AGOG presents Karen Tamminga-Paton “Descant”
About The Event
Descant explores hard things. It invites contemplation. This collection of paintings is a visual expression of a reflective journey that I have been on throughout the past several years as all of us have encountered a changing and very troubling world. Certainty about the way things were or about what we have expected to enjoy have been disrupted. Our insecurity has been revealed by world events and I have been led to re-evaluate many things.
I invite you to consider the complexities of our contemporary world as you view my work. What does it mean to be human in times of conflict and limited resources? How do we care for our neighbour? How can we reset our values, attitudes, and actions in the face of such great need in the world? What sacrifices do we need to make to ensure that we can pass a future to our children and grandchildren? What about the land and how we care for it as it supports our existence? These were some of the questions that I explored in my paintings, even as the pandemic, global unrest, racial inequity and injustice, gender inequity, issues of sexual identity, and polarized opinions about how to live in these times . . . informed them in devastating measures. And yet, timeless values of hope, forgiveness and love invite us to continue working together to journey forward into the future.
It was out of the ferment caused by the intersection of daily reality and these values that Descant, was born. This body of work is incomplete, of course. It is part of my lifelong process of growth. Each of these pieces is deeply personal and is offered to you in trust. Each one is also offered with an invitation for you to engage with questions of your own, for while they are meditations of my journey, I believe these images reflect our complicated, contrary, and beautiful humanity. Perhaps they will be a catalyst for your own explorations, wherever they may lead you.
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Born in Smithers, British Columbia, Karen and her 5 brothers grew up in a lively household with noisy mealtimes and Dutch immigrant parents who dared travel with them across the country in a station wagon without seatbelts. She and her family lived in various places in Canada and the U.S.
Karen graduated from the University of Waterloo with a major in environmental studies and a minor in fine arts. Her interests led her to work outdoors with various environmental organizations. She learned how to walk game trails, identify bird calls, and once got within 20 feet of a herd of wild elk by singing to them. Making the natural world more comprehensible to people gives her great delight, especially if moments of magic spark the willingness to invest in conserving our wild places. She went on to teach many years of high school visual arts and environmental stewardship. She considers wandering backcountry trails and having good conversations over a craft beer to be a great way to spend time when she’s not at work in her Coleman studio.
Karen and her husband Dale live in the mountains of the Crowsnest Pass, where they raised three daughters and share the land with 2 dogs, 1 peregrine falcon, 5 ducks and a growing population of gophers.
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Kicking Horse Culture presents about four dozen cultural events and activities throughout the year in Golden, B.C., the traditional unceded territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwépemc Nations which is also home to Métis Nation Columbia River.