Worlds of visual art and poetry merge in exhibit at Purple Deer library

Ora Sawyers

The connections among poetry, painting, mother nature and humanity are explored in the hottest artwork exhibit at the Kiwanis Gallery in Pink Deer.

Mary’s Environment is a display of paintings by area artist Carol Lynn Gilchrist that were encouraged by the poetry of Mary Oliver.

At any time since high university, Gilchrist has admired the late American Pulitzer Prize-successful poet, who utilized all-natural imagery to ruminate on the human experience and our place in the globe.

“I experience a kinship with her prose. While her language is phrases and mine is paint, we are both equally unapologetically inspired by nature, and in awe of the wondrous environment at our toes and fingertips,” writes Gilchrist in her artist statement.

Oliver, who died at age 83 in 2019, had a existence-long enthusiasm for going for walks in the woods. Gilchrist said she also has a every day pattern of walking outdoor amongst trees and together streams. “Whenever I need to have peace, I hear her voice in my head. And it seems like my voice too,” claimed Gilchrist.

Oliver turned North America’s best-selling poet since her operates are available: “You really do not want a Master’s degree in literature to uncover out what she has to say,” said Gilchrist. “She speaks with an authentic voice about cycles of character, delivery, dying, rebirth, the cycles of the moon, about trees, clouds, water….all of the issues that we, as people, really do not often take observe of.”

Sprinkled throughout the mother nature descriptions are the poet’s views about the human affliction, typically making use of the out of doors environment to attempt to remedy common thoughts — like who or what is God?

Oliver’s poem Pay attention to the River has inspired Gilchrist’s same-titled portray of herself sitting in a stream. The words that sparked the artwork are: “I don’t know who God is accurately, but I’ll inform you this. I was sitting down in the river named Clarion…and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking…. Mentioned the river, I am element of holiness. And I way too said the stone, And I as well, whispered the moss beneath the water.”

Like Oliver, Gilchrist hopes, by her artwork, to also make viewers prevent, ponder and sense.

Amid the other portraits that had been motivated by Oliver’s poems is Wild Geese (portrait of Karen as a youngster.) It demonstrates a 1950s or ’60s little one with an adult’s hand on her shoulder, conveying the exact weight of anticipations as is prompt in Oliver’s Wild Geese poem.

But the poet pushed again against these expectations by writing “You do not have to be great. …. You only have to let the comfortable animal of your body love what it loves…Whoever you are… the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, severe and enjoyable — in excess of and about saying your place in the spouse and children of factors.”

Gilchrist runs Riverlands Studio and Art Gallery in Red Deer and has had artworks in various solo and group exhibits. She commonly paints instantly on scene, outside, and so feels this exhibit was liberating. Even though some reference photos were being made use of, as needed, most of her imagery sprang straight from her creativeness. Her paintings also incorporate a lot more abstract features than her preceding, strictly sensible works.

Right before setting up out on each canvas, she go through the poem and jotted down some meaningful traces. Gilchrist writes in her statement that, like Oliver, she is “engaged by all those numinous intersections of the self and the purely natural globe, those people meetings in the woods and by the ponds, which engender a perception of reverence and awe.”

The Mary’s World show will keep on showing right up until Aug. 27, in the Kiwanis Gallery operate by the Purple Deer Arts Council, downstairs at the Purple Deer General public Library. A Very first Friday reception will be held July 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with an artist speak at 6:15 p.m.

Visual Arts


Mary’s Planet, an show of art by Carol Lynn Gilchrist, as motivated by poet Mary Oliver, is showing at the Kiwanis Gallery, downstairs at the Purple Deer General public Library. (Contributed graphic)

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