Abstracting Colour Photography At The Ferry Building GalleryTuesday, February 25, 2014
I first met Ian Bateson as an editorial illustrator in 1977 at a Vancouver Magazine end-of-the-month contributor’s get-together (we called them piss-ups) where food consisted of chips and the drink Portuguese vinho verde and cheap beer.
Our friendship progressed and Bateson became a graphic designer for a one-of-a-kind Baseline Type & Graphics Cooperative.
Through the years we discussed often the change in the magazines, newspapers and the diminishing needs for editorial photographers and graphic designers. We spoke of the need of re-defining what we did.
The Bateson I chatted with last night at the opening of Abstracting Colour Photography at the Ferry Building in West Vancouver was Bateson the artist.
The show, a beautiful show not featuring unintelligible installation/conceptual art that is so frequent a downer for me in local exhibitions, had work that was happy in colour, demanding enough that I had to look at the work several times and inspiring enough that I just might attempt to photograph peeling paint (and not after waiting for it to dry) like North Shore News photographer (and artist) Mike Wakefield whose large inkjets were sharp and most handsome. Wakefield a happy newspaper photographer for the North Shore News since the mid 80s in my short chat with him did not reveal any of those I-make-the-motions-until-I-retire syndrome but was excited about that art side of his profession.
Kelly Selden’s abstract photographs taken with a low resolution digital camera intrigued me as they were somehow “printed or etched” on metal. I am now inspired to call her up to enquire to see if her method can be adapted to my portraits.
Bateson’s work is work of a consummate man, who draws, and paints, and air brushes, who eschewed all that to work on an iPad using an app or method called brushes and Procreate. His work begins as low resolution photographs. The theme of his work was Vancouver. It was a Vancouver I had not seen.
Again, any work that inspires me to emulate, rip off, copy has to be work that fulfills what art is supposed to be. It challenges us into activity.
Should I live longer (I am 71) I wonder what Bateson’s next incarnation will be. Perhaps I need not wonder. The beginning artist (or the artist that hid that talent for so many years) will probably become the consummate artist some of us suspected he always was.
The show will be on until March 9. There will be a meet-the-artists this Saturday, March 1 from 2 to 3 pm
Ferry Building Gallery
1414 Argyle Avenue
West Vancouver, 604-925-7290