Just as water freezes and thaws, Destanne Norris’ artwork shows how both the earth heals itself, and how art can heal.
A passion for natural environment and the elements, especially mountains and water, is the source of the Vernon artist’s landscapes.
Currently showing some of the selected works from her Embodied Pool Series at Kalamalka Vertigo, Norris is also presenting a visual presentation entitled, Life, Nature, Art & Healing, at Gallery Vertigo Thursday.
In the presentation, she will encapsulate her journey and practice as an artist from her undergraduate days to her masters of fine art studies to the present day.
“Landscape and place, metaphor and symbol, embodiment and Romanticism are my research interests,” said Norris. “An over-arching theme in my landscape painting is the mirroring of inscape and landscape.”
The Embodied Pool paintings were completed as part of that phase Norris refers to as “inscape,” while she was completing her masters of fine art research project in Australia.
“Through my art, I have discovered the power art can play in self-discovery and healing,” she explained.
Originally featured in a group exhibition entitled, Propinquity and Distance: Self-Portraiture in Contemporary Painting Practice, in the Carnegie Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania in late 2004, the Embodied Pool paintings are traditional gestural works performed on shaped boards, which map Norris’ body as posture.
“These works articulate for the viewer various emotions which are transmuted into a range of marks, at times violent,” said Mary Pridmore, who curated the exhibition in Tasmania.
“Here we see the tangible evidence of painting as performative practice. Wild and brightly coloured paint squeezed straight from the tube but combined in complementary swirls creates a vortex in (the) Pool of Deception.”
Norris received her bachelor of fine arts degree (honours) in painting and drawing from the University of Victoria in 1987, and her masters from the University of Tasmania in 2009.
Her paintings have been exhibited in public, university and artist-run galleries, and are represented in numerous private and corporate collections, as well as being in the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Penticton Art Gallery.
She is represented by Gallery Odin at Silver Star Mountain and by Mountain Galleries in Jasper, Banff and Whistler.
Besides her exhibition at Kalamalka Vertigo, Norris has also been asked to participate in a three-person exhibition on the theme of water at the Penticton Art gallery, curated by Paul Crawford, this summer.
The exhibition at Kalamalka Vertigo, located at the Kalamalka campus of Okanagan College near the lecture hall, continues until Feb. 25.
Norris’ presentation at Gallery Vertigo, located at #1-3001-31st St., upstairs, downtown Vernon, takes place Thursday at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.