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Margaretha Bootsma: Dynamic Equilibrium

Bau-Xi Gallery
Vancouver BC thru Jun 19, 2004

Margaretha Bootsma – Tribute
Margaretha Bootsma, Tribute (2004), mixed media on panel [Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, to Jun 19]

Margaretha Bootsma uses her considerable photographic and artistic skills to confront us with images addressing the fragility of our natural environment. She is a visual archeologist who takes materials and objects from specific locations in order to build aesthetic references to them. Bootsma documents sites using photographs that she combines with materials found at each site, such as earth, branches, roots and possibly fragments of industrial metals. Then, in an intuitive manner, she applies more traditional studio materials like paint, wax and pigments to the work. The finished pieces are highly tactile and expressive.

Although she has been described as “an urban dweller in the heart of Vancouver”, Bootsma’s attention is on land that lies on the perimeter of urban activity: vacant lots, parks, undeveloped land and construction areas. Through art, she balances concepts of urban encroachment with the formal language of pictorial composition.

Margaretha Bootsma – Tree Spirit
Margaretha Bootsma, Tree Spirit (2004), mixed media on panel [Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver BC, through Jun 19]

In this new work, Bootsma focuses on the tree as a metaphor. Trees carry with them associations of the wilderness and of natural life cycles of growth, decay and re-birth. The images in Dynamic Equilibrium feature old-growth trees in dialogue with each other and with the sky. Titles such as Pondering the Sky, Sisters and Drawing the Sky position these trees as sentient beings in conversation with the elements of art and nature. The architecture of trees also serves as a drawing device that sketches negative and positive spaces.

Mia Johnson

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