The Rails End Gallery in Haliburton currently Recto Verso: Stories Visible and Invisible, an exhibit by Bel Angeles, is on display until Aug. 26.
Angeles is a feminist artist who believes in equality, social justice and creativity. Angeles integrates her life experience, background, ethnicity, culture and passions to create powerful acrylic paintings and collage. Her studio is currently near Perth, Ontario and she is a member of the Global Art Project, curated by Carl Heyward. She is also a part of the Ottawa Mixed Media Artists Association.
Curator Laurie Jones said it’s quite different from most art that comes through the gallery.
“I call her an emerging artist, her philosophical views are very well formed. She’s worked all over the world on humanitarian projects.” Jones said.
Visitors are encouraged to interact with, and respond to, the artwork, some of which is presented “recto verso” and intended to be viewed front and back.
In an audio recording accessed by QR code, Angeles says, “Recto Verso is a style of creating art, extremely rarely used by artists around the world to portray images, feelings, and stories on both sides of the panel. I use this method to demonstrate the physical, emotional, and physic energies needed to discover stories hidden, untold, unasked, and unexplored.”
One of her strongest pieces, ‘Power of the normal’ features a white canvas on one side and a collage of photos and words on the other “It addresses a lot of the things that we view as normal,” Jones said.
She added she’s watched people come into the gallery and just sit with one or two pieces and really try to experience the full meaning. Many are conversation starters, such as the degree of privilege scale, which allows people to place a pin on a scale of one to 10 to rank their privilege, whether it be with education, housing, work, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, travel, accessibility, or family support.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. For more information on Bel Angeles and the Rails End Gallery visit railsendgallery.com/ exhibitions-6.