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Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #6 with hand drill

Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #6 with hand drill (2014), watercolour on paper [Gage Gallery, Victoria BC, Dec 29-Jan 16]

Joanne Thomson: 300 Mason Jars

Gage Gallery
Victoria BC – Dec 29, 2015-Jan 16, 2016

Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #10 with Barking Dog

Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #10 with Barking Dog (2014), watercolour on paper [Gage Gallery, Victoria BC, Dec 29-Jan 16]


Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #71 with dandelion wishes coming and gone

Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #71 with dandelion wishes coming and gone (2014), watercolour on paper [Gage Gallery, Victoria BC, Dec 29-Jan 16]


Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #123 with cosmos

Joanne Thomson, Mason Jar #123 with cosmos (2015), watercolour on paper [Gage Gallery, Victoria BC, Dec 29-Jan 16]

Joanne Thomson is well known in Victoria for her watercolour works, especially the Bottled Series, which she describes as a way “to illustrate my frustrations with the human condition and … the habit of victimhood.” The Bottled Series shows humans either trapped in or escaping from bottles.

The paintings are simple in execution but profoundly affecting and hopeful. Joanne’s newest work, called the Mason Jar Series, is quite different in style, although the underlying themes of emotional pain and release from pain remain true. “I was about 50 when I learned of my grandfather’s suicide, ” she says. “… Scratching around in my family history … I found a life that I could not imagine, and recognized that it was my life I was exploring ’… [the way] my life has been influenced by the legacy of his suicide.”

This show will include 300 pieces with the mason jar as a central image, an homage to her grandmother, who, in the style of yesteryear, maintained an intense will to survive hardship. To date, Joanne has completed 140 small but beautifully rendered watercolours of canning jars. A large installation of jarred jams, jellies, pickles and vegetables – as well as a collection of family photographs and artifacts – will round out the display.

Christine Clark


 Sun, Nov 8, 2015