Poetics of the Field

Note: Artist Interview is archived on Studio Sixty Six Instagram – link below


Exhibition Runs: September 4 — October 4, 2020
Untitled (Gray Oil), 2010-11
Daniel Sharp
Oil paint on canvas
16 x 20 in. / 40.64 x 50.8 cm

Poetics of the Field

What do the photographer and the painter have in common? Photographer Barbara Brown and abstract painter Daniel Sharp maintain separate studios and practices that do not overlap, yet, there are similarities and coincidences between their works. These two practicing visual artists have been life partners for the past 30 years. It is intriguing to view their works side by side. Their artworks seem to cross over at certain points and ‘talk’ to each other in a dialogue of light, colour, and organic forms.

Brown uses photography to capture compositions she creates using natural materials from her local environment. The plants and flowers she selects are both the subjects and mediums of her complex compositions. These compositions represent particular gardens, seasons, or natural environments. Brown seeks to create immersive images that refer back to the experience of being in a garden or forest. She is interested in breaking down the barriers between subject and object in nature. In her work, Brown negotiates an ancient relational way of being in the world.

Sharp paints compositions that he describes as proto-poetic abstractions. He sees these gestures as utterances of thoughts and feelings sequenced into visual essays, prior to linguistic descriptions or writing. His works are fairly simplified abstract paintings, something like an early stage of expression, analogous in some ways to a poem or a song. He is interested in the impulsive and unmediated gesture, balanced with a constructed, composed structure. He strives for deep colour, the dynamism of forms, and the soft nuances of a composition.

Brown has looked towards abstract expressionist painting for compositional clues similar to Sharp’s use of photography as a research tool to see the world.

Oriental Poppy from the Etymology of a Flower series
Barbara Brown
Archival pigment print
24 x 30 in. / 60.96 x 76.2 cm

Barbara Brown
Barbara Brown trained as a visual artist at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and completed her graduate work at Manchester Metropolitan University, England.

Brown has exhibited in solo and group shows nationally and internationally, most recently in LifeCycle Conversations a collaboration with sculptor Cynthia O’Brien at Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa and Beyond the Edge: Artist Gardens, where she created Red Oak Labyrinth, a 60’ walking path installation beneath a hundred year old oak tree. Brown recently completed month long residencies at Mauser Foundation, Costa Rica, and Kingsbrae International Resident for the Arts in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick. She participated in the International Artistic Residency Kala Chaupal in India where she collaborated with fellow artists to create Matka: A Portrait of Traditional Water Carriers.

Daniel Sharp
Daniel Sharp was born in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. He has lived in Ottawa since 1982. Sharp worked at Artspace Gallery in Peterborough Ontario (1980-82) and was Artistic Director at the Ottawa artist-run centre Gallery 101 (1989-91). From 1991 until 2017 he worked as a program officer, then manager and curator with the Canadian government’s art collection for embassies and diplomatic missions abroad. Sharp studied painting and design at York University in Toronto, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 1979. He later undertook graduate studies in art and cultural theory at Carleton University in Ottawa (1985-89).

To schedule a private interview with the artist and or a preview of the show please contact Gallery Director, Carrie Colton at Studio Sixty Six 613.355.0359 or email carrie@studiosixtysix.ca
Exhibition Catalogue