About the Exhibition
The John Series:
This series of work was painted during the time my husband John was ill and after he died. A period of about six years. It was a most difficult time for me and the paintings reflect that; my inner and outer ‘Landscape.’ Chaotic, deeply sad, and strange. Colour has always been a guide for me, it really says what I wanted to say in these pieces.
The Dog series:
In this series I was trying to express something about the lives of the dogs who wander the streets and beaches of Progresso, a small-town John and I would go to in the Yucatan Province of Mexico. These dogs lead hard lives and I think they taught me a great deal about just getting on with your life whatever the circumstances. The paintings in this series are all fairly large so I decided that just one would have to do.
The Mexican Series:
These paintings are about the sun, the beach and the feeling of the Mexico I know after going there for a couple of months most years since 1987! How lucky! I love New Brunswick but the winter can be ……well not warm! To say the least.
The Field Series:
This group of work began with the large piece on canvas, its size and colour are, to me, the sort of mystery I feel when I see a huge field after it has been ploughed. It is waiting, strong and full of potential. The framed pieces are about fields I see driving. Flashing past I mostly catch their colour but also their rich beauty.
The Namib Desert Series:
This group came after a wonderful trip my daughter Sue and I took to the Namib Desert. What an experience it was, huge skies at night, vast landscapes and when I asked, I was told it was considered a young desert, it still had mountains, they were crumbling but they weren’t yet sand. It also had these strange trees called Koker Boom. They grew in odd rough ways and I was fascinated by them.
About the Artist
Kathy Hooper, painter, printmaker, sculptor and ceramist, was in 1994 winner of the Strathbutler Award for excellence in the visual arts and craft in New Brunswick. Born in Africa, she studied in England and in South Africa before coming to Canada in the early 1960’s. She has an impressive exhibition history and an equally impressive record of acting on behalf of artists on boards and juries. Her most recent solo exhibitions include the Dog Series which grew out of a visit to Mexico and which was shown there, The Dark Series, which dealt with the racial turmoil of South Africa and before that the Marginalia for the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and A Series on Violence at the Gallery Connexion. Work of hers travelled in Canada and the United States with Five New Brunswick Artists (Strathbutler winners), through the Maritimes with Anecdotes and Enigmas the Marion McCain show of 1994 and in Waterloo, Ontario at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery. In 1993 she was the curator for Suzanne Hill’s Carapace series. She served on the Premier’s Advisory Committee on the Arts from 1986-89, which proposed the formation of an Arts Board, and as an Arts Board member from 1990-91. She also served on the Advisory Board of the Canada Council Art Bank and on various juries both national and provincial. Her works are to be found in public and private collections in Canada and beyond.
Ever since I was very young, all I wanted to do was paint and make things. Growing up home schooled, on a farm in South Africa, I drew and painted all the time, animals, birds and plants and a weekly comic strip, delivered free to my family, mostly devoted to lusty girls and tough men. I try to say what I feel and think through my work, both sculpture and paintings and I work mostly in acrylics on canvas or paper; usually the work turns into a series as I explore an idea. Often figurative and with colour as a strong element, I am also exploring a more abstract approach to both landscape and the human figure in the work I am at present doing.