Vanderhoof painters explore local beauty, world angst

Annerose Georgeson and Michael Rees showcased their latest series of paintings in Vanderhoof Public Library.

From Nov. 2 to Dec. 3

Local beautiful nature and world social conflicts were explored by two Vanderhoof artists’ recent work this fall.

From Nov. 2 to Dec. 3, Annerose Georgeson and Michael Rees showcased their latest series of paintings in Vanderhoof Public Library, finishing with a community reception on Nov. 25.

Completed this summer, Georgeson’s latest work depicts an impressionistic series of nests and hay bales inspired by a robin that built a home outside her mother’s window.

In some pieces, Georgeson incorporated calligraphy-like strokes to depict hay strands or twigs — a design close to writing that she will like to explore more in the future.

“Just the same old message: look at things closely, look at hay bales,” she said.

For Rees, his latest six paintings illustrated varying situations of potential conflict, with the first inspired the incident in Nice, France, this July when a cargo truck driven deliberately into crowds celebrating Bastille Day killed almost 100 people and injured over 400. Ideas for the following pieces ranged from scenes chosen in social unrest documentaries and everyday events.

“Something unsettling that might be going on, what’s going to happen,” Rees said. “These are all exploratory, narrative pieces, that leaves as much as possible to imagination.

“There’s a lot of anxiety in the world, a lot of who knows what in the future.”

On panels that combined to form a canvas measuring four feet by six feet for the first time, Rees’ latest two paintings depict scenes of conflict between protesters and police.

“Instead of our freedoms increasing, which is human progress, there are laws we have in order for us to get along and freedoms seem to be curtailed,” he said. “What’s the world going to be like in 50 years, as we try really hard to make it a peaceful society.

“I find it worrying.”

Moving away from detailed realism that he employed in a stained glass-like portrait of a young girl walking into the darkness under stormy clouds, Rees looked to depict moments in flux, using source material such as fuzzy video screenshots.

“It’s like a caught second, like the guy running towards you, for example,” he explained. “You can’t see every finger or nail and it’s more realistic how you see, how the brain processes.

“I don’t want to get caught up in making sure the eyes aren’t too wonky or far apart; it’s more about the message.”