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Exhibition

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Julie Emerson
Yuriko Iga
Tsuneko Kokubo (aka Koko)
Margaret Kovacs

Pretty Pictures – Still Lives

December 21, 2000 - February 3, 2001

Margaret Kovacs, Pretty Pictures 
My goal is to touch the viewer by stimulating memory, allowing them to understand the moods and stories of my paintings. I paint about my life and hope to touch another person with my work. If the viewer can find my message, and feel my story, then I am communicating.

I am Margaret Irene Kovacs, born at Edgerton, Alberta to Hungarian immigrant parents in a log-house January 11, 1936. My family moved to British Columbia in 1940. I studied at the Vancouver School of Art, was married and had three children, painted portraits of children and young people, worked as a free-lance commercial illustrator, and then, as a single working mother, I worked full-time for a large retail advertising department. Since my children have been adults, my focus is my creative development and expression as an artist. I have worked in pastels and watercolours, and now I do large figurative oil paintings. This is my first exhibition.

Julie Emerson, Correspondances 
Correspondances is a series of paintings of images and inhabitants of our local environment. The paintings are triptychs: the three elements in each are a person, a bird, and a plant. For each painting I have chosen images that have an intuitive connection. To paraphrase from Charles Baudelaire’s Correspondances: in nature, people pass through forests of symbols which observe them in a familiar way. These paintings are a record and representation of the interaction of some people and the environment. My enthusiasm for doing a great number of these paintings is partly an interest in documentation. Crows are a common feature in my immediate environment, as is my neighbour, and I am interested in documenting this experience aesthetically.

I would like viewers to interact with the environment of the exhibition and perceive the correspondences in their own way. “She’s not concerned with time-based narrative or retelling the story. Instead, it’s the flashes – the instants of recognition when two minds meet – she attempts to bring to her work”, Paula Gustafson, the Georgia Straight, December 1993.

Yuriko Iga, Still Lives 
Still Lives is an on-going research in a series of 2D and 3D tile works, called “Genuine Imitations”. It suggests an inappropriate development of our natural environments. With the turn of the century the threat to our natural resources is more apparent than ever. Global warming is finally being realized, and recycling is at its highest participation. Still we are so far from achieving a level of harmony with the earth. Ironically we continue to create simulated environments to compensate for the loss of the genuine ones. Zoos, water parks, and bike paths meagrely attempt to replace the absence of lakes, wildlife, and general natural terrain. Tourism industries have gone to the extent to build the “fake” amongst the “real” by placing golf courses in the Kanaskis, as if to “promote the wilderness”. Without allowing the natural environment to heal itself, we still run the risk of damaging it indefinitely.

In this installation, the images that rest on the surface of the tile mimic the natural environment in conjunction with the earth’s surface, an uncomfortable and artificial relationship.

Tsuneko Kokubo (aka Koko), Natural Philosophies 
My paintings explore the natural world of the mountain region in which I live; its seasonal cycles and manifestations.

I was born in Steveston BC, as was my father before me, and I lived there for many years. In 1994, as the city encroached on fields and
fishing boats, I moved to the Slocan Valley, where my mother and sister were interned during the Second World War. Since then I have become immersed in the stark majesty of this elemental place and its
ever-changing beauty. An incredible energy seems to emanate through the landscape – at times fluid and welcoming, at times stark, almost overwhelming.