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Art with weather in mind

“Weather Report: Watermelon Dreams,” by Les Linfoot, references midsummer, ripening and time the artist spent in north-central California.  - Contributed image
“Weather Report: Watermelon Dreams,” by Les Linfoot, references midsummer, ripening and time the artist spent in north-central California.
— image credit: Contributed image

If the New West Culture Crawl (Aug. 10-11) is on your radar, make sure you stop by the Amelia Douglas Gallery at Douglas College to check out Everyone Talks About the Weather, an exhibit of paintings by Les Linfoot.

With a name that will no doubt resonate with Lower Mainland residents, who love to talk (though “complain” might be more on point) about the weather, the show is composed of landscape paintings that do not so much represent specific places as depict the effects of weather, time and human history on the landscape.

“Weather, geography, history, human interaction—even philosophy—all define landscapes,” Linfoot says. “Our viewing of landscapes is a subjective experience, culturally conditioned, and it’s often the intersection between what is natural and what is culturally imposed that provides the point of entry into my paintings.”

Most of the paintings are presented as weather reports. Many contain simple icons of the kind published in newspapers—a cloud with slanted lines underneath representing rain, or little circles for snow.

Linfoot says he has always inserted references to weather reporting in his work, thanks to the many years he spent as a graphic designer for the Vancouver Sun, where he designed and assembled weather maps.

“Though each painting began with a particular location, they have, through referential layer, become more synthetic,” Linfoot says. “I want people to view my work and rethink the idea of landscape, of locating oneself in the geography of time and place.”

• Everyone Talks About the Weather is at the Amelia Douglas Gallery, Douglas College, 700 Royal Ave., Aug. 8-Sept. 6. See douglascollege.ca/gallery for more information.

Tamara Letkeman is a writer/media specialist with the marketing and communications office at Douglas College.

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