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  • Writer's pictureSusan Haigh


So it is time for the Salt Spring National Art Prize again. I submitted a piece but it was not one of the 52 chosen from the 2000 entries for the show. It did get chosen though for the Parallel Show at Artspring as one of the 52 out of the 200 Gulf Islands artists who had submitted work for SSNAP.

My piece, titled Blossom Smoke, shows delicate almond blossoms struggling on a somewhat tortured tree that has been trying for years to grow at the edge of the forest. As the firs and arbutus grow at the edge of the garden, the light diminishes around the flowering almond tree. Although determined to tempt the bees with the blossoms alluring fragrance, the tree never gets enough light or water to thrive and every year puts out new twiggy branches that often die. The gardener trims off the dead stems each spring. Thrown on the burn pile, they join the dead lower branches of the fir trees pruned off to give back some light to the almond. The smoke drifting by creates a slight edginess or tension in the painting. Behind it the forest looms, either comforting or frightening depending on the viewer's feelings about forests.

A more philosophical take on it could be;

In this dance of time, the smoke could signify the unkown, the unclear or danger. Like the almond, we try many times to be seen and appreciated but we are fragile. Behind the smoke the tall trees represent the strength of nature left to itself, a back drop to all our aspirations.

The SSNAP Show ( ) which opened Sept 21, is at Mahon Hall in Ganges and runs with many scheduled art events until October 20 with the Gala Awards Night on October 19. The Parallel Show's opening reception is on Friday Sept 27, 6 - 8 pm at Artspring in Ganges and the show also runs until Ocober 20.

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