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Coming up at the Hearth: Transitions – from There to Here

The exhibit will run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 23.
Kristina Girke in her Berlin studio.
Kristina Girke in her Berlin studio.

Kristina Girke is here and happy.

Inspired by the abundance of natural beauty and thriving community of Bowen Island, it is the new baroque for her, where she can see space and time unfold and she can embrace life’s transitions with an expanded creative vocabulary. Kristina’s body of work is growing from human-based historical, architectural and European cultural influences to the wide-open space, sea and sky that have welcomed her to explore and experience life differently. 

Kathryn Gaitens on Bowen Bowen Island
Kathryn Gaitens on Bowen Bowen Island - Kathryn Gaitens, Bowen Island

Kristina Girke’s painting will be shown at The Hearth with the open reception Oct. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The exhibit Transitions - From There to Here presents a short story of Kristina mapping her thoughts on the importance of a journey, of travel from one point to another. Her willingness to dialogue on the immense and on the intimate is expressed in pieces like “Heaven and Earth” (79 x 106 in., oil and lacquer on canvas) and “Garnet” (42 x 34 in., oil on canvas). The former work boldly invites a full-body experience while the latter gently invites an intimate experience, a slow contemplation of the work. 

The entire exhibit holds true to the artist’s characteristically emotional work expressed with saturated colours, macro patterns and layers of texture. In that vein, Kristina’s physical labour defines each piece. She honours the roles of memory, symbolism and language in life’s transitions with images, blatant and hidden, through singular inserted images and partial phrases. 

Through it all, Kristina invites the viewer to reflect on the meaning of transition. 

The dialogue is shifting for the artist. Her work is expanding with her time on Bowen and she’s not waiting for time to pass to literally interpret what is happening. Kristina credits Bowen Island for bringing herself and her painting directly into the moment. 

Transition is taking on a new dimension for Kristina and she has let go of the idea of reflecting after a certain amount of time has passed. Kristina is letting the immediacy of the natural world and her own personal transitions to be reflected now. 

To do so, Kristina needs to create, to add new forms, new ways to emote, to experience life and to connect with the universe. The artist’s vocabulary is creating synonyms for emotion, colour, pattern and texture. “Garnet” is a calling card for her new body of work, it introduces a pared back use of symbolism and language. The spiritual meaning of the garnet stone is an apt introduction to both artist and her new movement. It represents self-empowerment, strength and living in gratitude for the abundance laid out. 

When speaking with Kristina, she is intent that her process appreciates the role of reduction as something new is created. She is committed to the physical process her painting demands and she is committed to the intimacy that Bowen provides her to connect with the greater whole. 

Kristina is transitioned from the urbanism of Berlin to the root, rock, shores and sun of Bowen, relishing arriving and having taken root in this new existence. 

The exhibit will run from Oct. 22 to Nov. 23. Hearth Gallery Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thurs. to Mon.