Artist Marilyn Cochrane has been moving in the realm of The Material and the Mystical as she prepares for her solo gallery showing at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre.
“It is almost a two-year process for me to complete my complex artwork for a solo exhibition, and this will mark the second solo show that I have had at the Pumphouse since moving to NOTL five years ago from Toronto.”
The opening reception for her exhibit will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5. There will be a naming presentation for The Joyner Gallery at 1:45 p.m., with Lorraine and Geoff Joyner present and recognized for their $25,000 contribution to the Pumphouse. The newly renovated gallery space, which features monthly exhi- bitions, is being named after the couple for their steadfast support of arts, history and culture in the community. A plaque in their honour is now on display at the Pumphouse.
That will be followed by a short presentation by Cochrane at 2 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. In an effort to adhere to physical distancing restrictions and public gathering guidelines, the Pumphouse will also have a second reception on Sunday, Sept. 6 that will follow the same schedule as Saturday, to ensure visitors can attend without overcrowding.
“I am excited to present my new paintings and sculptures in my solo art show at the Pumphouse Arts Centre opening this weekend,” says Cochrane. “I will be there to greet everyone from 1 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, to answer any questions about the artwork, and to invite everyone to enjoy a glass of wine!”
Educated at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, McGill University in Montreal and the American College of Fine Art in Paris, France, Cochrane has had an extensive career as an artist that has included many solo and group exhibitions, mainly in and around Toronto, but as far away as Halifax, Montreal, Winnipeg and Banff. She has also been the recipient of many awards for her work. Most recently, she received the Carl Schaeffer Award of Excellence at the 2017 CSPWC International Watercolour Show in Toronto.
“The title that I have chosen for this show is ‘The Material and The Mystical’, which represents the two realities that I feel envelop us at all times,” says Cochrane. “We are most aware of the material world, using our physical senses easily every day to interpret it, yet there is also another more subtle realm of unseen energies that we can intuit by using our inner senses. I aim to depict in my paintings the play between these two worlds, and to evoke the beauty that I see and feel in both.”
Cochrane describes nature as her muse, and her muse lives in the Niagara Region. “Nature is my starting point to represent ‘The Material,’ and I focus on the power of soaring trees, ripening grapes and exquisite blooms to bring it to life on the canvas. I interpret these from photos that I take in my wanderings around our gorgeous Niagara countryside.”
Each photograph is “painted in a meditative way with layer upon layer of glowing transparent colour, creating highly realistic images. The next step is then working around and into this realism with energetic, highly textural, abstract and free brushwork. This represents to me ‘The Mystical’, the mysterious and the unseen energies around us. I turn to the power of colour to draw the onlooker into the image, and into a dream of another reality where the marvels of our imagination coexist with the world in which we live.”
In this exhibition, Cochrane has also added sculpture to compliment the paintings. “My new sculptures are titled Echo Cairns, and they are a continuation of my Echoes Series that I have been exploring for many years. This is a new interpretation where I am stacking millions of years old minerals along with sculpted elements into a fascinating composite of sparkling crystals. Into each of these little sculptures I then place a miniature painted landscape that echoes the colours and feeling of its sculpted form. I aim to beckon the viewer into a condensed world of beauty expressed by the glittering crystals and dreamlike landscapes.”
With nature as her muse and taking inspiration from the Niagara Region, Cochrane has a goal for this exhibition. “I hope with my artwork to create a richness to enthral the viewer, and to allow a space of beauty and contemplation.”
The exhibit will run from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30. Contact the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre for more information at niagarapumphouse.ca or 905-468-5455.
For more information on Marilyn Cochrane, consult the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre website or the artist’s website at www.marilyn