The Old Courthouse Gallery is hosting “Kindred Spirits,” an exhibit that unites local artists with the Kamloops Photo Arts Club.
The artists all chose a photo taken by a member of the club to use as inspiration for their own piece. Some of the artists directly translated the photos into other mediums, like watercolour and ink drawings, only changing the scale an
d a few details. Others went in a totally different direction, making sculptures, scarves, necklaces and even dolls in reaction to the original photograph.
Most of the pieces are inspired strictly by the aesthetic. Two of the sculptors took a different approach, however. One sculpture was inspired by the nostalgia that seeing a clothesline gave the artist, reminding them of their childhood. The result is a small figure of a contented woman with her washing on her lap. Another artist chose a photo of some mushrooms in a forest and imagined that fairies were hiding underneath, which she exposed in a clay wall hanging.
While all the work on display is beautiful, it is these pairings that have the most actual impact because of the emotional connection to the initial photograph. The more creative interpretations, like the dolls and scarves, also steal some of the attention from the paintings and drawings.
The local connection is very evident in the display. Many of the works are of places easily recognizable to a local, and I recognized some of the jewellery as the product of regular vendors at the farmers’ market.
The fact that the artists had to really inspect the photos to find inspiration encourages the viewer to do the same, and details like lighting and perspective seem more important. Because most of the photos were taken in the area, it makes the viewer take closer notice of the landscapes they see all the time.
What this exhibition shows is the amount of artistic talent in Kamloops as well as how supportive the art community is here.
All of the art on display is for sale, ranging from $40 to $350, and will be in the Kamloops Arts Council main gallery in the Old Courthouse until Dec. 18.