give more energy and care to the natural environment. These thoughts were similarly advanced by works in Martin Roth’s 2019 NYC exhibition “At Home with A Garden”. His exhibition reinforced my intuitive belief in the power of plants as symbols of hope and healing.
But the works of Roth and Powers are not alone. “Flower Power”, “The Secret Life of Plants”, Theophrastus’ “Enquiry into Plants” and many other slogans, symbols and works have spoken to us throughout the decades and even centuries. All recognize the indelible connection between our two kingdoms, and their representation of promise and peace.
Like so many others, past and present, I take special comfort from this natural environment that we are all connected to, and that connects us to one another. These surroundings have gifted us a beautiful symbol of enduring permanence, the perennial flowers we are reintroduced to each spring. Their example provides hope and promise that we will make it through this difficult time connected to nature and connected with one another. Hope and promise for us, the ‘Perennial Canadians’.
To read further on the Practice and Technology involved in this exhibition, read the full Artist Statement on the Ann Goldberg website!