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With nature as their muse, photographer Bryce Barry, sculptor and printmaker Bev Ellis, and botanical artist Brenna Quan, started PoMoArts 2019 exhibition season by creating a serene multi-sensory environment for Breathing Space. The exhibition was an ode to our West Coast woodlands and the artists’ expressions of a place to pause, reflect, and contemplate living with intention, meaning and mindfulness.

L-R Brenna Quan, Bev Ellis, Bryce Barry - photo by Bryce Barry

Bev, Brenna and Bryce, each work in different mediums, but their deep appreciation for, and connection to nature, and the living world, ties their work together and has created a personal bond between them.

A tour of the gallery

Meet the artists

Bev Ellis

Bev Ellis

Ceramic Sculptor and Printmaker

For me, creation is intuitive, and spontaneous with components of intention and planning.
When I step outside something magical happens. Exhaling stresses and daily pressures I breathe in the wonder and loveliness of joyful discovery. My distressed, carved surfaces express a metaphor for the human condition and nature, where beauty is found in brokenness. I am drawn to the outdoors and captivated by trees, each one so unique, and complex, weathered, layered and scarred. I have come to see a common thread of radiant imperfection in humanity and nature. Artistry and technique inform the intuitive processes of my multidisciplinary art practice. Recurring themes of relationships, joy, brokenness, pain, flaws, and beauty permeate my work with meaning.

"Layered Hope" Bowl

Ceramic Sculpture Raku

“Steep In The Wood” Teapot

ceramic sculpture

Ellis is an accomplished ceramic sculptor, painter, mixed media artist, jewelry designer and printmaker. Her work has been exhibited throughout BC, New York, and Nashville. She has created public, private, and corporate commissions. Her artwork decorated two television sets. She has painted for live audiences in auditoriums, a stadium, University and on TV. Her art has been published in journals, magazines and a book of one hundred Vancouver creatives called, WeMakeStuff. Her jewelry line sold in more than 36 stores across Canada. Her artwork is shown in many locations and exhibits as well as at Crafthouse Gallery YVR, Crafthouse Gallery Granville Island, and at the White Rock Gallery.

"There Is A Season" Plate

ceramic sculpture

Together: Broken

ceramic sculpture, suspended installation

Broken: Together

The installation is a series of individually carved and slab built multi-fired pieces, suspended to resemble a birch forest.

Brenna Quan

Layered Fragility

A wall mounted botantical installation of locally foraged forest and garden materials.

Brenna Quan

Botanical Artist

My botanical expressions in “Breathing Space” offer a window into my world of escape and perhaps even meditation - a place I can easily immerse myself, where my mind and hands can freely explore the abundance of nature’s gifts.

Kindred

A suspended water feature from locally foraged plant materials, cut flowers, river rock and cedar shingles.

Design in nature speaks a simple truth of beauty. We crave a connection to the living world, to elevate our spirits, to provide emotional restoration and to invigorate our senses. I experience utter joy in seeking out the magnificence in natural objects, observing the colours, the textures, the shapes and forms, leading me down a path of creativity with a desire to enhance a fleeting moment in space and time. With each stage of a plant’s life cycle, I find that there is so much to appreciate as a botanical artist. From seed to bloom and even the latter stages, after their prime, flowers and foliage possess extreme versatility, as their characteristics alter into yet another phase of beauty to enjoy.

Whispering Tree

Locally foraged plant materials, curated then dried. Yarn and twine decorated wreath forms. The Whispering Tree was designed to be an interactive installation to hang poetry on.

Sweet Dreams

A botanical installation of woven birch whip pods set atop concrete spheres, amongst a setting of locally foraged forest floor materials.

Brenna's foundation as an artist began with the study of lines and movement as a professional dancer and choreographer. Her natural prowess for emotional expression led her transition into the art of floral design. She has extensive experience in retail floristry, including wedding and event design but has recently redirected her focus towards floral education.

As a competitive designer, she has won multiple awards in international floral design competitions, including the 2016 Gateway to the Americas Cup, and has been a featured designer on the AIFD National Symposium stage, at the Ninth Moon Floral Design Showcase and several other events.

Based out of Metro Vancouver, Brenna currently serves as a board member for the North West Chapter of the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers, to which she was inducted in 2009.

Whispering Tree

By Brenna Quan

Breathing Space. It’s a gift we can give ourselves when we need to centre, set intentions, and find peace in a chaotic world. Brenna Quan, Bev Ellis and Bryce Barry have found their Breathing Space in nature and use it as a source of inspiration in their art practice.

During the exhibition people explored the multi-sensory environment the artists created, then were asked to write a few words, sentence, poem, random words or haiku to share where they find their breathing space, or set an intention for the New Year. Then the poems where hung on the Whispering Tree.

Bryce Barry

Bryce Barry

Photographer

Growing up on the Sunshine Coast in B.C., I gained an appreciation for the outdoors and nature at an early age. My family has a woodworking background so the idea to hand mount my photographs on wood came from years spent in my family’s workshops. My goal is to recreate the raw, no-gloss look and feel of being in ­ bringing the outside in. Guided by that idea, the technique of finishing and sealing the archival prints onto wood gives them texture. Along with allowing the piece to be viewed from any angle without glare or barrier just as you’d observe that scene in nature. Nature has been a constant in my life and that’s reflected in my work. The places I go to be at peace, to stretch my boundaries, to find my way, are always outside. Where the light can transform a view, evoke a mood or showcase a scene in unimaginable ways. It’s there that chasing the light becomes less about a race and more about a quiet way of watching. And if I’m lucky enough I can bring some of that back with me.

cloaked

60"x40" archival print hand mounted on wood

silvered

48" x32" archival print hand mounted on wood cradle

suspended

48"x 24" archival print hand mounted on wood cradle

looking glass II

60" x 30"archival print hand mounted on wood cradle

driftwood

24"x 18" archival print hand mounted on wood cradle

My photography reflects the time I spend outdoors as well as my appreciation for design, clean aesthetics and minimalism, which can be seen in my choice of focus.

Sechelt B.C. continues to be a strong influence on my work as it was my hometown, but my extensive world travels give me a broad base to draw from while maintaining my minimalist eye. Land and seascapes of the west coast of British Columbia are my specialty but shoots like the Mojave Desert, the Isle of Skye and the Pyrenees have impacted my palette greatly.

Growing up surrounded by woodworkers, this background influenced my choice to hand mount archival prints onto wood. Maintaining the raw natural beauty of the outdoors is important to me and guided my choice to hone the technique of affixing photos onto wood without glare, while maintaining a natural composition reflecting the origin of the subject.

I’ve written a number of articles, both in print and online, that have also featured my photographs. My book More Than Medals features some of the best athletes in the world, explaining and exploring what it takes to become world class.

painted on

48"x32" archival print hand mounted on wood cradle

wistful break

48"x32" archival print hand mounted on wood cradle

Trees are a recurring theme in Bev, Brenna and Bryce's artwork. Through them the artists express the sense of joy, creativity and peace that being in nature brings them.
"Amber Crowns", Bryce Barry; "Together:Broken", Bev Ellis; "Kindred" (detail), Brenna Quan; the artists at the opening reception L-R Bev, Brenna, Bryce
Created By
Gallery Manager
Appreciate

Credits:

Bev Ellis, Brenna Quan, Bryce Barry, Janice Cotter