Explore nature with artist Trish Shwart

Victoria artist Trish Shwart's view of the world changed after she broke her leg playing squash, putting her in a wheelchair. 
“Suddenly your whole world changes and everything you see looks different through the filter of your new experience. I didn’t expect it to be life changing. I didn’t want it to be life changing,” she said. “But it ended up being a very powerful experience.”
As an artist, Shwart is inspired by her environment, most recently by the world she saw while travelling during the past year. One of the places she travelled to was Vancouver.
“I spent three weeks in Vancouver this January, where it rained every day and every night. I was going for quite long walks as part of the rehabilitation process still, and I would see this incredible beauty. The rain would create these patterns everywhere,” she said.
One of the images she encountered became the basis for one of the pieces in her upcoming show at Plaskett Gallery, Dark Fence.
“It was this black fence, but the rain made everything look kind of oily and rainbowish,” she said. “And above it was this amazing pink tree. And this kind of stuff is everywhere, and it stops me all of the time.”
Her paintings are not only about the visual subject, but also what isn’t seen – the connection between nature and human nature, as well.
“I’m trying to show this invisible force that is around us and in us also. I think something happens between us and the natural world, in the urban landscape as well,” she said. “It suffuses everything. I think it’s more present that we sometimes think.”
Shwart’s show, Down the road from where were stayed…, is at the Plaskett Gallery until July 30. She will be holding informal artist’s talks on Saturday, July 14 and Saturday, July 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. 
She’s interested in hearing from the audience regarding nature.
“If anyone has their own stories about how they’ve been affected by nature or their nature has affected the world around them, I’d love to hear them,” she said.
The Plaskett Gallery is at Massey Theatre, 735 Eighth Ave. 
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