Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Mixed media work by Karin Millson will be on show in ArtSpring’s lobby for the month of May.  Karin invited Bernadette Mertens-McAllister to show alongside her.
In Karin’s FIBRE CYCLE: A SERIES we are invited to walk through stands of assorted trees, take in views to the sea, intimately observe deeply-grooved and sculptured bark.  The pieces demonstrate the fibre cycle, from strong, tall tree growth, through logged and split lumber, to the recycling of paper and back to the growth of healthy woodland.
There are oblique references: a telegraph pole with coloured wire and staples, holding remnants of shows long past; and finally, you are invited to add your chewing gum deposit before entering the theatre.

 “HEART GROVE SERIES” by Bernadette Mertens-McAllister uses mixed media and an unconventional use of paint and photography.  The artist expresses her feelings caused by human greed, negligence and disrespectful practices of forestry. By using art material in an insulting and abusive way Bernadette expresses her grief, confusion and fear    

Such is the demand for exhibition space at ArtSpring on Saltspring Island that I have had this space booked for more than two years.
I cannot believe that that is how long we have lived on this fabulous, art-enriched place.  I am thankful for whatever cause it was that brought us here be it fate, planning, luck, or the west wind.  One thing is certain, in this environment I am supported and strengthened and my art has the opportunity of developing.

This latest exhibition explores..... well, here is my artist statement, and that of my accompanying artist collaborator... Bernadette Martens Mcallister.

Artist: Karin Millson
This body of work demonstrates a mental struggle that I have.  I want to be an environmentally responsible person living respectfully on this planet yet I know that I cannot but have a devastating effect on my immediate surroundings simply by being.
In this series of works, I attempt to depict what I see, feel and think when I take a forest walk, as I acknowledge that forests exist alongside humankind as part of a cycle of fibre – from wood comes lumber, from lumber comes paper, from paper comes compost, in compost grow saplings and so on.
The artworks are made of predominantly up-cycled materials.  The methods are as eco-friendly as I could make them, yet this collection forms part of the cycle and the conflict itself.

Artist: Bernadette Mertens-McAllister
This body of work is dedicated to a small cluster of magnificent cedar and fir trees that are being clear-cut for lumber.  It is a special place nested in a 45 acres lot on Beddis Rd, Salt Spring Island.  Beneath the towering trees, I found a large heart on the ground made of boughs covered with moss.  I call this place Heart Grove.  When standing there, one is connected with Nature, the trees and the forest.
This series is about grieving for the Heart Grove and all our forests doomed to be greedily clear-cut. Like any clear-cutting practice, my art displayed here seems to be done with negligence, disrespect and lack of beauty. It expresses my confusion and fear every time I hear the harassing noise of the chain-saw a breath away from my doorstep.
Forgiveness and a realisation that all is impermanent will carry me through these months of devastation.  I hope and wish that this secret and sacred place, I call Heart Grove, will remain intact for all of us.