Martina Edmondson is among the “new crop of artists that joined last year” at Gage Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue.
Gage collective members Edmondson, Gerald Fleming and Tina Fyfe explore Re-Connecting at the gallery this month.
Edmondson uses Eco print (botanical contact print and natural dyes/rust) on paper and fabric combined with nature finds: twigs, feathers, bones etc. These are made into three dimensional books and spirit figures as well as two dimensional wall pieces.
Fleming explores the idea in paintings in oil and watercolour while Fyfe’s work consists of imaginative explorations of nature in sculptural form, using a wire mesh coated in ceramic, giving these pieces an organic textured look.
Edmondson, is a Fairfield artist who moved here from Toronto two years ago
“I had to re-establish myself here and I though there’s no better way than an arts collective,” Edmondson said of joining the Gage co-operative last year. She was looking to connect with a new art network and “the Gage is the right spot to do that.”
Edmondson graduated Ontario College of Art and Design 2002 as a “mature student” and “never looked back,” she said.
She started drawing and painting, then was introduced to material art and design with ceramics, jewelry and textile to build into what she does now.
“I have in the past done things with spirit figures and I want to go back to that a bit. That always makes me think about my ancestors… thinking about hat and reconnecting with that makes you connect with your inner self with your own person.”
“When my grandson came to my studio the other day … he said ‘Oma your art doesn’t look like other people’s art’,” she said. “I do what I do, I like the way it looks. It’s interesting because it takes people aback a little bit.”
She takes her hand-dyed materials and introduces elements from nature for a three-dimensional work.
“I take the manmade stuff and I use nature’s bounty. I’lll take windfall, that’s leaves off the trees, and blossoms off the plant, feathers, sometimes I find a bone, acorns, any natural material – and I combine that with my paper or fabric,” she said. “This body of work evolved from looking at the textiles I had.”
The show featuring Edmondson, Fleming’s paintings and the ceramics of Fyfe hangs Monday, opens Tuesday and the artists greet guests for an opening Wednesday, Aug. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at 2031 Oak Bay Ave.
“I make the art because I feel like I have something to say, or I want people to see something in it,” Edmondson said. “I like it when people say ‘I see this in it’ and I hadn’t seen that. It’s not, as my grandson says, straight forward, regular art.”