“Reflecting Something Higher #1” Oil on canvas 30” x 60” Done in 1999. Our family’s summer place on St. Mary Lake, Salt Spring Island, B.C.

Brand showcases change art landscape in Oak Bay gallery

Explorations: Past, Present and Future is at the Gage Gallery to May 26

Kirsten Brand delves into her history and looks forward with Explorations: Past, Present and Future this month.

Brand’s artistic explorations began at an early age. Her parents were classical musicians and supported their daughter’s burgeoning creativity. They framed one of her first remarkable watercolours – painted at age five in 1950. The inscription, written by her father, praises “Kirsten’s awareness of colour and freedom of expression”. By age 16, Brand was conducting art classes at her Vancouver home.

“I’ve been painting my whole life thanks to my mom and dad,” she says.

Over the years she managed her art schooling alongside a nursing career and accompany her archaeologist husband on digs. Explorations begins with the year she finished Victoria College of art in 1981.

“It’s a transitional period because when I was at Victoria college of art I was painting very abstractly. I was greatly influenced by my teachers who were wonderful,” Brand says. “There was a point later on where I shifted into the landscape. My mom collected botanical specimens and loved nature and that’s where I shifted to.”

Her RV adventures through the desert were also part of a previous showcase at Gage.

“I’m quite fascinated by the plants themselves and travelling down to the desert just blew me away, looking at the plants there and how hearty they were,” she says.

As the title suggests, Brand also looks to her future in this Oak Bay show, with a look to local climate.

“The two future ones are Victoria blossoms, trees,” she says. “We live in such a gorgeous spot, it’s time to highlight our spot.”

Explorations: Past, Present and Future is at the Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave. to May 26.


 

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