From film to paint

Summer Series by Druh Ireland can be seen at Coquitlam
Summer Series by Druh Ireland can be seen at Coquitlam's Place des Arts.
— image credit: plaCE DES ARTS PHOTO

Two years ago, when work in the film industry scaled back in Vancouver, Lions Bay costume cutter Druh Ireland started painting full time in her home studio.

She had taken a few classes at Capilano University and at Emily Carr University of Art + Design but, for the most part, she was self-taught.

“I didn’t really want to learn to paint in the classical way. I didn’t want to get wrecked,” she said with a laugh.

So she began to experiment with oil and acrylic paints in an attempt to find her “voice.”

The results of what she calls her “fumbling around” can be seen in a new solo show, titled You Are Here, which opens Thursday at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

Ireland has 15 works on display, most of them abstracts measuring 40 by 50 inches each; she also included, at the last minute, three paintings of Marilyn Monroe’s face in the screening style of Andy Warhol.

You Are Here is Ireland’s first exhibit at the Maillardville gallery and her third solo show. A member of the North Shore Community Arts Council, Ireland has also participated in group displays in the Lower Mainland and in Kelowna.

She likes having her name out there and her work being seen. “Film work is a great, big collaboration and painting is all me,” Ireland said.

You Are Here can be interpreted in two ways, she said. “It’s my version of ‘I Was Here’.... This is me in my development as an artist and working toward my goals.

“But it’s also for the viewer in the gallery to look at the richness of the canvas and to bring them into a moment of consciousness.”

She added, “We all get very easily distracted. People need to take time out to enjoy what’s in front of them.”

• The opening reception for Druh Ireland’s You Are Here is on Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at Place des Arts (1120 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam). Other exhibits starting tomorrow are Talking to Strangers (multiple media by Bill Edmonds); Play (mixed media installation by Rachael Stableford and Marisa Pahl); and Shape and Shade (oil, acrylic and mixed media on canvas by Ximeng Guo). The art shows are up until Feb. 22.


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