November 2 – December 17, 2006


Works by Robert Wiens & Melissa Doherty
Curated by Jennifer Rudder

Organized by Gallery Stratford

The Doris McCarthy Gallery is proud to present works by two artists concerned with disappearing forests. The watercolours by Robert Wiens are eloquent studies of true-to-scale tree trunks. The paintings of white pine and sugar maple reveal the beauty of a miniature landscape. Wiens’s project began with a trip to the old growth forests of Temagami in 1996, and continues with series of arboreal works using deciduous trees found locally in the area in which he lives. Wiens uses a process of drawing and painting from his photographs of tree trunks. The artist notes that while the process and subject are much like a traditional landscape, the severely cropped view references the characteristics of a singular physical object.

Melissa Doherty's paintings present a birds-eye view of Southwestern Ontario's forests and woodlots that have been carved and erased to make room for roadways and overpasses. For Doherty, contemporary landscape is no longer a vast frontier, but a limited material manipulated by humans. To the artist, each painting is like a still-life; a construction, or model. Doherty comments that the aerial perspective “reflects a view of landscape and our position in relation to landscape. We are ‘above’ it, unconnected and distanced from it, changing and rearranging it. Their palette is reminiscent of architectural models, representing the environment as increasingly fabricated and a backdrop to urbanization.”

About the Artists

Robert Wiens was born in Leamington, Ontario; and currently lives and works in Picton, Ontario.  He graduated from the New School of Art in Toronto, Ontario.  Wiens’s work has been a part of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia.  Internationally Wiens has shown in the Netherlands, England and the US.  The artist is currently represented by the Susan Hobbs Gallery in Toronto.

Melissa Doherty is a Kitchener-based artist.  She graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She was short listed in 2002 for the New Canadian Painting Competition through RBC Investments and the Canadian Art Foundation, and is a recipient of Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Waterloo Regional Arts Fund grants.  Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions in Ontario, British Columbia, and the US.  Doherty is represented by the Edward Day Gallery, Toronto; the Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver; and the Ashley Gallery, Philadelphia.  Her work is a part of many private and public collections in North America.

Melissa Doherty would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.