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Artists explore light at Parkside Gallery

Anita Edwards and Claudia Ring have teamed up this month to showcase their paintings and felt art

A celebration of light has come to Parkside Gallery this month with the mixed media show Light.

The show features the acrylic and oil paintings of longtime South Cariboo artist Anita Edwards and reclaimed lamps with shades made by felt artist Claudia Ring. Both artists are happy to be collaborating together on a show again.

“I think we encourage each other and we have the same kind of imagination. The oddities kind of speak to both of us,” Edwards said. “Claudia is very easy to work with. She is very outspoken and she’s a good critic of me when I go off in another direction.”

Light’s inspiration came from Ring’s most recent project, creating beautiful and unique lampshades for lamps she and her husband salvaged from share sheds and dumps.

Edwards donated a bunch of old mica lampshades she had from a friend’s old business for Ring to work with. Using her intuition, Ring made a unique shade for each lamp using felt, in some cases using leftovers from previous fabric art pieces. For each lamp she had to make her pattern 30 per cent bigger to compensate for when the felt shrinks after use.

“To me, the important thing about the lamps is the recycling aspect. My husband fixed them and then I had to find the right lampshades and I gave them a new life,” Ring said. “That was the most fun for me, to make something totally different out of a reject piece.”

Over the course of eight weeks Ring ended up fixing up 40 lamps and creating 40 unique lampshades, all of which are for sale. She said she enjoyed the challenge of working with felt, noting it’s been her passion since attending the Kootenay School of the Arts Textile Program 10 years ago.

“I focus on textiles and felting. This time I made lampshades out of felt,” Ring explained. “Compared to weaving, felting is more fluid and experimental. You can do totally different things with it. You can make sturdy, thick and durable things and also fragile things, like curtains and scarves. The variety is huge with felting.”

Riffing off the lampshades, Edwards said she chose to include 20 of her paintings in Light. Each one was selected or painted with a focus on how light illuminates her subject, often a landscape or a tree.

“I was mostly just focused on showing the light through the landscape, showing it coming through the trees, the reflections on water and wherever the focus was on light,” Edwards said. “I think of a landscape and decide how the light would come through and what it would hit.”

Light is on display until June 12 at the Parkside Gallery, and Edwards encourages everyone to come and view their art. Ring added with a rueful smile she is hopeful all of her lamps sell out, noting she does not have the space to store them in her home.

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Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

An avid lover of theatre, media, and the arts in all its forms, I've enjoyed building my professional reputation in 100 Mile House.
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