Studio 22 showcases collection from West Coast artist

March exhibit highlights Canada’s diverse landscape of happiness

L.W. Foden’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. 
Credit: 
Photo supplied by Ally Jacob

This March, Studio 22 is bringing the West to the Limestone City. 

L.W. Foden, a painter from British Columbia, has sent select pieces of his artwork across Canada to Ally and Hersh Jacob’s Studio 22 over the past several years.  

This month, the Jacob’s will exhibit his work for their Kingston audience after accumulating a large enough collection. 

Foden’s success in British Columbia is part of the reason the exhibit took so long to put together.  He was selling too many paintings and there wasn’t enough to send to the Jacob’s. 

Typically, Studio 22 showcases work by all levels of artists, helping to create an environment to support emerging artists. From new amateur artists to those who’ve established themselves both locally and nationally, the studio welcomes different artists into their space each month. 

When a painting didn’t sell, Foden sent it over to Studio 22, slowly adding to the Jacob’s collection. This process took years but it’s the reason they’re able to finally help him bring his work to Ontario. 

Foden’s friendship with the Jacob’s began years ago when Foden and Hersh Jacob were teaching painting workshops in Northern Ontario. Jacob admired Foden’s art and they kept in touch throughout the years. Foden is even the godfather to the Jacob’s daughter. 

Their friendship grew over a shared love of art, and it’s been a goal for years to showcase Foden’s work in the studio. 

Foden’s collection, Bones of the Earth, is made up of paintings and sketches of rock formations specific to Galiano Island, B.C. 

The rocks on the shores of Galiano have been washed over by the tide for hundreds of years. They’ve been eroded and reshaped and now have a skeletal appearance, consisting of fragile layers that look like bones. 

The rock surfaces have long horizontal folds, bumps, and indentations. 

Ally Jacob said the rock formations on Galiano Island have such a specific appearance, some viewers of the paintings who’ve been there recognized them immediately.  

For over 20 years, Foden has lived on Galiano Island, mostly in a cottage overlooking the Georgia Strait. This gave him plenty of time to study the rocks and capture them in his paintings. 

Foden’s pieces all look similar from a distance, but when viewed close-up they take their own shape. The titles alone hint at his impression of the rock formations and influence the viewing experience. 

From first glance, one painting shows two rocks twisting into each other, rising from the beach off of four grounding points. 

The title, “The Waltz,” gives the viewer an idea of what Foden saw when painting these rocksand, like an optical illusion, reveals a picture to the viewer that wasn’t there at the beginning. 

Many of Foden’s paintings refer to history, mythology, and architecture. “Secrets of the Sphynx” shows a rock formation that’s large and low to the ground with a high point in the forefront. It’s clear that Foden recognized swooping arches that mirrored Egyptian Sphynx sculptures. 

Ally Jacob explained that Foden’s art comments on human history so heavily because he sees figures in the earth. 

The way the light creates shadows in the intricately carved rock formations might reveal to Foden what looks like a face. Other times, he sees figures in the way differently shaped rocks are grouped together on the shore. 

Wherever he identifies these hidden figures, he never amplifies their appearance in his paintings. Rather, he paints the rock as it is, titles the piece after something it reminds him of, and allows the viewer to look for their own figures.  

During the month of March, Kingston art lovers are able to view Foden’s paintings at Studio 22. It’s a rare opportunity to see this West coast artist’s work outside of his hometown on Galiano Island. 

 

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