In Studio

UAlberta painting instructor draws viewers into domestic realms with colourful nostalgia

Gillian Willans’ (‘99 BFA, ‘08 MFA) exhibition Another Time Another Place is a series of new works painted from found photographs of the interiors and exteriors of homes, showcased at the Scott Gallery until May 2, 2015.

Gillian Willans White Light Dinette a o on board-12x12 Large

Gillian Willans White Light Dinette a o on board-12×12 Large

“I searched out snapshots from the Edmonton Archives, and various sources like the Reuse Centre,” Willans says of the inspiration for these smaller-scale paintings. “Most of them are black and white, then translated from my memories and experiences into colour.”

Gillian Willans Tea Time living room a o on canvas 12x12inches

Gillian Willans Tea Time living room a o on canvas 12x12inches

The domestic spaces cover a broad time zone, from turn-of-the-century to mid-century and into the 1970s, harkening back to the past with a definite feeling of nostalgia.

“I think nostalgia is a complicated thing. It is filled with longing and loss. I’m interested in creating ambiguous spaces. They are not completely idealized but they are staged, in the way that theatre is staged.”

Gillian Willans Flashight Fall o on board 16x17-75inches

Gillian Willans Flashight Fall o on board 16×17-75inches

Willans is inspired by art history and artists like Johannes Vermeer.

“In many ways, when artists paint the domestic interior, they are painting the way we live. My work is purposefully a little bit austere, void of activity and people, to lay out the structure or container in which we play out the scenes of our lives.”

Exhibition title: Another Time Another Place
Featuring: paintings by Gillian Willans
Dates: Until May 2, 2015
Venue: Scott Gallery, 10411 – 124th Street, Edmonton.
Contact: 780-488-3619
Scott Gallery hours:
Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
All works subject to presale.

For more information about Gillian Willans’ work: http://www.scottgallery.com/artists/gillian-willans#bio

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