BONE WIND FIRE SERIES
MADRONA GALLERY SHOW – January 17 – 30 2015
This series of paintings is based on imagery from the artist’s award winning film ‘BONE WIND FIRE’. They act as portals into the worlds of iconic artists Emily Carr, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe. Sharpe’s work as a filmmaker and artist has been presented in major galleries around the globe including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Education Annex, Dulwich Picture Gallery, McMichael Collection of Canadian Art, Museum of Fine Art (Boston), Musee des Beaux Arts (Montreal), Lincoln Center (New York) among others.
This show is the result of my seven year journey researching the lives and art of these three great painters. I began painting at the age of 13 and remember fondly my family’s annual pilgrimage to the McMichael Gallery outside Toronto where I first experienced Emily Carr’s work. I have spent most of my life as a documentary filmmaker with a passion for painting. However when I came across Sharyn Udal’s book “Carr, O’Keeffe & Kahlo – Places of Their Own” I felt I had found the ideal material to finally combine my passions and experiment with film as a large canvass. In conceiving the film I sifted through 6,000 journal pages and thousands of paintings, to create a film entirely from the women’s own words. I was most curious about their emotional relationship to the creative process – from birth to death. And so the film “Bone Wind Fire” is really an homage to every artists journey in a mythical sense. In this new painting series, I’ve drawn on moments I created in the film for inspiration. I’m curious about the ‘in-between space’ – transitions. What appears as solid is one thing, and what is going on underneath the surface – another. In a sense I too pass through three worlds in their making. Not simply through three lives – but through three temporal realities. My process started with an exploration of the women’s internal/external landscapes deciphered from their paintings and words. Using dramatic techniques and animation, a moving painting was created for the big screen that synthesized the material. And now in the painting series, I work from 1/30th of a second to distill a moment back into paint.