Bad luck? No, just unusual art

 Mountain climbers is one of the pieces in Fortuna at  the Trianon art gallery. Photo By Richard AmeryBad luck has always fascinated Calgary based artist Stacey Watson, so she made it the subject of her new exhibition, “Fortuna” showing at the Trianon Gallery (104-5 Street South) until Nov. 20.
Her displays, which include an disabled oil well shooting streamers of oil, a wishing well and a mountain with dead mountain climbers at the foot of it along with some dark and disturbing oil paintings, were created in the unusual medium of paper maché. They are a departure from her usual medium of photography. She taught photography at the University of Lethbridge during the summer.
“I just wanted to make fun of the idea of bad luck, fortune and fate,” she said adding the humour is in the use of her materials.
“The mountain climbers have funny gloves on and they look like Halloween dummies,” she said adding her paintings were done with the idea of manipulating the paint as little as possible in order to create art which can be interpreted as to the audience‘s whims. Some of the subjects include a surreal waterfall, drowning sailors and what looks like people holding torches in a dark cave.
“ I wanted to explore  creating art with the least amount of paint manipulation to evoke landscapes and some of the scary things happening in it,” she said.
She has been working in paper maché for 15 years and took her Masters in Fine Art  in photography.
She has been working on the pieces for this display for over a year.
“I designed them specifically or this space,” she said.
Fortuna was one of numerous exhibitions which opened  in Lethbridge, in the midst of a howling wind storm, Sept. 26.
The two displays at the Bowman Art Gallery drew a lot of people to the premiere. Marie Imrie de Gomez’s colourful and cute works made of found objects including pieces of tile, mirrors and bright paint was a hit as was Andrew Lint’s collection of pinhole photographs,  called “Confessions of a Pinhole Obsession,” of coastal scenes taken through a pinhole camera made out of a garbage can and a smaller one made out of a coffee can. Both of those run until Oct. 31.
The Southern Alberta Art Gallery, in its temporary location located next to the Alec Arms, featured the work of Ancohorage, Alaska born artist Ian Pedigo, who had an unusual display  of oddly placed sticks and pieces of carpet and rocks also had a good crowd, many of whom wandered between the three galleries. That exhibit, entitled “Those That Float Because they Are Light” runs until Nov. 15.
—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor