Kyle Scheurmann on Anne Griffiths: The Nature Cure

Fellow Bau-Xi artist Kyle Scheurmann looks at the extraordinary abstracted landscapes in BC-based artist Anne Griffiths' new solo exhibition The Nature Cure through his ever-thoughtful and clear-sighted lens. Anne Griffiths The Nature Cure opens at Bau-Xi Vancouver's main level on Saturday March 9 and runs through March 23, 2024.

Anne Griffiths, The Nature Cure. Oil on canvas, 54 x 54 inches.

Lush and overgrown, Anne Griffiths’ paintings are the forest. Freshly harvested from temperate groves on Vancouver Island, her newest work cultivates the last remaining strands of what we remember as ‘nature,’ transforming landscape into thick, tranquil, terrestrial paintings; more earth than oil.

I look at Anne’s paintings as though we’re walking through the understory together. Tangled, velvet vines and moonglade in every direction. Dewed branches dangling overhead. Cerulean shimmers bursting through the canopy. These are paintings to see in person, just as much objects as they are images. Each one a teleportation device to a dense woodland far from the gallery walls.

Because Anne drapes paint on linen like moss drapes on a nurse-log. Whether dragged by an oil stick across the tooth or pressed deep into the fibre by a soaked and worn brush, these are marks made by somebody who’s learned to harness the healing power of the forest. Constantly in the moment of becoming, the paint is growth and decay at the same time. The land in Anne’s paintings is forever suspended in a moment of regeneration, continually resolving itself for the viewer. In an age of artificial stimulation and anecdotal authenticity, we could all benefit from a holistic medicinal harvest. Something perennial and tilled. Something unplugged and embodied. Something we all inherently know the value of but no longer know how to empower.

Saturated in an ailing ecosystem, it’s easy to lose track of our own wellbeing. Which makes this exhibition so crucial…

Fertile and flourishing, somber and sublime - Anne’s paintings are the antidote.

-Kyle Scheurmann, 2024


The artist in her studio.


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