Jennifer Goodwin’s new art exhibit, Floral Dialogues, runs at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre until October 14. Goodwin has been creating art since she was a young girl growing up in Liverpool, England. “I was one of those kids who grew up always wanting to be an artist,” says Goodwin. “But I was one of six so you can imagine there were many distractions in our house.” She was introduced to Vancouver when visiting her sister who lived there, and found Canada very welcoming. She immigrated to Vancouver and raised her family. “It wasn’t until I had my child out of the house that I decided to devote myself to doing some art,” she says. She returned to school, experimented in different mediums, “broadening my horizons,” and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 1992. Since then, she has been working as an artist full-time. Three years ago, she and her husband, Carmelo Sortino, also a painter, moved to Sechelt and set up their studios.
Her preferred mediums these days are oils and collage. Goodwin takes her own photographs and works from those as her eyesight is not the best. She likes working in series as it “allows you to expand on whatever [subject] you choose to do,” she says. “The more you look at it, the more you can reinterpret it in many different ways.” With a large garden in her home, an abundance of flowers were very close at hand. “Moving to the Coast and being so close to nature, being up close and personal brought the floral dialogues home to me again.” This series of colourful and bright paintings forms part of Goodwin’s conversation with nature, with the flowers in her garden and amongst the flowers themselves, sometimes creating unique “bouquets.” “I was looking for luminosity, some light,” says Goodwin. “So that when you’re looking at them you get the idea that they’ve been manipulated by weather, soaked in the sun or drenched in the rain.” The exhibit will feature approximately 30 pieces in oils and paper and photo collage. Though flowers may seem like a traditional subject, Goodwin believes every individual perspective is unique. “I’m finally finding my own vocabulary,” she says. “My own way of painting and expressing myself. Hopefully that comes across in the canvasses.”
Floral Dialogues by Jennifer Goodwin runs at the Doris Crowston Gallery at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre September 19 to October 14. Also showing, Painting with Fibre by Eugenia Stephenson. Opening reception on Sunday, September 23 from 2-4pm and on Sunday, September 30 at 1:30pm, Eugenia Stephenson will hold a weaving demonstration.