Amazing Grace: Martha Varcoe Sturdy's "Breaking"

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dillon Ramsey for Monte Cristo Magazine: Throughout Canada, one of the first signs of spring is the thawing of the ice; what was once an essential element in the wintery landscape turns ephemeral, evanescent, and after a gradual process of melting by day and freezing again by night, eventually the ice is gone. And though Vancouver typically is among the first of Canadian cities to welcome mild springtime weather, winter seems late in leaving the Winsor Gallery as Martha Sturdy slows the seasonal transition and asks her audience to slow with it, to take a moment, take a breath, and take it all in.

This mindfulness is at the heart and soul of Sturdy’s “Breaking”, a mixed media series that invokes the world’s natural beauty and is not only inspired by ice, but inspires through ice. A quiet calm comes from the contemplation of this phenomenon; where once there was water, suddenly there are crystals, and though they shimmer like glass shards in the light of the sun, they are also fated to vanish by that very light, leaving no trace save for water’s silvery sheen. It could almost be miraculous, if it wasn’t so common. And that is the crux of Sturdy’s exhibition; her work elevates the simple, elemental elegance of the natural environment into the art gallery.

Read more on Monte Cristo Magazine.