Local painter launches first Lunenburg show - Astroplane

by Brittany Wentzell

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Amy Funk, an oil painter in Lunenburg, launched her first show - Astroplane, in the community last weekend.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>One of the 18 pieces in Funk&#8217;s show.</p>
  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>The largest painting in Funk&#8217;s show at Skullduggery.</p>

Painter Amy Funk launched her first show since 2010 at Skullduggery in Lunenburg over the weekend.

Astroplane is a series of 18 oil paintings that were created in three different locations over the course of seven months.

"Each painting interprets a scene from the inside of my mind, and together form a narrative of images that suggest an interwoven relationship. They are correlating stories that illustrate emotions and conditions that are best expressed visually," said Funk in her artist's statement.

Originally from Vancouver, Funk has a fine arts degree, which she finished at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She's also been working as a chef in Lunenburg since moving to the area three years ago.

"Through the restaurant I got to get so close to the community that I have a lot of people really excited to come to the show who know me through food so it's really exciting for them to see the fine arts side of me," she said.

Astroplane began when Funk spent spent two months in Toulouse, France.

"Light really affects how I paint and Toulouse is known as the pink city so I think that's reflective in the pieces and the series started there and there's a lot of folklore surrounding stories in Toulouse," she said.

Funk says she draws a lot of inspiration from Pierre Bonnard, a French post-impressionist painter who died in 1947.

"His colour pallet and the fluidity of his brush stroke is something that is so different than mine," said Funk, adding she sometimes uses his landscapes and style in her work.

Funk says she also tries to create as diverse a range of brush strokes as possible in her paintings, varying from light to heavy amounts of paint as well.

"As a painter when I look at a painting, the first thing I see is how it's painted instead of what is painted so I try to pay a lot of attention to that," she said.

Some pieces were also created in Lunenburg and the last two were painted when Funk was visiting at friend in St. John's, Newfoundland. There are differences because of the various locations but there is also a cohesiveness to the paintings.

"The dialogue and relationship between all the paintings is really important, you can see a lot of trending themes from one painting to another," said Funk.

Funk has explored indoor spaces as well as food in past pieces. Many of the peices in Astroplane include elements of food as well as folklore. Several feature hares and fish.

"They were supposed to represent folklore... and they're also the two ingredients I like using the most," said Funk.

Some paintings also contain "cloth people."

"They look like people covered in a blanket so you don't have the visual of a human being in a painting but there's the illusion of person being in the painting," said Funk.

She says when people are present in paintings, viewers often observe the person in the painting instead of imagining themselves in the piece. However, she still needed people in some of the images to show relation to objects, thus she created the cloth people.

However there are still some visible people. The largest image in the show features a red-headed woman with face paint on relaxing on a patio. Upon close inspection of the painting however, the woman can be identified as local musician Jennah Barry. Barry's hands are also featured in another painting.

"I tried to mask her a little bit," said Funk. "When I painted Jennah in, it was kind of the emerging of the cloth people, I realized I hadn't been showing that there are people under the cloth."

Funk is also currently living at the Fairbanks, the home that Skullduggery gallery is in. The gallery and home is owned by Doug Bamford. At any given time he has four artists staying with him.

"My home... has become a bit of an international artists' residence, which is what I am pursuing, rather than it be a bed and breakfast or a guest house, I'd rather it be an artists' home," said Bamford.

That's an experience that Funk says she has enjoyed. She says the artists often keep to themselves as they are often working but they have communal meals and there's always someone there to get a unbiased opinion from.

The show launched on May 13 and will be hanging at Skullduggery until May 27. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday 12 - 7 p.m.

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