In Praise of Works Under Glass
Portfolio: The Art of Lynden Beesley
Art works on paper such as drawings, hand-pulled prints, water colours and pastels are usually framed and glazed. This is done to protect them from oxidation and grease. For centuries drawing has been the backbone of art. Whether to render a subject accurately and in minute detail or just to rough out an idea. Printmaking including lithography, intaglio, and relief prints such as woodcut and screen printing are time honoured ways of manually producing an image on paper.
Who wouldn't like to own one of the wood block prints of the Japanese master Katsushika Hokusai or an Aubrecht Durer engraving. How about a Rembrandt intaglio, Picasso etching or Warhol screenprint. David Hockney and Tracie Emin, this years Venice Biennale exhibitor, have not shied away from producing Prints. Works by Canadians Sean Caulfield, Kim Moodie and David Blackwood are featured in art magazines.
In the Okanagan there are many printmakers. UBCO's faculty of Creative and Critical Studies has an extensive printmaking department. Department head Briar Craig's screen prints grace many walls, as do the monoprints of former professor of printmaking Mary McCulloch. How sad that some local gallery owners are not prepared to explain the value of the art print to their clients. Preferring to denigrate the print as being unsophisticated and not original. The Okanagan is not Toronto, New York or London where prints "under glass" are collectible. Where gallery owners educate their clients and where educated and sophisticated buyers know the value of works on paper.
How refreshing it was to attend the opening at the Ashpa Naira Art Gallery and Studio at Killiney Beach, where owner Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante is not afraid to include works on paper and under glass.
Selling art prints is about knowing your product. It requires artists and art dealers taking the time to educate clients. There is nothing stuffy about contemporary printmaking. It is affordable, enduring and original.
Lynden Beesley grew up in the English Surrey countryside where she developed a love for art from an early age. In 1975, she immigrated to Canada with her husband and two daughters. For 20 years, she practised podiatry in Winnipeg. In 1997, Lynden moved to eastern Ontario to formally pursue a career in art at Queen's University. She graduated in 2001 with a bachelor of fine arts (honours) specializing in printmaking and sculpture.
Lynden has served as a facilitator for art history courses at Seniors Learning in Retirement. She is a docent at the Kelowna Art Gallery in the Art in Site Program. By pursuing print and computer courses at Okanagan University College she has stayed current with new techniques. Her work is produced at Malaspina Printmakers on Vancouver's Granville Island, at Pyramid Bronze Works in Kelowna, and in her studio.
In 2003 Lynden was a commissioned sculptor for the Westbank Sculpture
on Main Symposium. In 2004 she sculpted in marble with the Kelowna
Sculptors Network for their Centennial Project. Lynden is a member of Ars Longa
and exhibits prints and bronzes regularly with this group of artists. She is also
the president of Kelowna Sculptors Network Society and the incoming delegate for
the International Federation of Medallions.
Lynden's work represents a personal exploration of culture and identity.
She uses sculpture, often in bronze, to create a tandem dialogue with her prints.
She informs her work with the intriguing stories and myths upon which
our Western identities are founded. For Lynden, identity is multilayered
and multifaceted like a pomegranate. Her work allows for the peeling away of
layers of symbolism so that the innermost heart of the fruit can be revealed. Its taste
may be bitter, or sweet, or both; only in the tasting is self-knowledge to be detected.