While I was out gallivanting in the Ottawa Valley this past weekend, I missed one of my favourite annual events. I’m not referring to the 1,000 Islands Music Festival, rather the 28th annual Women’s Art Festival Kingston, which took place last Sunday in City Park. Over the years, this event has grown to showcase the work of over 200 female artists in our community. The rain or shine festival attracts large crowds, while a portion of all sales is donated to local women’s groups including: Childbirth Kingston Inc., Dawn House Women’s Shelter, Anorexia and Bulimia Association of Kingston, and many, many more.
After undertaking Kingstonist-related projects such as keeping the calendar up to date with what’s going on in our local galleries, as well as following Kingstonians via Twitter, I’ve come to realize that this city has an amazing art scene. Hence, with all the new talent I’d discovered, the fact that I couldn’t attend the festival was extremely disappointing. Rather than wait for the 2010 festival, I decided to contact a few local female artists, starting with my faves, to see if they’d be willing to let Kingstonist exhibit some of their work. I immediately got a positive response from Celia Piper, a graduate of Q.E.C.V.I., and past winner of the Royal Canadian Legion Annual Poster Contest. You can read more about her background, and inspiration on her website. I was immediately drawn to Celia’s work titled ‘Media Lies’ (displayed above), which she describes as follows:
Research shows how ongoing exposure to certain ideas can shape and distort our perceptions of reality. The media eye, in its many different forms, objectifies all of us. The result? Many of us begin to objectify ourselves. “Media Lies” is a body of work that explores the female body image, through my own personal confessions and the experiences of the women in my life. In these drawings I have broke away from my traditional medium and color palette, and through the use of blacks, grays and whites I deconstruct and reveal the dark, lonely and sometimes embarrassing moments that many woman face as well as our responses to these tumultuous times. By layering different drawing mediums including pencil, pastel, india ink and charcoal I try to create visual intrigue. Integrating unique pattern, ambiguous symbolism and sometimes collage, these works on paper still contain my usual style and methods that I often use in my canvas paintings. When people see “Media Lies”, specifically woman, I would like them to realize that by examining these external pressures, I can only hope that woman can begin to love themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin, because one of the most radical things a woman can do is love her body.
Truly awesome! Be sure to check out the rest of her portfolio, and stay tuned for more work from exhibitors in the Women’s Art Festival. By the by, if there are any local artists you’d like us to feature, drop your suggestions off in the box below.