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
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
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
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.