The Kube is located in Gibsons, BC, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Our shop is unique as we have 11 working artist studios, an art gallery and thoughtfully curated retail. We pride ourselves on sourcing high quality, hand-crafted artisan products.
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Sunshine Coast based Keely Halward is our feature artist for January. Come by to take in her cheerful vistas. Artist Statement I have been working on my Mountain Moon series for a little over
Sunshine Coast based Keely Halward is our feature artist for January. Come by to take in her cheerful vistas.
I have been working on my Mountain Moon series for a little over a year now. Initially, these works were in response to the connectedness, joy and presence I experience in the alpine. My intuitive abstract painting process reflected how present I feel while hiking in the remote wild: present to my body, to my surroundings, to each step. The unchaining from self-imposed structures like oppressive to-do lists, social media scrolling, and even personal identity. A vast freedom attempted to be captured in brush strokes and vibrant colour. Round portals to this experience.
And then Covid-19 struck and so did restrictions and fear across the globe. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others were killed. Forests were on fire all summer. Particles of trees, animals and entire cities that burned in California became haze around my studio in BC, Canada. Climate change did not stop for covid. The U.S. presidential campaign and election took place with the world on the edge of its seat.
These crises, and their exposure of the precariousness of previously thought unchangeable structures, became the backdrop to painting my Mountain Moons.
Planes were grounded world-wide while consumption reduced drastically. Pollution plummeted in turn and provided temporary relief to a warming planet. Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Rights voices called for bold anti-racist and decolonizing systemic changes. Mass protests lead to police reform in many places. The first woman and black/South Asian vice president was elected in the US and political tides were shifting. Millions of health professionals, scientists and citizens worldwide worked heroically together to tackle covid-19. We shared more in common across the globe while fighting the pandemic than potentially any other time in recent history in spite of, or because of, our collective isolation.
Amidst this backdrop of bold action, solutions, voices and connection within isolation, I experienced my art and its meaning change. Or rather deepen. The boldness in my palette began to mean more. The theme of freedom in my work on this series became much more relevant as I painted. I began to further explore the notion of portals as gateways to parallel worlds/realities/possibilities. My Mountain Moons morphed into escape hatches from the structures we are chained to both personally and societally that no longer serve us, and those that restrict us from experiencing connection, joy and presence. They became thresholds to what could be instead, given the will for change. This Is No Time for a Muted Palette invites the viewer to consider the boldness required of each of us at this unique moment in which we coexist, should we wish to change the status quo.
Keely Halward is a straight, white, cisgendered woman, settler, daughter, sister, mother, stepmother, spouse, auntie, singer-songwriter, event organizer, outdoor enthusiast, social justice advocate, food-lover, gardener, and artist working and living in xwesam, Roberts Creek, BC.
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