It opened in Regina in February, and since has received praise from several Saskatchewan curators. It will also be exhibited in Weyburn, Melfort, Estevan and Outlook. Reporter Sarah Ferguson has worked as an artist in a variety of mediums for almost 20 years, and holds a BFA in visual art. She spoke with the artists about the philosophy that drives their work.
Ferguson: So the main theme in this show is natural phenomena?
Hume: Yes- and in my case, it’s about mythology too.
Andrist: My work in this show is about how the sun evolves and changes as it moves through the sky; also some people see the sun as a spiritual being, and that was something else I was trying to express.
Hume: I tend to come back to mythology again and again.
Ferguson: What is it about mythology that speaks to you?
Hume: My day to day life is very mundane and regimented…I get up, have my breakfast and take care of chores- but mythology stories aren’t. They’re romantic and passionate and there’s lots of action in them. It’s storytelling at its very best; that’s another thing I love about it…when I was a little girl, we had a set of encyclopedias, and in volume 14 of that set of encyclopedias was a pile of mythology stories and those became my inspiration for this body of work.
Ferguson: So what made you and Cheryl decide to work together?
Hume: We started out talking about putting a show together and found out that when it came to our subject matter, we were on the same page- we were both interested in natural phenomena.
Andrist: We worked with our own concepts independently, then we would bring them together…I thought often of my grandmother, who was always looking at the stars and was very fond of astronomy. She talked often about how the sky was always changing.
Ferguson: Yes, by observing the natural world through abstract eyes, or by using phenomena in nature to tell a story…nature works well as a theme.
Andrist: I stayed with the sun as a subject. I would watch the sky every day.
Ferguson: Do you think that artists see the world differently? Like for instance, your abstract pictures of sunsets, Cheryl, if you didn’t look at the world uniquely, you wouldn’t be able to paint them this way.
Andrist: Yes- and anyone looking at an art piece will always see different things in it than the artist themselves.
Hume- And it’s hard. People have the wrong perspective about artists sometimes. They think that when you are creating a painting, you can just go into a studio on Sundays and knock it off in a few hours- they don’t get how much time and work goes into the whole thing.
Andrist: And they don’t realize the meditation involved or the emotional stuff that is coming out of you at the same time when you are making art.
Ferguson: Do you get new ideas by talking to different people who look at your work?
Hume: Absolutely. I know what each piece in the show means to me, but it’s nice to have someone else come along and talk to me about them… though artists are sensitive people, they need to have thick skins when they are showing their work!
Andrist: And that’s why there are some artists that you never hear about…because they never show their work…they’re too afraid of criticism.
Ferguson: Artists live two lives, don’t they- they make art and then work their day jobs…
Andrist: Yes! My husband would always say to me ‘Why do you push yourself so hard; why do you have to do all of this art work on top of your day to day life?’ and I would say ‘You don’t understand! This is what I love and this is who I am!’
Hume: As an artist, your brain is going all the time and it never stops!
Andrist: I’ve explained to my husband that art is my relaxation. Now that he understands that, we get along just fine.
Hume: I’d like to shut the creative part of my brain off sometimes.
Andrist: I know!
Hume- And if you give yourself time off from a project, the next thing you know, you’ve thought of another project…
Ferguson: So why did you decide to do a show?
Hume: I guess because it’s in your blood…you just have to keep doing art…and I think we connected at university because there were so many similarities between us.
Andrist: Yes, we were both printmakers and Diana was in the studio next to mine…even after graduation, somehow we still kept in touch.
Ferguson: How long did it take to put the show together?
Andrist: About a year and a half…
Hume: And now we are starting on a new show…we are connecting through Skype a lot. That way we don’t have to leave home- we can show each other the work online.
Andrist: It’s still nice to meet face to face once in a while though…we would usually do that every two months or so.
So what are your plans for your next show?
Hume: We are still figuring that out…we are trying to work out what we want to draw.
Andrist: I think for the next one, I want to work more with fabric. I have always been into quilting and I want to work more with that type of art.
Ferguson: And these paintings are part of you.
Andrist: Yes… You know, I still have a hard time letting go of my pictures, but you have to, just to be practical.
Hume: And that’s why, I confess, I sometimes put higher prices on some of my work!
The exhibition will be held in the following locations:
Allie Griffin Art Gallery, Weyburn from April 13 - May 31, 2012.
Shervin-Smith Art Gallery, Melfort from Oct. 1 - 29, 2012.
Estevan Art Gallery, Estevan from Nov 8 - Dec 15, 2012.
Outlook Art Gallery, Outlook from Apr 1 - May 13, 2013.