Nancy Cole takes her journalism skills and applies them to art
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – Artist Nancy Cole was on a seven-week international residency in a remote and rural community dotted in the Serra da Estrela mountains of Portugal, when on her last night wildfires engulfed the area and killed more than 40 people.
“Sunday, the night before I was to leave I got caught in the wildfires and we literally had to run for our lives,” she remembered with a troubled look in her eyes as people paused over each one of her images hanging in the latest Eptek Art and Culture Centre exhibition called ‘Reveal to Conceal.’
“It made all of these pieces more important to me because it was no longer just a nostalgic look at rural Portugal, but now I don’t know if those people survived,” she motioned to a particular image of an elderly widow with a warmness attached to her eyes.
“This elderly widow was in a small village and was sitting on a dry stone wall wearing a traditional hat. She was lamenting that the village water at the top of the hill wasn’t good, but for her to carry the buckets back up to her home from the newer, better well was a weight too much for her to bear,” said Cole, who was in Portugal in Oct. 2017.
“I did a whole series where I put 44 red French knots on each of the portraits because 44 people died that one night when the wildfires broke out in that area where we were staying,” she noted.
“It made all of these pieces more important to me because it was no longer just a nostalgic look at rural Portugal, but now I don’t know if those people survived.” – Nancy Cole
Cole’s contemporary artwork is done on Tyvek, which is a brand of flash-spun high-density polyethylene fibers used to wrap homes in.
“My materials are part of the allegory for what I am creating. Tyvek is part of the art in that it’s an industrial housing product, but also artistically it gives the feeling of fragility because it looks like paper. All these moments that I am trying to capture are very fragile moments but also very tough.”
Every one of her pieces has a story behind the face that has been originally drawn by Bic pen while incorporating reflections of her journalism career, and then hand-quilted to the Tyvek.
“Journalism was a tough job, but I was always very drawn to the human interest story. As I grew older I began to realize that perhaps I could say better what I wanted through visual art.”
Cole took with her to Portugal at a Bic pen and a sketchbook, capturing moments that will forever be treasured.
“It’s being journalistic, but trying to do it visually,” she said as her eyes lit-up.
As people weaved their way through the creative pieces, some stopped to speculate on Becka Viau’s creative display.
“It’s called postpartum,” she motioned. “I did the series the year after my second child was born, but I tend to work in the abstract. There are real elements in my drawing you can notice like mountains, teardrops, and birds, but for me, it was a release of energy that leads to these drawing.”
The exhibition that opened on Sunday afternoon will continue until mid-February.
Nikki Gallant, the site director, said the exhibition would not be possible without the support of Innovation P.E.I. Culture Action Plan.
this town is small presents an exhibition of new work by Nancy Cole consisting of hand quilted textiles and BIC pen drawings. On view at Receiver Coffee Co.’s Victoria Row location from May 17 through June 20.
This exhibition series is generously supported by Innovation PEI through the PEI Culture Action Plan.
Nancy says about the work:
“I arrived at the international residency in rural Portugal, October 2, 2017. The first two weeks were filled with exploring, interacting and drawing the beautiful people of the area. We travelled the narrow, winding roads up into the high mountains discovering tiny villages with few inhabitants. Experiencing the culture of an area virtually unchanged was cathartic and had already supplied me with a wealth of material.
Sunday, October 15, was an eerie day with restless farm animals, a red sun and ash showers from distant fires fell like flakes of snow. It hadn’t rained since June. We joked about Armageddon. We could hear the wailing of distant fire sirens and the undulating mountain horizon glowed red.
I settled into a restless sleep. Fires broke out at 2:00 am in the village. I awoke to the screams of the villagers. When I looked out the window of my room, the smoke was as thick as a Nova Scotia fundy fog. I could see sparks skipping through the murk. The wind was ferocious. My fellow artists were scrambling. I grabbed tea towels and tablecloths and soaked them in water to wrap around our heads. As I waited for the others in the courtyard, I saw the flames and live embers bouncing along the narrow, cobblestone lane. I couldn’t wait any longer and ran. My plan was to head to the church. Embers brushed my legs and burdened with my sketchbook and laptop, I told myself, quite frankly, that I was going to die.
I made it to the village square. A steady stream of cars was leaving the area. My instinct was to flee but none of the cars would stop. I hooked up with my fellow artists and we huddled together with our heads wrapped in the wet cloths. Londoner Liam, 22, kept asking if we were going to die. I said I didn’t know. I found a house with a large, in-ground swimming pool and we settled near the pool. The fires raged all around us. Houses burst into flames as the incendiary gas bottles exploded. The villagers were all stunned into silence. We waited for hours. No fire trucks arrived, no alarms, no emergency measures, just a few of us huddled, waiting and wondering. I sent an SOS to Global Canada so at least I could be found.
The 500+ wildfires destroyed 1/10th of western Europe’s forests. The mountains around Coimbra were a scorched badland. Forty-four people died that night. Three people perished when they fled by car and got caught between two uncontrolled fires. Countless others lost their homes, livestock and crops. This area is populated with poor, subsistence farmers and the lack of a comprehensive census means Portugal may have lost so many more than officially recorded. I am tormented knowing that perhaps the lovely, old mountain couple that welcomed us into their home and offered us bread, wine and cheese, may not have survived. The images I took of the people and the bric-brac inside abandoned houses is perhaps the only and last record of what was once. “
The 2018 CARFAC Maritimes Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday June 3rd at the Fundy Geological Museum, 162 Two Islands Road in Parrsboro from 12:30 to 2 pm.
From 3:30 to 4:45 an information session will be offered on Artists’ Copyright, Tax issues, Artists Resale Rights, etc. Guest speakers are Susan Tooke (NS), past National and Maritimes president as well as Duncan MacDonald (NB), Treasurer and accountant.
From 5 pm to 6 pm, all artists are invited to a Meet and Greet at the Black Rock Bistro, 151 Main Street, Parrsboro.
Admission is free to all events, however, kindly register here.
Galerie Assomption / Assumption Gallery
Rue Main, Moncton
Artiste GEORGETTE BOURGEOIS
Présente du 1 mai 2018 au 30 juin, 2018
Presenting from May 1strd 2018 to June 30th, 2018
collection « L’ACADIE CONTEMPORAINE DU GRAND MONCTON »
« Assomption Vie et rue Alma »
You are cordially invited to the opening of my exhibition “Rencontre primordiale / Primordial Encounter” at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre, West Gallery, on April 13 from 5 to 7 PM. This series was inspired by my artist residency in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2015.
Please drop in to see the show between April 13 and May 18 if you are not able to come to the opening!
Here is an excellent introduction to the show:
I have added three new works to the series shown last spring at Gallery 12 in Moncton.
In addition, as a finalist for a Prix Éloize (artiste visuelle de l’année), I will participate in the Éloize exhibition at the Arts Centre in Edmundston, NB from May 02 – May 06. This nomination is in recognition of the same “Rencontre” series. I will be showing “Fonte glacière” from the original series as well as “Chutes glaciaires” a recent, large format diptych created for the occasion.
Have a great day,
Barbara Safran de Niverville
(506) 387 – 5911
Gracieuseté Nicole Haché
La conjugaison des êtres
Vernissage 7 mars 2018, 17h
à la Galerie d’art du Capitol à Moncton N.-B. (Canada)
en montre jusqu’au 26 avril 2018
(Moncton, 28 février 2018) — Le public est invité au vernissage de l’exposition La conjugaison des êtres, de l’artiste visuelle acadienne Nicole Haché dans la Galerie d’art du Capitol de Moncton N.-B. (Canada)le mercredi, 7 mars prochain à 17 h.
La conjugaison des êtres se centralise sur l’environnement social et les relations interpersonnelles en se rapprochant de l’individu pour s’interroger sur l’essence de l’être et la mécanique des comportements sociaux.
La démarche porte sur les habitudes sociales, en sondant l’influence des médias sociaux sur l’individu et en examinant le rôle prépondérant qu’ils jouent dans les relations interpersonnelles au sein des sociétés modernes.
Cette série d’œuvres prolonge la recherche de Nicole Haché sur la nature et la qualité du lien qui unit les humains. Dans une société où les médias sociaux s’immiscent dans notre quotidien et deviennent l’intermédiaire qui permet d’établir des connexions tout en prônant l’individualisme, l’artiste appelle à l’intériorité retrouvée, à l’authenticité et au rapprochement. À quoi rimerait la vie sans regards échangés, sans dialogue sensible, sans vraies rencontres? À quoi ressemblerait l’avenir dans un monde virtuel qui ferait fi du corps et de l’âme?
L’essence d’une vie se trouve peut-être dans les rencontres, provoquées ou impromptues, des gens qui gravitent autour de nous. La conjugaison des êtres est donc plus qu’une invitation à la communication, mais une sensibilisation à l’importance de relations interpersonnelles authentiques et tangibles.
Originaire de la Péninsule acadienne, Nicole Haché a une soixantaine d’expositions à son actif, dont une vingtaine en solo. Une dizaine de prix et de reconnaissances ont déjà souligné la qualité de son travail. L’artiste et ses œuvres acquièrent une reconnaissance grandissante à l’international : son travail a été exposé dans plusieurs pays au cours des dernières années notamment en France, en Espagne, en Italie, en Belgique, en Égypte, en Afrique et à New York.
L’exposition La conjugaison des êtres de l’artiste Nicole Haché débute le mercredi, 7 mars et sera en montre à la Galerie d’art du Théâtre Capitol au 811, rue Main à Moncton jusqu’au 26 avril 2018. L’entrée est libre.
Renseignements, images ou entrevues
Nicole Haché : email@example.com / (506) 724-1778
Geneviève Maltais, Théâtre Capitol : (506) 383-6711 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Caraquet NB Canada
1-506-726-9008 (de l’extérieur du Canada 00 1 506 726 9008)
Octopus Garden by Mary Jane Lundy
Join us for an opening reception on Tuesday, March 6 from 6-8pm at the McCarthy Gallery (NSCC Truro Campus, 36 Arthur Street, Truro). With 20 artists participating, a wide variety of media and styles will be represented. Two prizes will be awarded by a jury, but one prize is up to you! The People’s Choice Award will be decided by votes cast during the time the show is open, so make sure to come and vote for your favourite sculpture! The show will run from March 6-28 during regular hours at McCarthy Hall, from 8:30am to 4pm.
Please visit the Department of Canadian Heritage’s website for details. Click on link below.