Afamily that creates together, displays together.
Artists Tytus Hardy, Janelle Hardy and mother Louise Hardy, together with friend Rosemary Scanlon, mount Switchback Collective — an eclectic exploration of light, diversity and experimentation.
All four artists approach creation in different ways, complementing each other.
Tytus mentions that while there was no determined theme for the show, while they were producing, they were aware of each other’s pieces: “I would say Rosemary knew I was experimenting with different kinds of light in my photography, artificial light, and I was aware her paintings examined natural light being augmented by artificial,” he says.
Tytus’ bold, vivid photography hangs on the walls of the Chocolate Claim. The plant life explodes into life with intense light focused on it. To achieve this effect, he says he took the photos in a basement, using artificial light.
To contrast, Scanlon’s cool blue paintings are awash with available and added light. Her paintings are derived from settings used in the film shot this past summer, Red Coat Justice. Cabins and forest scenery shine brightly with her brushstrokes.
Sister Janelle approaches painting in an entirely different fashion. Small cameos nest inside Louise’s discarded pottery, recovered to frame the delicate and detailed paintings.
Each portrait comes from Janelle’s fascination with the unrelenting gaze featured in fashion blogs and magazines. “I collected images from blogs, magazines and other fashion sources and found a common look that interested me.
“The direct gaze intrigued me and I first drew, then painted, the portraits,” Janelle says.
The pottery was almost smashed, and Janelle initially recovered it to use as dishes. They called out to her during her creative process and she put them to use: “The art process is never linear, and you never know what you might use next,” says Janelle.
Accompanying the bold photos, serene cabins and petite portraits are Louise Hardy’s felted wall hangings, adding a textured touch to the show. Black and white felt and brightly coloured felt adorn the walls.
As a family of artists, Tytus mentions that criticism is given and accepted — regardless of whether it’s Mom, sister or brother.
The Switchback Collective is a multi-discipline show featuring a playful approach to creation. Janelle remarks that group shows are, “more fun, and allow for experimentation and diversity.
“The pressure is off to create enough to fill an entire gallery space, and artists can bounce ideas off each other in a collaborative process.”
And the name, Switchback Collective?
“Well, sometimes art doesn’t follow a straight line, and hopefully you’re always going upwards in the creative process. You might encounter a sharp turn, a blind corner, but you’re always striving higher,” Janelle says of the name of the group.
Switchback Collective runs until the end of February at the Chocolate Claim.