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New Westminster artist shows work at Vancouver gallery

Catch David A. Haughton's work at Visual Space Gallery starting Thursday.

A New Westminster physician-turned-artist has his work on display in a Vancouver gallery this month.

You can find work by David A. Haughton in The Inlet: New Paintings of the Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Inner Harbour at Visual Space Gallery from Sept. 14 to 27.

The exhibition will feature more than 40 new paintings.

Haughton has been painting the Burrard Inlet landscape since he moved to the region in 1991.

He paints in large series, capturing shifts of viewpoint and emotion.

“I find oil tankers and cargo freighters the most interesting architectural objects in our landscape — objects whose shapes change and distort as they slowly rotate with the tides,” Haughton said in a press release. “Weak yellow lights glow from the small cabins of their crewmen, making the ships appear to be mysterious fortified floating monasteries with tangled cranes serving as rococo superstructure.”

Haughton, in an email, noted he loves painting the ships in fading light. 

"At night, I see the ships’ mass blur into the mountain background," he said. "I admire how the older ships — with their now-obsolete design, patches of peeling paint and rusting steel hulls — maintain a quiet dignity while accepting their fate."

Haughton is a self-taught artist who worked as a pediatric emergency doctor at B.C. Children’s Hospital before he stopped practising medicine in 2017; for the past six years, he has focused on his painting.

As an artist at work in a rapidly changing world — with “shifting weather patterns, melting glaciers, burning forests and depleted seas,” as the release notes – Haughton hopes his work can leave viewers with an appreciation of what he calls “the evanescence of human endeavour and the fragile beauty of our present landscape.”

Visual Space Gallery is at 3352 Dunbar St., Vancouver. You can see Haughton’s work from Thursday, Sept. 14 to Wednesday, Sept. 27, between noon and 5 p.m. daily.