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West end artist showcases the unconscious in...
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Jan 16, 2017  |  Vote 0    0

West end artist showcases the unconscious in Nepean

Nepean Barrhaven News

For Barb Lougheed, art does not need to be sombre in order to be thoughtful.

The west end artist has had her abstract oil paintings selected to be showcased at the Centrepointe Theatre Gallery in Nepean.

Her paintings use bright happy colours and complex compositions to portray what she sees as a benevolent universe.

“A lot of contemporary art tends towards the sombre and mine is pretty happy. I use colour to celebrate life,” she said. “It’s my way of saying the universe is a place to be celebrated. Lively movement is a big part of my art.”

The artist said her hope is that her complex compositions, using abstract shapes, cause the viewer to stop for a second to let them sink in.

“They’re dense but light hearted,” she said. There is a lot going in the world. Let’s slow down and appreciate how complex this is. There’s also a lot of fun and joy being expressed through it.”

She starts her process with an empty canvas and just sees where the colours and balanced compositions take her.

“It’s a celebration of the giddy speed we’re living our lives at in this time,” she said.

“That is my way of expressing the fact that’s the world we live in. We’re constantly being asked to change and move to the circumstances.”

Her exhibition called The Inner Universe II, started Jan. 13 and explores unconscious imagery and symbols.

“The unconscious is usually shown as a scary place where we dare not venture,” she said. “I’m trying to show this is an incredible place with potential with a joyful nature to it.”

Lougheed has worked part time as an artist for the past 20 years, and started painting 15 years ago. She has used various media over the years, from paper maché to acrylic paints. Her most recent work and the pieces in the exhibition have been oil paintings.

Lougheed has had an exhibit in Almonte before, but the Centrepointe Theatre show was her first in Ottawa. She studied at the Ottawa School of Art, the Montreal Visual Arts Centre, Haliburton School of Art and Algonquin College.

She credited Willem de Kooning and Jean-Michel Basquiat as two artists who have strongly influenced her.

The exhibit, which was funded with help from the Ontario Arts Council, will run through to Feb. 11 and is open every day of the week at varying times.

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