As a painter, Nicoletta Baumeister is keen to explore how the human mind sees, understands and constructs the world around it.
In her first solo exhibition at Surrey Art Gallery, 40 works created by the South Surrey-based artist will be shown during the two-month run of In the Realm of Perception, which opens on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Weaving together memory, history and time, Baumeister’s paintings are “a thought-provoking foray into the processes through which the brain generates meaning,” according to a SAG event advisory.
Baumeister grew up in Kitimat and has had a studio in Surrey for close to 30 years.
“The world is a fantastic, awe-inspiring place, and we are invited to take part in it through the portals of our senses,” she states. “Visual art is well suited to reflect and convey not only the appearance of things, but also their sense. Combining layers of content in my work, I strive for a balance between object and meaning, beauty and possibility.”
In a biography, Baumeister is described as “a painter interested in exploring the human act of making sense out of sensation. Her quest is to understand the gaps between seeing, perceiving, and understanding a thing. Her artwork, rooted in hyperrealism, has permuted into abstract work in the last 15 years.”
She studied at Langara College, the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and also specialized in goldsmithing at an institution in Germany. She has been painting, exhibiting and winning awards since 1984, as has taught students of all ages since the late 1990s. Online, Baumeister’s work is showcased on nicoletta.ca.
At Surrey Art Gallery, Baumeister will speak during the exhibition’s opening reception, on Jan. 19 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and also during a public tour on March 14.
Can you solve the mountain of puzzle pieces in this interactive sculpture? Join us at the launch of the Surrey Art Gallery's exhibits on Saturday, January 19 with a free artist talk and reception. More info at https://t.co/UjMfBIBrEm #SurreyBC pic.twitter.com/mphLJEacMm
— City of Surrey (@CityofSurrey) January 8, 2019
The opening reception for In the Realm of Perception will also celebrate Surrey Art Gallery’s other winter exhibitions, including “an ultimate jigsaw puzzle for visitors to interact with,” in Colette Urban: Gambler, and “thought-provoking stories connected to African diasporic experience” in the short film Triangle Trade, by Camille Turner, Jérôme Havre and Cauleen Smith. Crescent Beach Photography Club’s group exhibit Impressions is also on display in the gallery lobby, at 13750 88 Ave., Bear Creek Park.
Triangle Trade will make its British Columbia debut at Surrey Art Gallery. In the 14-minute film, three puppet characters – who resemble the collaborating artists who worked on the project – live on an archipelago of islands. “As the figures move through their respective environments made of paper, fabric, and paint, they contemplate their relationships to land and belonging,” according to a SAG event advisory. “At times, the rugged landscape of sand and rock isolates them. At other times, it offers them the possibility of transformation and greater connection.”
The film aims to present “an important conversation and vivid imagery that speaks to our current cultural climate marked by incidences of xenophobia and racism.”
Meanwhile, Urban’s Gambler consists of thousands of loose jigsaw puzzle pieces piled upon a custom-designed industrial work table. “This interactive sculpture was inspired by the urban transformations of Vancouver’s False Creek lands during Expo 86,” the gallery notes. “Gambler invites visitors to sort, assemble, and dismantle the pieces. While visitors work on the sculpture, a soundtrack of an active bingo parlour plays in the room.”