Carey Newman paid tribute toresidential school survivors witha project entitled Witness Blanket.

The arts shone in Sooke in 2013

Art is an important aspect of life in the Sooke region

rt and the creation of it filled the pages of the Sooke News Mirror in 2013. Art helps enrich all of our lives.

 

May 15, 2013

Witness Blanket: Weaving pieces of history

To speak of things that happened in residential schools only brings them back into focus and many who were sent to these places rarely talk about their experiences. Hearing his father’s stories for the first time affected Carey Newman in a very different way.

The emerging stories deeply affected the younger Newman and led to the idea of a project where reconciliation was the theme.

“I thought of a blanket and I realized it should include the idea of reconciliation, parts of buildings, parts of churches, government buildings and other related structures,” said Newman. The project is called “Witness Blanket.” The sole purpose is to stand in eternal witness to the effect of the Indian residential school era. As the children sent to these schools were “broken” so are the places they were sent to. The crumbling buildings of authority mirror the loss of language, pride and family for those sent to the residential schools.

Newman wants to “weave” a blanket from those stories and pieces of residential school history. He sees a large scale art installation that will stand as a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the residential school era while honouring the children and symbolize ongoing reconciliation.

June 5, 2013

Bluegrass Festival is back better than ever

It’s been two years since there’s been a bluegrass festival in Sooke and there are many fans who have missed the yearly event usually held mid-June.

“We’re on!” exclaims Larry Statland, one of the festival directors.

For 11 years, the banjos and fiddles, guitars and bass were heard resounding through the valley as bands struck up a chord and let ‘er rip. Some of the best bluegrass pickers and strummers journeyed out to Sooke to start off the season of bluegrass festivals. But, for the past two years, the fiddles were silent at the Sooke Flats and people missed it, said Statland.

This year, the festival, which takes place June 14 to 16, will have a new feature — square dancing!

June 26, 2013

Caught between realism and abstraction

Visually Linda Anderson’s paintings have a textural feel somewhere between pointillism and stained glass. She has created a process where she uses only vertical brush strokes and the effect, if viewed up close, looks like square pixels of colour.

“It creates a whole new dynamic of movement,” said Anderson. “Even though it is directional your eye moved through the painting.”

She’s on to something. From her research so far she hasn’t found anyone painting in quite the same manner and she calls it “a bridge between realism and abstraction.”

August 28, 2013

Forging a life in ‘Paradise’

As soon as you drive up to the gates at Foggy Mountain Forge you know what you will see beyond them may be a little intense. The gates are both weird and welcoming. Weird in that they encompass surreal almost medieval imagery and welcoming in that curiosity takes over and you want to drive up further and see what you are in for.

Foggy Mountain Forge along West Coast Road in Shirley is a family enterprise. Marty Gilbertson and his son Justin are blacksmiths, welders and metal recyclers.

They do things the old fashioned way with coal, fire and brute strength.

“We’re recyclers of whatever and use left over metal for art or functional tools,” said Marty.