Tag Archives: Portrait

Epiphany: Highlights from the Legacy Permanent Collection

Image: Maxwell Bates Circus People, 1969

Image: Maxwell Bates Circus People, 1969

May 1 – July 15 2014

Legacy Art Gallery Downtown

Curated by Mary Jo Hughes

An epiphany in its broadest sense is the experience of sudden realization or insight. Through an epiphany, our world broadens and new understandings and ideas are unlocked. Indeed, this widening of perspective remains the ultimate goal for most artists. The experience of epiphany is what the exhibition aims to engender in viewers through highlights from the extensive permanent collection held by the University of Victoria’s Legacy Art Galleries. It is intended that each piece will offer a unique insight or a fresh experience that was not entirely expected. Artists in the exhibition include, Robert Davidson, Emily Carr, Norval Morrisseau, Lawren Harris, Frederick Varley, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Myfannwy Pavelic, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jack Shadbolt, among others.

STAGE: Photographic Portraits


Untitled, Frank Pimentel, n.d.

Untitled, Frank Pimentel, n.d.

January 11 – February 2, 2011

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Curated by Emma Conner, Toby Lawrence, Karen Merrifield & Holly Romanow

Showcasing the works of Frank Pimentel, Nina Raginsky and Ulli Steltzer, STAGE challenges the viewers to look beyond the aesthetic qualities of photographs to investigate the dichotomy of construction versus reality.

In looking at photographic portraiture there is a conflicting duality. The initial assumption is a presentation of reality, yet historically, portraiture was often staged, with subjects posed in front of painted backgrounds, accompanied by objects to augment certain elements of character. In the same sense, portraits by photographers Pimentel, Raginsky and Steltzer in the late twentieth century are constructions of their individual perceptions. Each with their own variation of portrait photography, the images provoke questioning into the significance of their compositional elements.

While the creation of the photograph is inherently determined by what the eye is able to see, the capture of something we perceive to be real instigates the reanalysis of our reality. The real movement becomes a constructed image, subject to point of view and created through the vision of the individual photographer. Like paintings and drawings, photographs are essentially the photographer’s own interpretation of the world. Raginsky states, “These photographs probably have little to do with an ordinary sense of reality; they are my particular stance on the world that I find at times to be rather thoughtless and brutal and difficult to endure.” Portrait photography has the ability to distort; yet also offers evidence into the existence of the subject or circumstances as they were at the time of the photograph.

As an alternate way of experiencing reality, the action of taking the photograph transforms the photographer into an active participant, the voyeur taking control of the situation. In this manner we experience authority held by the photograph itself, and we are forced, here, to make our own conclusions about the construction of spaces and placement of the subjects or the true documentary character of the photos. Within distinctly different constructions of photography we must decipher what choices have been made and why, questioning the character and the truth of the photographs and how their environments change their subjects, complicate them, bolster them.

Passage: Portraits by Lisa Hebden

Lisa Hebden, Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass, Lisa Hebden, 2009

November 18 – December 17, 2009

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

Victoria-based artist Lisa Hebden explores the transformation from childhood to adulthood with a series of paintings of young girls, capturing the feelings of being small both physically and psychologically.

Influenced by film and drawn to media images of adolescent girls who appear both vulnerable and strong, Hebden says the foundation of her work lies in the fragility of childhood.

“I am captured by the moodiness of film lighting, the long pauses that focus only on a subject’s face or eyes, the expression pregnant with thought or emotion,” says Hebden.

“Being a child is fun and overwhelming. Children endow their environments with meaning and imagination. A large empty room can be intimidating and magical. The big wood floor beckons for sliding across, while the shadowy corners are dark and ominous. An open field is an opportunity to get lost in the tall grass, an adventure both thrilling and scary.”

-Lisa Hebden

Studio Portraits: Photo-collages of the Studios of 33 Artists of Southern Vancouver Island

Robert Amos, E. J. Hughes Studio, Duncan 2004
Robert Amos, E. J. Hughes Studio, Duncan 2004

November 22, 2007 – March 31, 2008

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Robert Amos’ new book new book, “Artists in Their Studios” (TouchWood Editions, Victoria, 2007), has 33 chapters on the foremost artists of Vancouver Island, including Robert Bateman, E.J. Hughes and Emily Carr’s attic.

The book is about to become an exhibition in which his studio portraits will be enlarged almost to life size, and each artist will be represented by original artwork, mostly drawn from the university’s collection. It’s a privileged view from an insider’s viewpoint. Visit Ted Harrison and Pat Martin Bates, among many others. You can stand “where art is born”.

Also known as Where Art is Born: Artists in Their Studios.

Similar Exhibitions

Living with Land Mines

V. Tony Hauser
V. Tony Hauser

February 20 – March 8, 2008

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

V. Tony Hauser presents the shocking reality of war into an artistic context through 17 life- size portraits of Cambodian children who have suffered the consequences of land mines, accompanied by statements about each child.

After documenting the temples of Angkor Wat, Hauser unexpectedly found a different kind of beauty in the shadows: the dignity of these young victims of land mines. He encountered the Aki Ra Land Mines Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Along with providing a dormitory and a school for young children injured by land mines, the museum also acts as an educational centre for visitors. Using Polaroid film and a seamless canvas backdrop, Hauser shines the spotlight onto the children’s lives. “I purposely chose to isolate them” he says “and, at the same time, reveal my admiration for their strength and defiance in facing the daily fear of living with land mines.”

Living with Land Mines was presented in conjunction with a land mines symposium organized by the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy at the University of Winnipeg in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the International Land Mines Agreement, and has travelled across North America, to the United Kingdom, Slovenia, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic

Myfanwy Pavelic, Yehudi Menuhin (9)

Myfanwy Pavelic, Yehudi Menuhin (9)

Online Catalogue

The Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic online catalogue is available here. It features galleries of her landscapes and information about Pavelic and Yehudi Menuhin.

More About the Exhibition

This site is the beginning of a permanent site devoted to the works of Myfanwy Pavelic that are housed by the Maltwood Art Museum in our University Collection.

We have approximately 250 pieces, so over the coming months look for further additions of her work, including much of her portraiture.

Deidre Scherer: Surrounded by Family and Friends


February 28 – March 21, 2006

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

Surrounded by Family and Friends depicts six distinct death scenes that embrace intergenerational, non-traditional, and culturally diverse family groups. We die surrounded by our relationships, complex and rich. These ties include parents, children, partners, siblings, and friends both human and animal.

Working through hospices, Scherer is invited to witness, draw and photograph families who are caring for a dying person. Her on-site drawers are an active exchange and are the source fro the life-sized panels. Once translated into fabric and thread medium, her work invited a multitude of interpretations.

27 x Sonia: Portraits by Walter Gramatté (1897-1929)

September 7 – October 17, 1993

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

This small exhibition of works on paper is a travelling show from the University of Winnipeg. It has been organized from the personal collection of Dr. Ferdinand Eckhardt, Director Emeritus of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The subject of the portraits is the musician and composer Sonia C. Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899-1974), the widow of the German expressionist painter Walter Gramatté and Dr. Eckhardt’s late wife.

The portraits when taken together are indicative of much about Gramatté as an artist. He experimented and perfected his technique in the use of several graphic media, notably etchings, which were important to him through the 1920s. he had earlier produced woodcuts, lithographs (sometimes coloured) and dry points as well: all are represented in this exhibition.

A Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin: Man of Peace

March 29 – April 6, 2002

Satellite Space – Boulogne-sur-mer, France

A selection of portrait paintings from the University of Victoria Art Collections by prominent Sidney artist Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, displayed as a tribute in conjunction with the annual Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in Boulogne-sur-mer, France.

To learn more about Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, visit an online catalogue of her work here.

Dunlands Restaurant & One-Room Dwellings

Gus, "parkdale Cowboy", Frank Pimentel, 1992

Gus, “parkdale Cowboy”, Frank Pimentel, 1992

February 13 – March 1, 2001

Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

The exhibition features the photography of Frank Pimentel. The series tells the stories of  regular customers at The Dunlands restaurant in Toronto’s west brick building.

I think the restaurant is a place that hasn’t been able to keep up with the way the world has changed, like at a certain point the people decided that it was time to give up. When I look at the work that I’ve done it makes sense that I’ve left the gaps that I have because I’m trying to say something about the place and the people, that the place itself relates to these people and I think that what I mean by that is that they restaurant and the objects there just seem so – I guess the word is pathetic – they’re worn … and they’re not going to get any better.”

-Frank Pimentel, 2001

Portraits by Myfanwy Pavelic

November 16 – December 13, 1993

McPherson Library Gallery

A sampling of portraits recently donated to the University of Victoria by Myfanwy Pavelic. The focus of the exhibit is the artist herself and her immediate family. The period of the portraits ranges from 1938 to 1987 and thus gives an excellent overview of the artist’s growth and career.

View the online catalogue:

To learn more about Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic and her work here.