A new art exhibition at The Gallery at Queen’s Park is exploring humanity’s inner narratives and questioning notions of beauty and identity.
Annette Nieukerk’s Allegory and Grace is on at the gallery from Wednesday, Aug. 7 to Sunday, Aug. 25. An opening reception is set for Aug. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m., and an Inter/action session with the artist is on Sunday, Aug. 11 from 3 to 4 p.m.
A write-up about the show notes that Nieukerk’s figurative work explores the narratives at the heart of human existence: What are our stories? What is factual and what has been eroded by memory? What is hidden, and what is secret? Her work speaks to the layering of those narratives and how what is exposed to view and what is hidden are both reflected in the physicality of our bodies. Using contrasting media – walnut drawing ink and oil paint on translucent Mylar – Nieukerk exposes the hidden narrative of each human figure.
The work also questions notions of beauty and identity in our culture, focusing primarily on older women (aged 60 and up).
“Nieukerk’s work challenges the stereotypes that equate beauty with youth and searches for both the outer beauty in the aging body that society shuns, and the inner beauty that lies underneath the skin,” says the write-up.
Allegory and Grace “questions whether our society has reached a time to truly embrace the aging of a woman’s body and the experiences – births, deaths, loves, losses, joys and sorrows – that are etched so gracefully into the folds of her skin,” it says. “In each image, a flower enhances and echoes the female form – symbolic of grace, beauty and life’s seasons.”
For more about Nieukerk and her work, see her website at https://anieukerkart.ca/.
The gallery is open Wednesdays from 1 to 8 p.m., and Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. It’s in Centennial Lodge, Queen’s Park. See www.acnw.ca/gallery or call 604-525-3244 for information.