"City That Never Sleeps"
Sheila Kernan, "City That Never Sleeps," mixed media, 2011, 24" X 12".
July 1 to July 30, 2011, Mayberry Fine Art, Winnipeg
BY: Amy Fung
At first glance, Sheila Kernan’s works appear bright and viscous, almost abstract views of a familiar place. Upon closer inspection, or rather, stepping back, Kernan in fact has transformed her travel portraits into a medium wholly her own. Traveling from pristine mountain peaks to the streets of Las Vegas and San Francisco, the Calgary artist marks her impressions of a place by emphasizing the energy and excitement of each moment. Intensifying colours and pushing the boundaries between the imagined and the real, Kernan transforms the energy she feels in each space by infusing her visuals beyond representation and into an optic play on experiences she’s felt. Focusing on the spontaneous, the found, and the unassuming moments, Kernan adds her own range of media to transform each scene into a fantasy. Highlighting architectural lines, directions in traffic, the wind, and drawing her viewers’ attention to both loud and quiet spaces with otherworldly colours, Kernan turns our attention to the extraordinary moments we have away from home. Finding inspiration throughout North America and Japan, there is a constant play between the big bright lights of the cities and the serenity of nature. Her work suggests there is an opulent flow of energy inherent in both worlds, as the modern traveler moves seamlessly back and forth from the urban to the natural.