August 14, 2017

Bonnie Conly: Walking Meditations

Grassland Mountain, 2015

September 5 – October 27, 2017
Opening reception: Friday September 8, 7-9pm

We begin our fall season with ‘Walking Meditations’ by local artist Bonnie Conly. The exhibition features over thirty five postcard-sized ink and pastel sketches produced during her 2015 artist residency at Grasslands National Park, located in Southern Saskatchewan. Also included are Conly’s photographs documenting the installation of her small, metal sculptures entitled ‘Warriors’. These sculptures were made with metal collected from the Grasslands area in 2012 and installed by Conly in the park during her residency.  A number of these sculptures will be on display during our evening reception on Friday September 8. We hope that you can join us.

Utilizing a variety of approaches including sculpture, video, sound installation, drawing and photography, I contemplate the distinctiveness of my personal experience with the land as well as my own ancestry.  My searching artworks seek to reclaim both land and memory – reflecting upon the unbreakable bonds between soul and space.
My art translates my connections and observations as I move between rural and urban environments.  Both natural and constructed elements that define those spaces influence my work.  I find that places of solace, quiet and engagement are becoming increasingly rare.  They have become increasingly sacred to me and have conceptually inspired a need to celebrate them in my art.  I believe there is an affective bond between person and place that creates a history, a conscious and unconscious engagement where location prompts emotion, experience, and memories.  I believe this tie to be so strong that history remains even when the place physically changes.  It is this element of “trace” that compels my work, merging realism with personal, symbolic, and metaphoric layers.

Bonnie Conly
Artist Statement, 2015

Eagle Butte Trail, 2015, Ink and Conté on watercolour paper, 4″ x 6″

Belza Hayfield, 2015, Ink and Conté on watercolour paper, 4″ x 6″

Nasty Bug Bite, 2015 Ink and watercolour on paper, 4″ x 6″

Cooler, 2015, Ink and Conté on watercolour paper, 4″ x 6″