Barry Hodgson & Murray Gainer
October 5 – November 11, 2023
Opening Reception | Thursday, October 5 7-9pm
[Announcement: September 12, 2023]- Earls Court Gallery graciously announces our upcoming exhibition FOUND SANCTUARY featuring new paintings by Hamilton artist Barry Hodgson and Toronto artist Murray Gainer.
Finding a place of sanctuary in the land is not a new artistic exploration, however curator Andrea Jackman has brought together two artists who approach this investigation and portrayal of landscape in contrasting approaches that ultimately result in each artist finding a place of quietude.
For artist Barry Hodgson the action of painting is an “in the moment” thing. In his own words, “Composition and mark-making take precedence over description. My process is to find relationships among my subject, my materials and my own concerns and use them, in a very immediate manner, to guide all the decision-making in the working process.” The results are thoroughly thought out paintings that investigate landforms that have only the essential components to communicate to the viewer his message.
In contrast, Murray Gainer reflects on emotions and feelings towards loneliness, loss, sanctuary, mystery, longing and foreboding. The paintings offer a dreamlike depiction of landforms where horizon blends into the reaching hillsides; reflective pools of water are refreshing blues that mirror the sky movements. Murray “believes the more successful of these paintings incorporate an emotional charge.”
FOUND SANCTUARY exhibition can be viewed in person at 215 Ottawa Street North, Hamilton. Earls Court Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. The artworks will be featured in the main gallery. All artworks will be featured online starting October 5, 2023.
Join us for the opening reception and meet the artists Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 7 pm until 9 pm. No reservations required. All are welcome
Entry is free | Family Friendly | Fully Accessible | Groups Welcomed
Curator Andrea Jackman
Earls Court Gallery, 215 Ottawa St. N, Hamilton
Barry is an artist from Hamilton ON. He works in oils on canvas and panels, ink, pastels and watercolour on paper and the occasional sculpture. Landscape subjects dominate his body of work but it also includes still life, a large group of drawings of butterflies and some abstract compositions.
Barry was born in 1954 and grew up in Vineland Station, ON, where farming, gardening and camping established his interest in the outdoors. Drawing with his grandfather and family visits to galleries established his interest in art.
Barry studied at the University of Guelph, first in biology, then switched to Fine Art and completed his B.A. in 1978. After university Barry stayed in Guelph for several years, painting and drawing in his studio and working extensively in the outdoors near home and on trips across Canada. Painting trips are sometimes solo endeavors, with family or very often with other artists, notably fellow Guelph graduate Scott Abbott. Scott and Barry painted at the Abbotts’ cottage near Parry Sound immediately after graduation in 1978 and have repeated the experience as often as possible ever since.
While still a student, Barry started working in the university art gallery as assistant preparator, work that led to a part-time career in museum work at Guelph, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Harbourfront Gallery in Toronto, and the Prairie Gallery in Grande Prairie AB. He has lived in Hamilton with his wife Barbara and their two children since 1988.
Barry has exhibited widely in public and private galleries in Canada and received numerous awards and grants, including a month as Artist-in-Residence at Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.
His work is in the collections of the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Alberta Art Foundation, the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador and other public, corporate and private collections in Canada and abroad.
Barry is represented by Ingram Gallery in Toronto, Earls Court Gallery in Hamilton and Madrona Gallery in Victoria, BC.
"When working on a new painting, I must learn how to paint it, discover answers to its questions. Sometimes the discoveries are subtle, but they are always there in a successful piece."
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, my early exposure to the visual arts was through classes sponsored by the Edmonton Art Gallery and through the Student’s Union at the University of Alberta, where I later enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Training in drawing, painting and sculpture was supplemented by a visiting artist workshop program; Paterson Ewen was a participant in this program and an early mentor. Degree work was supplemented by the experience of attending two consecutive summer programs at the Emma Lake campus of the University of Saskatchewan, where Otto Rogers was a particular influence. At the University of Alberta, having twice been awarded the Ashland Oil Canada Prize, I graduated with distinction with the BFA designation.
I moved to Toronto almost immediately following, and set up a studio in the west end of the city. I worked part time as a sculpture assistant, and was grateful to receive an Ontario Arts Council grant shortly thereafter. I achieved some small recognition through participation in shows including “Young Contemporaries” at the London Regional Art Gallery, and through several shows sponsored by Gallery Quan in Toronto, most notably “Aspects of Landscape” and subsequently “Miniatures”.
In subsequent years the nature of my work shifted to sculpture and to smaller works on paper; the volume of work was initially much reduced due to full time employment as well as the demands of raising a family of three young boys in conjunction with my wife Winnie. But upon retirement from outside employment in 2005, the nature of my work has shifted back into painting, although much more towards representative imagery.
My wife and I currently maintain residences in both Toronto and Prince Edward County. We have traveled extensively in the last several years, particularly through Asia, Africa and South America. In addition to the impressions and memories created, photographs and sketches from these travels tend to be incorporated in current work.
My paintings are represented in several private collections in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia, as well as in Buffalo, New York. In 2022 my work was represented in the juried “Art in the County” show in Picton, Ontario, (June/July 2022), in the “Decay” exhibition at the Melt Studio + Gallery also in Picton, (October/November 2022), and in a solo exhibit entitled “Liminal Landscapes” at the Melt Studio + Gallery (November/December 2002). In 2023 I have a major show scheduled at the Earls Court Gallery in Hamilton, commencing October 5, 2023. In addition to this website, you can follow my work on Instagram under murraypaintings or on Facebook under murraygainerpaintings.