Cycles of life, shards of history, and seeds of creativity are three elements that happen to blend into the work of Deryk Houston and Elizabeth Wellburn. Houston and Wellburn are a couple and artists who will be combining their talents for a month-long exhibition at the Sooke Harbour House during the month of August.
The cycles of life come from Houston’s paintings which attempt to answer the question of “Why we are here” and distance between good and bad.
The shards of history translates in different ways for each of the artists. Houston’s fascination with war and Wellburn’s transformation of discarded glass into stained glass windows. The seeds of creativity are there for the both of them.
Houston states that his work is about peace and war and the thin thread that separates the two.
He explains his work, “Our studies of atomic structure and equations can be used for bombs or medicine so I might feature those equations in my paintings. I find it interesting to note how someone might quote Gandhi one day and support military intervention the next. Also interesting that this flaw of logic is likely in us all at some time. My art helps me find answers or at least cope with these realities.”
Houston has had one man exhibitions in the former Soviet Union, Iraq, Scotland, the U.S.A. and Canada. His work was featured in the National Film Board of Canada’s documentary, From Baghdad to Peace Country.
He has an anti-war piece in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. In the permanent collection, with the recommendation of The National Gallery of Canada.
Then couple are regular visitors to Sooke and have recently purchased a home here. They have a soft spot for this area and together they are currently working on a book about Point No Point. Wellburn is the writer and Houston, the illustrator. They previously worked together on the children’s book, Echoes from the Square, published by Rubicon Publishing.
Wellburn describes her work: “I start with discarded windows from heritage houses and work with chunks of recycled glass (chipped serving dishes, old stemware and scraps of glass from any source I can access). I kilnform the individual chunks to flatten, smooth and/or provide texture, and use a crystal clear two-component epoxy to adhere the chunks to the original window. The results are very three-dimensional (relief) and of course they transmit light in the way that a stained glass window would.”
Local Colour will feature 20 pieces of artwork from Aug. 1 to 27. The Sooke Harbour House Gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.