July 25 to August 26, 1991
Since the 1960s, there has been a proliferation of movements which is unprecedented in the art world. No single way of working dominates any longer and never have artists been faced with such openness and such a wealth of possibilities.
Harry Stanbridge has taken up the challenge. Technically, he has drawn upon the past, yet he has created unique works infused with the power and integrity of his personal convictions.
Wash after wash of thin paint allows for a subtle blending of colours that appear to glow from within. His sensuous use of colour evokes an illusion of expansive space and depth. The lines and shapes across the surface assert the picture plane, behind which lies infinite space.
The “sticks” suggest shamanistic or ceremonial objects which become symbols when related to the infinite space of the background. They float across a surface that seeks to have an internal light. The configurations Stanbridge creates may symbolize many things: the trinity, the crucifixion, the tradition of early Christian numerology, the even more ancient concept of foretelling events from the random patterns created by tossing sticks or bones.
Stanbridge’s highly confident technique achieves a spiritual dimension which is remarkable in our aggressively materialistic and worldly society. His work acknowledges the effect of his orthodox Christianity, the result of a profound experience some years ago.
The colours and style create a tremendous range of emotion and sensation. For the interactive viewer with time to look, they can be a richly satisfying experience – a reminder that there is order beyond man.
Nicholas Tuele, chief curator of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, describes these large yet intimate paintings as “meditative devices or windows, through which the participating viewer can attain understanding.” There is a stillness and inner calm in the works which will stimulate the receptive viewer into quiet reflection.
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