Unlike painting and sculpture, there is no canon of great British Columbia drawings, no pantheon of master drawers. This has nothing to do with a lack of great drawings, but of a quiet yet persistent misconception that drawing is a preliminary activity in advance of more important media. But if there were a canon for great BC drawings, Ann Kipling would be well represented.
Born in Victoria, BC, in 1934, Kipling moved to Vancouver in the mid-1950s to study at the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design). In 1962 she and her husband, the sculptor Loenhard Epp, left the West End for the North Shore mountains, eventually settling in the North Okanagan-Shuswap town of Falkland, where Kipling has lived and worked for the past 40 years.
But it is Kiplings North Shore years that guest curator Robin Laurence has zeroed in on. For it is in Lynn Valley that, according to Laurence, the artist developed her highly distinctive drawing style, with its visual language of fine scrolls, swooping lines and energetic zigzags, dashes, crosshatches and concentricities. In 1965, after moving deeper into the mountains, Kipling advanced her style through experiments in plein air etching, only to abandon printmaking when she left those mountains in 1967. .