Former Caetani Cultural Centre artist-in-residence Anna Glynn

Former Caetani Cultural Centre artist-in-residence Anna Glynn

Artist crosses a few borders with New Myths

Melbourne’s Anna Glynn returns to Vernon to show her Sino-Aussie inspired animal paintings at Headbones Gallery.

It’s not rare to bump into an Australian in the North Okanagan, but one recent visitor from the land Down Under has left the Valley with a lasting impression through her art.

One of the artists-in-residence at the Caetani Cultural Centre this past year, Anna Glynn is about to open her exhibition, New Myths, at Headbones Gallery in Vernon.

While in Vernon last summer, Glynn completed an interdisciplinary collaboration with Australian biologist Peter Dalmazzo, exploring the sounds of the Okanagan landscape.

Working with a palette of painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, writing, music, sound, installation, film making, moving image, digital animation and theatre, Glynn has also been active in the emerging Australia – Sino (China) art scene. Her home studio is in Melbourne, but she frequently works and exhibits in China.

“With her frequent exposure to China, Glynn uses the advantageous contingency of both countries to create a body of work with a universality of appeal in line with current concerns centering on environmental precariousness,” said Headbones owner Julie Oakes.

Glynn paints a wide range of animals, from the exotic elephant to the common rabbit, and characterizes them with recognizable human traits, providing a bridge between a complex, sophisticated take on the otherness of species with a more child-like, approachable rendition.

“Within the animals there are landscapes inhabited often by other species, often at odds in character to the host animal such as an elephant who has on the interior spindly legged cranes,” said Oakes.

With her frequent exposure to China, Glynn also uses her Australian background to create a body of work that seamlessly marries sensibilities from each culture.

The response from the Chinese was a visiting research position in the department of visual studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

From the Australian perspective, Glynn was a finalist for the prestigious Gold Coast Art Award in 2014 and in 2013, and was awarded the Veolia Creative Arts Scholarship for her contribution and commitment to creative arts.

Glynn is currently the artist in residence at the SITKA Center for Art and Ecology in Oregon until May 15.

Also showing work alongside Glynn is Toronto artist Ortansa Moraru, who last shared the exhibition space at Headbones with Vernon metal sculptor Doug Alcock in Hammer and Spoon, a title which referred to their tools of the trade.

“(Moraru’s) work is based in printmaking, woodblocks being her specialty, a medium that was once used in early book production for illustration,” said Oakes, adding, “There is a European air to her imagery as if it is fueled by tales from her origins. The baroque nature of fairy tales, where the bad is acknowledged, emerges much like the twisted thorns that accompany a rose.”

Moraru was born in Corabia, Romania and immigrated to Canada in 2002. She now lives and works in Toronto where she creates her art at the Marvin Gelber Print and Drawing Study Centre in the Art Gallery of Ontario.

She received her PhD from the Western University of Timisoara, Romania in 2013, an accomplishment that necessitated returning to Romania for periods of study.

Moraru is unable to attend the opening for her exhibition at Headbones, however, Glynn will be in attendance. The opening takes place Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Headbones is located at 6700 Old Kamloops Rd. Both exhibitions continue to March 28.