Beyond the Batholith: Writing Women Talk
Curated by Rod Taylor
As a painter who majored in English, Arin Fay has a hand in both the literary and visual art worlds. These portraits are a reflection of that dual interest, celebrating the achievements of women writers who live (or have at some point lived) in the Kootenays. They could also be seen as a personal affirmation of sorts, a connection she has made with women who face (or have faced) similar challenges to those encountered in her own creative practice.
Simple but expressive, the portraits are perhaps as much drawings as they are paintings. Despite their loose, gestural quality, the initial lines of the drawings have been retraced, burned into the surface using the much slower process of pyrography. Mechanical elements also float through the portraits, punctuating the fluidity of the lines and echoing her partner Brent Bukowski’s sculptural work. The portraits’ rendering captures likeness, while at the same time conveying something of Fay’s own surroundings and visual sensibility.
Although they have much in common, the literary and visual arts often exist in parallel worlds, with geography and gender at times creating further subdivisions. I think this exhibit not only offers us a connection between those two art worlds, but offers encouragement to anyone that toils in unlikely places in unlikely occupations.
The project – Beyond the Batholith: Writing Women of the Columbia Basin – endeavours to illustrate and elevate the artistic accomplishments of a very specific and important component of our cultural community – women writers. These women, literally (pun intended), form and inform the communities in which we live, and as such, function as Arin Faye’s new series of paintings features portraits of women authors from the Kootenays. Faye utilizes a unique combination of painting and pyrography (lines burnt in wood) to create playful, semi-abstract compositions. Through this project, Faye aims to expose and promote the artistic wealth in the region, and to counteract the historical marginalization of women writers within the canon of literature. She is also interested in raising awareness of the social and cultural issues that influence artistic enterprise, feminist and otherwise, and to take the time to recognize the value inherent is such an effort.bassadors of ‘our’ collective artistic acumen.
This series isolates a cross-section of ‘local’ women writers not only to expose and promote the artistic wealth that this region is privileged to possess, but also in response to the historical marginalization of women writers within the canon in general. An important goal of this project is to increase the public’s awareness of both the social and cultural issues that influence artistic enterprise, feminist and otherwise, and to take the time to recognize the value inherent is such an effort.
In 2014, Arin Fay joined staff of the Nelson Museum, Archive, & Gallery as Head Curator.