Former arts educator exhibits work at city gallery
© Geraldine Brophy
Lorne Bishop hopes to have this painting finished in time to be included in his exhibit "Ephemeral Femininity" which opens Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 at JL Gallery Modern Art and Design.
CORNER BROOK — Now that Lorne Bishop is dedicating his time to painting, he is hoping it becomes more than an “ephemeral” interest.
The art educator, with close to 30 years of teaching experience under his brush, is hoping to etch out a career with his own art now that he has retired.
He has had his work exhibited over the years — beginning as a graduate student of the Nova Scotia Art and Design in the 1970s and various independent or collaborative efforts since — but “Ephemeral Femininity” is a bit of an introduction for the Corner Brook man.
After 15 years in the school system and completing about 12 years as the visual arts instructor at the College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville, Bishop has found the time to devote himself to his work. With a busy and fulfilling career as a teacher of the arts, painting was always something that was a passionate side piece of his life.
In the past two years that has changed. He has nine oil paintings, featuring the “true essence of femininity,” which are now on display at the JL Gallery on Broadway.
“You learn things and you apply theory, but you really don’t have the time to commit to really honing the craft,” Bishop said. “One of the reasons for the exhibit was to hone my skills, and really think like an artist.
“Since I have retired, I have really gone into the painting aspect of it, and really made a study of the technique of oil painting and involved with the formulas for mixing paints and making my own mediums.”
Through this exhibition, he is hoping to gain the exposure and attention needed to continue his focus on creating art.
The theme of this collection of work — featuring various local women from his daughter, friends, and other local models he commissioned — is on the changes of women in western societies. Searching for an essence of femininity which transcends cultural programming, he delves into a philosophically hypothetical approach.
“Instead of the appropriation of cliched images of famous women, I choose to create my own images of everyday women,” Bishop said in a prepared statement. “Instead of mass produced Hollywood ephemera, these images are lasting portraits intended to examine the true essence of femininity, rather than a manufactured facade.
“Through paint, light, and colour I provide an opportunity for the women in my paintings to represent the ephemeral quality of womanhood best displayed in themselves and not in the artist.”
While portraying what he sees in his subjects — with his best attempt to create an honest and unbiased representation — Bishop also hopes the viewer responds on a personal level.
“The work allows the viewer to see what the artist sees and to know what the subjects are willing to display, however, neither artist nor subject can know what the viewer brings,” he stated. “As the artist, my intention is to “freeze frame” femininity at a given moment based on my own observations of my subjects and, hopefully, allow the viewer to do the same.”
The exhibit opening is today from 5-7 p.m., and the display will be featured until Oct. 26.