Thu, 24 Mar 2016 — Sat, 7 May 2016
Reception: Saturday April 2, 1-4 pm | Artist Talk at 2 pm
Calgary-based artist Teresa Posyniak creates beautiful textured paintings and sculptures which explore themes of vulnerability and resiliency in nature and contemporary society. Her latest series draws attention to plankton, a diverse group of marine organisms that are responsible for producing over half the earth’s oxygen, but whose well-being is threatened by human activity. In her own words:
My childhood fascination with “things microscopic” resurfaced about ten years ago when my friend and science journalist Alanna Mitchell shared her research and images of plankton with me while working on her international bestseller SEASICK: the Global Ocean in Crisis. I was struck by the fact that plankton produce more than half the earth’s oxygen through photosynthesis (the conversion of sunlight to carbon-based food) putting oxygen into the air as waste from the chemical reaction. Although these “sun-eaters” keep us breathing, their well-being is being threatened by human activity.
It wasn’t just the science that intrigued me. As an artist, I am fascinated by these beautiful creatures ranging from microscopic marine viruses and bacteria to single-celled plants with stunningly ornate shells, and plant-eating animals.
As I embarked on this ten year journey to create this series of paintings and sculpture, I thought about the myriad ways that pattern is enmeshed in our existence and how the tapestry-like qualities in these almost invisible creatures and plants are echoed in the macroscopic world – architecture, decoration, lace, flowers, trees, skin, clouds, stars – the comparisons are limitless.
Both artists and scientists are keen observers of life. Science has inspired me to expand my artistic vision to another realm, a world that I yearned to see as a child.
Posyniak holds degrees in literature and drama as well as a BFA in painting/printmaking and MFA in sculpture and is an avid advocate for women, children, and the environment. Over the course of her 34-year career, she has worked in materials as diverse as steel, wood, concrete, handmade paper and felt, oil and encaustic to create everything from room-sized installations to intimate drawings. Her work has been exhibited widely in private and public galleries, including a solo show at the Glenbow Museum in 2010.