With his paintings, Welland artist Robert Bora challenges people to see everyday things in a different way.
His new exhibit at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, The Things I See, opens at the Niagara Pumphouse on Nov. 5 and runs until Nov. 30. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
“I paint what I see and how I see it,” Bora says, explaining the title. “The everyday, ordinary, recognizable things from the real world around me that some may take for granted or ignore.”
His oil paintings show vignettes from either the interior of homes or the architectural exterior: a bird cage sitting in front of a window, a coffee cup on a dresser, the roof peak of a house. All are painted in strong, warm colours in realist style and a minimalist precision, with straight lines and angles, with many paintings featuring windows.
Bora says he uses windows to draw a viewer into a painting. “Windows are a recurring theme I use, not to offer a view to the outside, but rather to trap the viewer inside, hoping to conjure up a memory or feeling of the moment in time.”
His ideas are sparked while out walking or driving and, after they grow in his mind, he tries to translate their emotional meaning to canvas in meticulous fashion while in his studio, a creation process that echoes Canadian realist artists such as Christopher Pratt and Alex Colville.
“The words to describe my style is minimalist, representational, realism,” Bora says. “Capturing light, shadow, shape and colour are the four main constants in my paintings, all hoping to capture a more defined intensity and lasting emotional memory.”