Wednesday 8 June 2022

"Show and Tell" at Signal Arts Centre

The very first evening Show and Tell event was held by Signal Arts Society (SAS) at Signal Arts Centre in mid-May. As I have recently started working at Signal and am automatically a member of the SAS, as well as becoming the sub-committee minute-taker, somehow the event fell to me to make sure this first event ran smoothly. I had already planned to attend the event so it wasn't too much of a stretch to work it. There were two artists scheduled to do the Show and Tell. Myra Jago and Yanny Petters. I introduced Myra first.

Myra spoke of her process - how she created collages on the computer. printed the completed works on silk and crumpled them up and use these works as the subjects of meticulously detailed oil paintings. While she displayed images of the paintings in an accompanying slide show, Myra had brought in a number of the silk works to show and discuss with the audience. The paintings show Myra's artistic concern with light and reflection and she described the detailed work that goes into gessoing and sanding the canvas prior to painting so that the finish is completely smooth. Seeing the actual silk collages, however, gave a huge insight into Myra's psychological concerns with protest, the environment, innocence and any other subject that comes to mind but remains hidden in the final work. 

Yanny Petters gave an equally fascinating talk about one specific piece, which she brought in to show, and accompanied the talk with a slide show of the work in progress. Yanny worked as a sign writer in the past and uses techniques of verre eglomisé and gilding - painting on glass and gold leaf application -
in her gorgeous and delicate floral paintings. Yanny's re-creation of a hedgerow in all its complexity in a two-dimensional space is nothing less than miraculous. She explained the process of painting in reverse order on the back of the glass and visualising the work in reverse order. In addition to the painting and application of gold leaf, depth is manifested by the very shadows that the painted flowers and leaves cast onto the background when the work is framed.

I don't have a picture of the work she brought in that night but here is a triptych of The Rose Family: Bramble - Dog Rose - Wild Strawberry that gives an idea of the detail in Yanny's work.

The front gallery of Signal can hold an intimate crowd (20-25 people seated) and it was full of an enrapt group. Both artists held the audience in thrall and elicited many questions.The evening was a resounding success and sets a high standard for future Show and Tell events at the centre. I look forward to the future events!  

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