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For one week only: Wayfinders II at the Hearth

Exhibit: May 5 to May 10 at the Hearth. Gallery hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. 
The Wayfinders Women in 2016
Back in 2016 artists Coral Louie, Jane Dunfield, Reidun van Kervel and Diane Buchanan put on Wayfinders at the old Gallery in Artisan Square.

Exhibit: May 5 to May 10 at the Hearth. Gallery hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. 

Blink and you’ll miss it. Wayfinders II, something of a sequel to a 2016 exhibit by local artists Coral Louie, Jane Dunfield, Diane Buchanan and Reidun van Kerval, is coming to the Hearth Gallery for one week.

The four women did Wayfinders I at the old Gallery together and enjoyed it so much that they now meet regularly, checking out what everyone’s working on and cheering one another on, says Louie. “It’s great for encouraging and finding inspiration from people who share a lot of history.”

A sudden need for an interim show at the Hearth Gallery over the week of May 5 saw the arts organization get in touch with Buchanan just a couple of weeks ago. The women have been tentatively planning an outdoor show later this year and figured this impromptu show could be a good dry run. 

“The ancient art of wayfinding enabled early travelers to navigate uncharted waters and unmarked routes,” reads the artists’ statement. “We are all modern-day wayfinders, using creativity, shared knowledge and imagination to help find our way.”

While the show is shared, Buchanan has been particularly productive of late, and will likely have more featured pieces. 

“The last while with my paintings, I’ve been working on the idea of impermanence,” says Buchanan.

“I lost my partner about 11 years ago and then my brother and a whole bunch of friends and I started to realize, ‘yeah, this is gonna happen,’” she says. Buchanan started painting more surreal abstraction. As a Buddhist, Buchanan is embracing the point of view that we’re all particles – part of the universe. “We’re just a tiny speck and then when we die, we just become a speck somewhere else and there’s no time and there’s no footholds.”

Buchanan’s got a lot of work and she’s trying to narrow it down for the show. “I’ve been painting like a fiend with COVID,” she laughs. “My garden’s tripled in size and I’ve got paintings everywhere.”

COVID has seen its own difficulties for Buchanan, including her aunt’s death, but the work has a more hopeful outlook. “Even though there’s been a lot about deaths and COVID, the work is very cheerful,” she says. “When I look at what  it is, I think it’s very positive.”

(After the women chose the name Wayfinders in 2016, they realised that fellow Bowen Islander Wade Davis had coincidentally written the 2009 hit book The Wayfinders. Louie saw Davis at the post office. “He just laughed. No, he thought it was a good name,” relays Buchanan.)