On the Horizon: New works by Ineke Graham & Janice Leonard

Published Mar 21 2017

New works by gallery founder Ineke Graham and longtime gallery artist Janice Leonard are the subject of the next exhibition at Studio 21, running from March 31 through to April 26, 2017.

Ineke’s show Still Lifes and Lifes Re-Lived focuses on her Halifax studio and its layers of memory. Leonard’s Annapolis, Subd. B: postcards from the future continues with her fascination with Paradise, Nova Scotia, a place where her roots and history permanently reside.

There is nothing philosophical about Ineke’s work nor a need for any kind of pretentious verbalism. It is only to be appreciated or enjoyed as a purely visual experience. She uses her creative energy for each inspiration-infused subject matter. Her new exhibition includes a mixture of still lifes, figures, and landscapes. Memories of her late daughter Laura flow through the body of work.

Ineke’s show is focused on her Halifax studio and its layers of memory. The studio occupies half of the top floor of her home, overlooking the stillness of Chocolate Lake. Inside, the walls are populated with paintings of Ineke’s family and friends, created over a period of several decades. In her new paintings of figure or still life, these earlier works often appear as back drops. Ineke’s strong geometric approach to paint is also apparent in several landscapes depicting the Fundy shore where she and her daughter Laura walked the fields and beach.

Ineke was seventeen when she came to Canada with her parents and siblings. She attended the Ontario College of Art in 1956–57 and then returned to Rotterdam to complete her studies at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, graduating in 1959. She returned to Canada raising a family of four children while continuing to practice her painting. In 1983, she founded Studio 21 Fine Art, which she owned and directed until 2011. Since then, she has returned to painting in her home-based studio on the lake.

Janice Leonard’s new work continues her fascination with a place where her roots and history permanently reside, Paradise, Nova Scotia. The land retains the same atmosphere and a sense of timelessness. In this series Leonard is looking at the surrealism of the current era in which technological tools can provoke immediate reference points to an unending natural environment.

“I still use sketches and notes as a primary reference, but now my iPhone camera has become an essential tool as well. The photos are tagged geographically as “Annapolis Subd. B” an ironically clinical description of a place named “paradise”, says Leonard.

Janice Leonard received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1981 and has been represented by Studio 21 Fine Art since the late 1980’s. In 2016, a selection of Leonard’s paintings were included in “Terroir, A Nova Scotia Survey” at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Her work is held in the collections of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canada Art Bank, Telstat Canada, Ottawa, Nova Scotia Art Bank, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as well as many corporate and private collections, across Canada and internationally. One of her paintings now hangs in the Nova Scotia Room at Canada House, London.

Studio 21