August 7, 2015 The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 15
Effusion brings Funk to town!
By Stephen Lebovits
Effusion Art Gallery + Glass Studio
“Ow, we want the funk, Give up the funk! Ow, we need the funk, We gotta have that funk,” sang George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic in 1977. Now, almost 40 years later, Effusion brings the funk to Invermere — artist Veronica Funk, that is. Born in Winnipeg and raised in northern Manitoba, Funk now calls Airdrie, Alta. home, from where she creates her colourful, urbanesque, poly-symbolic paintings.
“The symbols I use are very meaningful for me as many come from stories told by the Cree Grandmothers in my community while they taught us to bead and weave,” she explains. Heavily-influenced by the Cree culture in which she was immersed as a young girl, she recalls seeing a pictograph for the first time, drawn on some outcroppings high above the waterline, and yet so far down from the land above that it made her wonder how anyone could get to such a remote spot.
“This place, where I learned to survive in the wilderness as part of my public education, where we came together to celebrate events, was a place that I never wanted to leave,” she readily admits before explaining how, now, she infuses those foundational memories into her canvasses.
“Each one of my pieces represents an ephemeral and physical sacred vessel, filled with images, colours and symbols from my past,” she says, referring to how hand prints represent Mother Earth/the Creator, circles represent moons and the passing of time, small lines are tribal members, and arrows symbolize direction.
Studying art and design at Red Deer College in Alberta, Veronica apprenticed with potters, stone sculptors and painters in Manitoba, eventually spending a year creatively painting on a farm in Saskatchewan. But since turning professional in 1999, her singular goal is to create a sanctuary, a quiet place of contemplation, an offer of an inviting place to be still. Combining simplicity, light and vibrant colour through the use of opaque and transparent acrylic glazes, she draws with her brush, slightly distorting and manipulating her subjects so as to share the beauty of imperfection, creating soft, sculptural forms, as she endeavors to capture the essence of spiritual light that is found from the forests of Emily Carr to the flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe.
So, why not drop by and catch some nu-Funk flavours? Veronica Funk will be at Effusion tonight (Friday, August 7th) from 5 to 8 p.m., then back again Saturday, August 8th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit www.effusionartgallery.com.