Posts Tagged ‘Jo-ann Sheen’


May 5, 2012

This is our youngest gallery goer.  I think he had tasting on his mind!

He’s fascinated with the floor mats that Diana Durrand has contributed to this exhibition (Fort Gallery, April, 2012) on the theme of Packaging. Three artists, Durrand, Claire Moore and Jo-Ann Sheen have each explored current day packaging  with their different perspectives.

(The  press release was so well written that I am sharing it with you here. My comments on the show follow.)

It’s stuff we barely glance at before throwing it away: it’s the wrapping
around the real goods nestled inside, a nuisance factor in our daily lives that clogs
our recycling bins and landfills, a gorgeous distraction concocted by marketers to
lure us into the consumerist mindset.

For artists Claire Moore, Jo‐Ann Sheen and Diana Durrand commercial packaging in
all its gaudy, upscale, brash and crinkly forms has become the material of art in a
show called Package Deal at the Fort Gallery from April 18 to May 6, with a
reception April 21 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The three have approached their subject matter from different perspectives, but the
unifying theme is to find meaning beyond the obvious – and not so obvious –
commercial messaging in the plethora of package designs we are exposed to every

Moore bases her works on the interiors of ‘informal settlement shacks’ from the
1980’s and 90’s in her homeland of South Africa. The shacks were often wallpapered
with the print run ends from packaging manufacturers.
“I became curious about the ability of a label or packaging to elicit emotion,
sentiment and memory and to evoke a specific time and place,” she said. “The
ubiquitous and everyday becomes significant and meaningful, and in the plethora of
visual signs around us we create personal connections.”

Sheen, a printmaker, used a process called collagraphy to re‐contextualize discarded
packaging materials so we can stop to look at them in a new way. “I have taken these
discarded items and changed their context, examining their materiality in a different
form,” she said. “They have been rescued from the recycling bin and transformed
into two dimensional images.”

Durrand has unfolded a ubiquitous fast food icon – the Macdonald’s French fry box –
and juxtaposed that image with the gorgeous designs of 17th Century Japanese
kimonos. “A recurrent theme in my art is the discovery of beauty in ordinary, even
discarded things,” she said. “I explore the relationships between design and beauty,
function and art, intent and subconscious outcomes.”

The Fort Gallery shows contemporary work and is located at 9048 Glover Road in Fort Langley.
It is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.



Hardware Show II

March 18, 2012

It’s not too late! The Hardware show is still on at the Fort Gallery until March 25. It’s the greatest fun


 Electric rotating fan, brush, wire, metal scrubber and other hardware, approx 30 cm tall. Artist: Bob Wakefield .

Each member of our artists’ cooperative was allowed to spend up to $40 to purchase materials at the hardware store and then had to produce a creation for our Hardware Show. It’s the second we’ve had – the first was in 2009.

It’s always the most intimidating, worse than working with a blank canvas, because for most of us, it’s just out of our comfort zone. But the beauty is that we produce some pretty far out stuff, and it’s the most fun of our yearly group shows.

Here are some more of our creative geniuses and what they came up with:

Jo-Ann Sheen installing her “100 centimeter dash“.

Lucy Adams with her three dimensional Cityscape made from wire mesh, fir frame, paint colour chips.

Judy Jones with her sculpture including distressed pine stool, bucket, wiring, light bulbs

Kathleen McGiveron (ceramist) with her wire formed bird mounted on fluorescent painted plywood

Doris Auxier’s  terrarium filled with fiberglass and illuminated from within by with an LED light

Dorthe Eisenhardt with her floating worm made from dryer venting, yarns and paint rollers for antennae

Olga Khodyreva : White dryer vent and foam packing cloth (approx 48 x  60 inches)

Bette Laughy: marble tile collage

Kristin Krimmel’s “Jonah the paintbrush” or “A Red Herring” made from Styrofoam packing,  metal washers, paintbrush


Kristin Krimmel with her  foam sculpture (above)

The show continues until March 25th,Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. at the Fort Gallery 9048 Glover Road, in Fort Langley, B.C.

Pig Heaven – Diana Durrand and Jo-Ann Sheen

May 26, 2009

Diana Durrand Pigs 1 detail small

Where are the Pigs, Where are they? Diana Durrand Acrylic on Canvas detail

I was unable to attend the opening, so I marked the first day back from New Mexico on my calendar as a day to go to the Fort Gallery to see the Durrand and Sheen show. I was tempted by the happy pig faces by Durrand, grinning out at me from the invitational poster and the accompanying moody etching by Jo-Ann Sheen.  It took me longer to get there – I was not prepared for the various duties that awaited my return that ended up making me wait a day or two – but I got there on Friday afternoon after a hour-long wait at the Albion Ferry to Fort Langley. Thank goodness, the day was bright, warm and sunny.

Diana Durrand has worked on a theme of pigs triggered by her interest in the Hearts on Noses charity (based in Maple Ridge, B.C.) that rescues and rehabilitates  abandoned, unwanted,  orphaned, injured, abused or neglected mini-pigs.

Diana Durrand Pigs 1 small

Where are the Pigs, Where are they? Diana Durrand Acrylic on Canvas

From a distance, the nine happy pig faces looking out from the centre block of the largish square painting are the same ones I had seen on the invitation. They appeared to be surrounded by wallpaper of some sort, but on closer inspection, the wallpaper effect is made up of many, many pig bodies – the signature, side-on view – in Chagall-like detachment from any reference to the ground. They are upside down, down-side up, and many positions in between, floating on the canvas at all angles, really.  The brush strokes are direct; the layers of colour are subtle and rich.  Durrand is a painter’s painter. Yes, the imagery is quietly funny; the compositions are inventive; but for a painter, it’s the application of paint to canvas – the mark-making, the freshness that makes these paintings luscious, and dare I say, with this porky subject matter, tasty!

Pigs are considered one of the most intelligent of animal species – very close in brain matter to humans. Durrand mentions the contrast between the pigs she has met at the Hearts on Noses pig refuge, happy, able to roam, free within the confines of the property; and she compares them to factory-style pig farming where these intelligent animals never see the outdoors, cooped up in miniscule spaces while they fatten up for market.

Durrand Listening  small

The second large painting of note, Listening, illustrates three pigs with black background and stripes like zebra stripes contouring their shapes. The pigs seem to be enclosed behind bars, like in a cage or in a transport truck going to slaughter. The pigs listen intently to what is going on about them, ears perked and eyes alert.

Durrand Matisse Revisited small

Matisse Revisited, Diana Durrand, Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 16

The third large painting is another with a central rectangular canvas with a van Gogh-like picture of sunflowers.This is framed by a number of ochre canvas panels to complete a larger rectangle, then the total is framed by a simple  wooden frame. At first sight, it’s a copy of van Gogh’s work, but on careful consideration, the pig shape emerges, hidden amongst the pots and sunflowers. It’s a visual joke.

Durrand Klee Revisited small

Klee Revisited, Diana Durrand, Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 16

Which came first, the van Gogh or the Kandinsky, the Matisse, the Klee  or the Mondrian, is a moot point. Durrand uses the same pig form, a profile of the body shape, in each of several paintings where the apparent image from a distance, is a copy of one of these master’s paintings, but the pig emerges, is always underlying it.

durrand Joe the butcher 1

Joe The Butcher retired and took up gardening; Diana Durrand,  Mixed Media 10 x 16 inches

The third theme on our porcine subject is entitled Joe the Butcher retired and took up gardening. These images are mixed media, partly pastel, partly collage. The recurring pig-shaped profile now is the subject for infill with various flowers in colour harmony. The collage pieces are cut much like a diagram of a butcher’s diagram and in doing so, the patterned pig seems to be slightly more voluminous than  a simply flat shape.

I came away from these images with a smile. I liked the whimsical ideas, the historical references  and I admired the meticulous craftmanship.

On the opposite wall, there were five long panels of wood “cradles” which is a popular new support for painting. Topping each of the fifty two inch panels, separated by an inch or so,  are five smaller panels, the same width but eleven inches by sixteen. On each small panel, there is a charcoal drawing of a head. On the five long panels, there is a drawing mid-panel of hands expressing a particular mood.

Sheen panels small

Jo-Ann Sheen,  five wooden panels with charcoal drawings.

These works are filled with stillness, like five  nuns standing in a medieval austerity, although the faces are expressive and lively. Sheen is exploring the perceptions of identity, mirroring the soul of her subjects through their hand gestures and facial expressions.  Body language is not explored – the bodies that the heads and hands belong to are not there.

The remainder of Sheen’s works are complex psychological portraits (heads only) created through a layered process of etching, monotype printing and chine colle, a process of gluing very fine paper onto the etched paper whilst running the etching through the press.  This method produces beautiful surface qualities.

Jo-ann Sheen 3 small

Etching with chine collé by Jo-ann Sheen

The show ended on Saturday. A new one will be up on Wednesday, with the opening event for Betty Laughy happening on Friday the 27th of May. See you there!

BTW I looked up both Sheen and Durrand on the ‘Net to see what kind of web presence was available and to explore a larger body of their works. I only found one for Durrand, and I think you may enjoy it very much. This it it:

Note: Hearts on Noses is a Mini-pig Sanctuary, a non-profit organization in Maple Ridge, B.C.  that rescues, rehabilitates and cares for unwanted, injured, orphaned, abused, neglected and abandoned mini-pigs. Web address?