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Amelia Alcock-White, "Tranquille", 2014, oil on canvas, 48” x 72”.
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Amelia Alcock-White, "Inner Light", 2014, oil on canvas, 36" x 48".
By Portia Priegert
Amelia Alcock-White has a thing about water. Her work is awash in its myriad swirls and waves, from earlier paintings of people swimming in aqueous surrounds to her current, more serene, work.
Tranquille, for instance, shows a woman floating in a rowboat along a watery channel framed with verdant greenery. The effect is atmospheric with the far vista seemingly shrouded in mist and the vegetation less depicted than suggested. The woman’s reflection is mirrored in the inky water of the foreground. Her features blurred, she becomes an everywoman, like all of us, on a journey to an unknown destination.
Another new work, Inner Light, is also included in Alcock-White’s upcoming solo exhibition, Solitudes, at Vancouver’s Petley Jones Gallery. It’s a night scene that depicts a man sitting on a rocky shore above a murky pool of water, cupping his hands around a light. He could be holding a candle or a lighter, or perhaps, given the work’s title, it’s more symbolic than literal. “I wanted,” she says, “to keep it mysterious.”
Alcock-White’s fascination with water may be due to her West Coast roots. Born on Vancouver Island, she studied at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, where she now lives. She still spends time around the ocean, and sees her work as an expression of psychological and archetypal themes. “My paintings are inspired by life’s harmonies and contradictions,” she says. “The emotions are personal, but the subject matter is universal.”
Amelia Alcock-White’s exhibition at Petley Jones Gallery in Vancouver runs Oct. 23 to Nov. 6, 2014. Her work is priced at $2,000 to $10,000.