Artist unveils new work at winery

I Am the Veil, a collection of new works by West Kelowna artist Julia Trops, is being presented at Ex Nihilo Vineyards in Lake Country.

I Am the Veil, a collection of new works by West Kelowna artist Julia Trops, is being presented at Ex Nihilo Vineyards in Lake Country.

“I called this show I Am The Veil because the wind holds the dichotomy of truth,” said Trops. “It can indicate the lack of control, and control at the same time. It is the essence of serendipity. The veil is a covering; it is substantial, or diaphanous. It prevents access, it is a wall, but it can also entice, reveal or suggest. We hold our own veil; we have control, and need only the tiniest of contact to allow its activation or not.”

I Am The Veil is the first part of the series Venus Rising, and the start of work resulting from a residency Trops made to Italy, where she fell in love with scarves and fabric.

“It was so rich and full and ever present,” she said. “Clothing had meaning in both art and life. Living day to day there were metaphors in abundance –– the earth was alive, the wind spoke, fresh fish from the sea, olives in the trees, and people live side by side with history tens of thousands of years old. It was a growing and magical time.”

Trops felt time was different in Italy and that the experience of reality was more direct to the subconscious. She felt connected to the vibrancy of life, to the earth itself. There, she came to understand that veil between reality and the unreal was thin and she understood how the connection between man and the gods/goddesses was facile.

“I’m not talking about religion, but a more earthy spiritual relationship between the self and the land,” she said.

Trops says her original project was to research and focus specific icons/deities/symbols of the female form within Italy, but she quickly realized that in some areas there is as big a barrier to the female identity, as there is in North America, and yet in others, there is no barrier.

In the Salento region, which she explored during her residency, Trops says it seemed easy to become one with the earth and with the elements.

“On the surface, I believe it has to do with the lack of prevalence of machines and technology. While present and available in the south, they were not an overwhelming imposition on every day life. I said before I left that I expected to travel back in time, and I did.”

Upon her return  to Canada, Trops was overwhelmed with the imagery she experienced and so began painting.

“It was then that this veil became very prominent,” she said. “It is only upon reflection I realized why, and as time goes on, I am sure more realizations will present themselves.”

I Am a Veil opens Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at Ex Nihilo Winery, 1525 Camp Rd. Winfield, and will be displayed through the month of October.