Water, water everywhere. That expression is especially apt here in Vancouver.
In a new series of paintings, Water, coming to the Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver artists David Wilson looks at the natural watery surroundings and rain-soaked city streets of his hometown. Locals viewing his works will recognize not just familiar streets and harbours of Vancouver but also the glisten of rain reflecting the city. Water, or fluidity, is a pervasive theme that runs through Wilson’s work. In many of his paintings, rain-spattered cabs, and slick, reflective streets embrace the idea of our city in the rainforest.
“Rain-soaked city streets evoke something entirely visceral,” Wilson says. “So often you find this in the film industry, which goes to great lengths to recreate that saturated-with-rain aesthetic—and for good reason. Those streets reflect so much of ourselves back at us. It’s like peering in a distorted mirror that reminds us of places we inhabit, both imaginary and real.”
Moving away from abstraction, and using representation as a starting point, Wilson’s new work aligns colour and movement with more realistic depictions of a scene. Smaller and more detailed marks create what appears to be a sharply rendered image but upon closer examination reveals the looseness of the paint. Less interpretation is required, giving the viewer a more immediate and relatable experience.
“The annual precipitation we endure has created a sort of gloomy identity associated with living on the Coast,” Wilson says. “But if one lives here for an extended period of time one can, and often will, develop an affinity for it. The cycle of renewal and growth that we see, as the rain waters the earth and feeds the lakes and rivers, deepens our relationship with the world. The smell of new rain, the scent of the ocean and the fecund soil saturated with moisture inherently tie us to a place that solidifies our identities as West Coasters.”
David Wilson’s exhibition, Water will be on display November 2 – 24, 2018, at the Kimoto Gallery, 1525 W. 6th Avenue, hours Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday 10am – 6pm, Fridays Noon-5pm.