By Greg Nikkel
Weyburn artist Heather van der Breggen held a reception to open her newest art exhibit, “Pour It Out”, on Friday evening at the Allie Griffin Art Gallery, noting this may be her last exhibit here for a while.
Van der Breggen will be moving to Halifax, N.S., to be an artist-in-residence, and made some comments about her artistic endeavours since moving to Weyburn about 20 years ago before she talked about her newest art works.
She noted that she found upon arrival here, “there’s no flippin’ way to paint out in the wind here,” but was able to find a very supportive employer in Mel Van Betuw at Weyburn Carpet One, who allowed her to pursue her art while also working at the store.
“He encouraged me and gave me tons of time to express everything I wanted to do,” she said, noting she was also friended by Tori Metheral, who took her under her wing and gave her a lot of support.
The inspiration for her approach to her latest series of paintings was from putting on painting classes at the Wor-Kin Shop and working with the clients there as they explored art, along with her daughter, Rickee-Lee Webster.
“I learned a lot from the participants there, and it was kind of a life-changing experience. I thought I had a lot to offer them, but really I learned so much from them,” said Heather. “They just enjoyed every stroke of paint, so that kind of started this journey of mine, fooling around and playing with the paint.”
She noted that she received a lot of commissions for painting, and for these she had to be serious with her work. For her new works, she poured out paints to see what shapes and images might result, and the paintings on display in the exhibit were the results.
In some cases, she saw an image, and then enhanced it, such as one that appeared to be a horse’s head, and another where it looked like a running horse, which turned out to be one of her favourite works in this collection.
“These are all dirty pours. I found myself looking at them and seeing things in them, kind of like cloud-watching. Sometimes I saw dark things, sometimes whimsical things. Some are very literal, and some you’ll have to look a little harder to see it,” said Heather.
“Every time I play, I learn about myself,” she said. “It’s all about love. If it’s painful, it’s about love. If it’s frustrating or if you dig deep enough, it’s about love. I’ve had so much love here, and I’ve tried to share it back into the community.”
Her exhibit will be on display in the Allie Griffin gallery, on the lower level of the Weyburn Public Library, for September and October.