Garden Follies are ornate garden structures devoid of a practical function. At the height of their popularity in the 1700s and 1800s, their main purpose was symbolic, built into the landscape to signify a landowner’s wealth, importance, and control over the landscape.
Taking these structures as a conceptual starting point, members of the BarrieArt Club were invited to submit new and existing works that respond to the idea of the garden folly. The selected works illustrate contemporary considerations of gardens, landscapes, horticultural practices, and the impacts of the human desire to exert control over our natural environment. Taken together, the works ask us to reflect on our personal and collective relationships to the land that sustains us.
Learn more about the participating artists
Lorraine Maher’s training has been a continuum of both formal studies, workshops, and individual lessons. She worked as a graphics and commercial artist until 1988 when her focus shifted to fine art. Although her exhibited work Mother Nature Bats Last was done in acrylics, watercolour is her medium of choice. Maher’s work hangs both locally and aboard.
Catherine Coulter’s work explores themes of powerlessness in the face of climate change and gender power imbalances. Her work features classical sculptures, referencing contemporary cultural perspectives and pop culture to create the narrative for each painting. She works in primarily oils using saturated colour and simplified forms.
Frieda Ambroziak’s paintings reflect her love of the natural world and the beauty surrounding her rural home. She is an avid photographer and is continually looking to capture intriguing landscapes and other unusual images. Her photographs provide inspiration for her unique artistic compositions of the untamed forest floor.
Susan Medland studied at OCA (now OCAD) and worked for years in the art department with a focus on film, later becoming a kitchen designer. Based in Simcoe County, Susan has recently returned to her artistic roots – drawing and painting. Working in oils and acrylics, Susan focuses on landscapes and the impact that humans and their interactions have on the land.
Joan LeBoeuf is lucky to have the joy of painting which gives her so much appreciation for nature and humanity. There is beauty everywhere, and painting opens her eyes to see and understand everything more clearly.
Norman Robert Catchpole
Norman Robert Catchpole is a self-taught artist, with an inclination towards realism. He started painting in January of 2020, after a forty-year hiatus. He now utilizes acrylics as they allow him to proceed at a faster pace than oils. He prefers working in large formats and bright colours.
Catchpole utilizes photographs as a starting point for his paintings. Before commencing a project he engages in as much research as possible to get an understanding of the subject on a visual, intellectual, and emotional level.
Enrique Bravo is a fine artist and architect who has lived in Canada since 2018. His work is divided among almost all facets of artistic expression. He works mainly in acrylic and watercolour, as well as mixed media, to create a variety of expressive results. His vision of space, volume, and perspective is implicit in his expressive nature, and the human figure is a constant feature in his paintings.
Karen Whytock-Lucas has a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.Ed. from the University of Ottawa which led to a thirty-year career as a secondary school art teacher in Simcoe County. Recently retired, she is enjoying having more time to focus on her love of painting and travelling.
Painting has taught Marilyn Black to see. It is a way of life. Art has always been a part of Black’s life in different forms – sewing, cooking, gardening, weaving and now painting. Her work is a combination of life experiences and a channel to work through emotions.
She has attended art and design courses at Georgian College, Sir Sanford Fleming College, the MacLaren Art Centre, and the McMichael Collection of Canadian Art. Her work has been exhibited in Off the Hook and Benefactor at the MacLaren Art Centre, The Women’s Show at Orillia Museum of Art and History, and Double Doors Art Studio in Anten Mills.
In the wake of a life-altering brain and spinal cord injury, watercolour therapy led Val Losell to drawing and painting regularly at home. Since 2014, Losell has participated in Barrie Art Club workshops and courses to develop her understanding of various media, her confidence, and her ability to manifest her artistic vision. Visual art now vies with poetry for her time and attention. Losell is grateful for this unexpected ‘window’ through which she has climbed back into the world.