As Shavasana Gallery’s first show of the season, “Tanya Clark – A World of Art”, ( May 7 – June 4) is not proceeding due to the pandemic, I’ve decided to do a little write up of Tanya’s fabulous art for you so you may, at least, have an idea of what was in store for you -sans canapés – had we been able to put together an Art Opening and month-long show for her.
Tanya has had an extremely interesting and well-travelled life, which is reflected in the diversity of media & styles that she employs in her artistic expression… “Tanya is a formally trained Canadian artist who studied painting and printmaking at Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver, before moving to Tokyo in 1985 to study the art of woodblock printmaking with world renowned artist Toshi Yoshida.” Tanya immersed herself in the Shin-hanga style of printmaking which gave her an “appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic with its subdued and subtle approach to colour. In 1991, her work was awarded ‘Gold for a New Member’ at the Nihonhangakai, the largest international juried competition for woodblock prints.”…the first non-Japanese woman to do so!
After five years in Japan, she relocated to Phuket, Thailand where she was “seduced once more by a completely different palette. The bold, saturated colours of the Andaman Sea and the visual explosion of tropical flora, both above and below the water, inspired a different direction in her work.” Here Tanya turned her attention to vibrant oil colours and expressive brush strokes on canvas – a departure from the subtle colours of her woodblock training.
In 1994 Tanya moved to the small island of Anguilla in the Caribbean where she “continued to explore the vibrant tropical elements of water, cloud, mountain and reef” She eventually opened “Phoenix Gallery” where she was able to exhibit her wonderful art and provide much-needed framing for island residents. In 2015 she spent time in southern Africa which inspired “a new collection of drawings and paintings featuring the inhabitants of Namibia and Botswana.”
Unfortunately, Tanya had to leave Anguilla in 2017 when Hurricane Irma (the strongest on record) destroyed her business and her gentle Caribbean island existence. The Caribbean’s loss was Mayne Island’s gain as she chose to relocate back to her native British Columbia, and settle on another small island (Mayne) for a time, painting and drawing and providing framing services. She now resides in Victoria, preparing for new artistic inspiration and outlets for her creativity.
Although I’m disappointed that I can’t bring you her lovely work in person, I hope that you can take some time and visit her website to get a better understanding of just how significant and grand her work truly is: https://www.tanyaclarkart.com/
If all progresses as we hope, the Coronavirus will be defeated soon and life can return to normal. Tanya and I have discussed mounting her art show next year when social gatherings are back in vogue – fingers crossed! 🙂
(the Featured Image to this article is called “Veil of Tears” – 20 x 45 Oil on Linen…and is available for purchase)