Monday, 28 February 2011

Hot versus Cold - A Review

"Hot versus Cold, paintings and poetry" by Louise van Alenburg25 February - 19 March 2011 at the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery
"It's in my head forever" (Emotion series) Oil on board, 2008

"Hot versus Cold" - A visual expression juxtaposing heated feelings, warm hearts and soft movement beside cold snow, rigid glaciers and reflective snowflakes – illuminating change and transition.

Louise van Alenburg is an artist who shares her feelings and experiences of her world travels with her audience. In this exhibit, she takes her viewers on a journey from her last months in Russia to her experiences living in Fort McMurray.

In her first series, "Russian Life and Banya", she portrays imagery that captures moments and expressions and conveys a sense of movement that she experienced while in Russia, a country in the process of change and transition. Her use of vibrant colours and textures connect to a deeper sense of human transition and shifting ways of life.

In the following series, "Ice and snow", "Snowflake reflection" and "Emotion and Quantum field", the artist represents her feelings and emotions surrounding her transition to her new community in a new country with a new culture. She uses multiple techniques and materials to highlight the array of colours that nature presents in Fort McMurray’s landscapes.

The show's opening flowed effortlessly, offering guests ample opportunities to enjoy the artwork, meet the artist, and socialize with each other. The organizers playfully represented the exhibition title in the decorative placement of red hot peppers suspended in an icy medium. The excitement in the gallery was palpable as Russell Thomas described the current local Arts environment in the region as “a renaissance of art culture”. The conversations and growing networks of artists in our region indicate the importance of art for creating a sense of place in this community.

Hot versus Cold, curated by Ana Maria Mendez Barks, is a journey of emotions, colour, texture and movement. The title of the show “Hot versus Cold” was an interesting play on words that encapsulates the emotions that I feel as I move through the gallery. It highlights the excitement of the show and the presence of a symbolized confrontation between the warm emotions expressed in the first series and the rigid ice pieces and fractured mirrors that emerge in the latter series. The artist’s presentations, both lyrical and visual, left me dreaming of cool winter palaces and cultural adventures while contemplating the beauty and dreamlike qualities that are available in my backyard.

“Crushed, broken, split
power pushed up high

Aquamarine, Viridian, Titanium
towards the dark blue sky

Crystals glitter, sparkling
in magnificent sunny light

Crevices deep in violet
rimmed by cobalt bright…”

(Excerpt from “The Frozen Sea” by Louise van Alenburg available from
15% from each sale of the pieces in this show
will be donated to the Unity House in Fort McMurray


  1. Thank you for this wonderful review! It means so much to an artist if the public really connects with the message of an art show!

  2. You are very welcome Louise. Your show is beautiful and it reconnected me to my family (who have spent quite a bit of time in Russia). Thank you for sharing your experiences and wonderful imagery.