Deon Venter - Digital archival prints
12 selections from the series Landings, Vineyards et al.
Digital archival prints on aluminum, edition of 25.
Mounted and framed.
“Drawings and preparatory paintings are like an artist's midden. The detritus, bones, shells, history - often discarded yet formulating the composition of the final work. There is spontaneity and economy of visual vocabulary, a reductive process of stylization and a capturing of the essence of what is depicted. The bag of tricks for drawing is basic and direct. Sticks of burned willow, a chamois and eraser is what I commonly use. A bit of color oxide and charcoal powder, to offset, juxtapose and charge the imagery. For me, for a drawing to be effective, there has to be vigor, energy, an impulsive spontaneity and economy of statement. As in my paintings, I make use of rubbing, erasing – obliterating and revealing at the same time”. Deon Venter, 2014
Landings series, 2003. These images depict the loading structures ubiquitous at ferry terminals. Rich in symbolism – that of arrivals and departures, safe havens, a sense of place and belonging - the most elaborate facilitate two tiers of loading while the simplest are mere docks or ramps. They exhibit a strict formality in their structure while a central vista through the composition draws the viewer through the image itself, just as the vehicles are driven through them onto the ferry. In ‘Equalizer’ - a painting of the now removed Mouats dock in Ganges - the structure takes the appearance of a gallows, constructed of simple post and beam members, while the drawing ‘Dolphins’ references the term ferry workers call the pilings and infrastructures which absorb the knocks and scrapes, guiding the ferry in safely. Within the Landings group, four of the prints are taken from paintings on the subject and four are from masterful large scale drawings with colour highlights.
Vineyards & Flooded Fields series, 2003-2012. Deon says, “Vineyards are a micro slice of life - rich in metaphor and interpretation… One has to consider the layers of possible reference to issues of history, memory, geography and identity”. In these drawings, he depicts the winter vistas of one of his favourite Salt Spring views, that of the dormant vineyards - devoid of vegetation, ravenous birds and the visitors who wander along the rows. Unlike much of Canada, the Gulf Islands are largely spared from snow in winter. Instead, a long and steady mist and rain envelops the land, turning once dry rural fields into a plane of squelchy, furrowed, wet surface. These contemplative scenes are rendered in charcoal with colour highlights, the perfect medium to illustrate the mood. The structure of the fences and trellises, along with the linearity of the rows create a rhythm as they follow the terrain. Included among these landscapes is a depiction of a singular tree, a Camperdown Elm, growing near the road at the site of an old homestead in Fulford Valley. ‘Tree’ represents one of the few remaining examples of this twisted and contorted subject, drawn “...in the fall and winter when its twisted limbs are exposed – like a bag of bones”.
These well-priced prints are beautifully mounted and framed. They are perfectly suited for for private or public spaces such as hotel lobbies and guest rooms, cafes and restaurants and professional offices and waiting rooms.