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  • Online Exhibition: Per Astera by Malaika Z Charbonneau

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Malaika Z Charbonneau exhibits her latest markings, using paint and canvas to explore..
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  • “10th Anniversary” Online Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for a..
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  • 15th Solo Art Series – Online Solo Art Exhibition Opportunity

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 15th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • 2020 Social Distancing Exhibition

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    $1,000 in Artist Prizes. We know, you’re stuck at home. While many are stocking..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call for Art - 5th Annual Animal Kingdom Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Animal Kingdom online art competition. For..
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  • Call for Art - Still Life Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for its 14th Quarterly Art Competition – Still Life. For..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    $4500 in Awards - The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites..
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  • Beacon Original Art Spring Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Annual spring 2-day art show and sale with different artists in attendance each..
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  • Nooks & Crannies Outdoor Art Festival: Call to Artists

    Location: Okotoks, AB

    Okotoks Culture seeks proposals from artists to create temporary public art installations in..
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  • BORDERS - ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS BORDERS | Venice July-Nov 2020 ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival Deadline:..
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  • $550.00 Innovate Grants — Call for Artists + Photographers

    Location: , NY

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2020 Cycle. Innovate Grant..
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  • 27th Lemonville Group of Artists Show and Sale

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    Please join The Lemonville Group of Artists for their 27th Annual Art Show..
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  • “Sensuality” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline April 30, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: A glance, touch, dance, flower, scent or piece of chocolate can..
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  • Artwork Shipping Scam

    Location: , AB

    This week an artist on our site was corresponding via email with an..
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  • Geoff Farnsworth: Colour Worker

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Join the Niagara Pumphouse for the opening reception for the exhibition entitled, “Geoff..
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  • Call for Entries: Art at the Pumphouse

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is now accepting applications for participation in Art..
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  • Exaltation : Niagara Pumphouse Instructors' Exhibition

    Location: Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

    Niagara Pumphouse is proud to host the Instructors’ Exhibition as its first show..
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  • Art, Wine, Interior Design Show

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Art, Wine, Interior Design Show! Exhibitor opportunities for Visual artists, Interior Designers and Wineries. Finding..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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Pat Martin Bates: Destinations, Navigations, Illuminations

By Robert Amos April 18, 2005

} Pat Martin Bates: Destinations, Navigations, Illuminations By Robert Amos Pat Martin Bates: Destinations, Navigations, Illuminations at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss Street, 384-4101) until July 10, 2005 Morriss Printers used to close up shop an hour early on Fridays, to allow for socializing. The printers, binders and linotype operators stayed for beer and darts in the back. In the library upstairs Dick Morriss circulated the scotch bottle among a floating crew of artists, poets and writers. One such evening in the mid 70’s, after two hours of uproarious conversation, I found myself sitting on the bottom step beside Pat Martin Bates. It was perhaps our first meeting, but we both agreed - we’d known each other for a long time. Reading many of the reviews and articles which have been published about her, I realize that PMB makes many of us feel that way. Her magic is inclusive, generous and freely offered. She is at the centre of “a sprawling, global network of dynamic individuals,” Yvonne Owens has written. “The world is hers: her garden, her mediums, her playground, her friend.” No net of words will ever capture her. Last year I conducted a public interview with PMB at Painters Lodge in Campbell River. We talked (in a tent, during a rainshower) for an hour and a half before an audience which was alternately enlightened and mystified. To prepare, PMB and I spent two long afternoons at her Oak Bay home. There, she treated me to a rambling discourse on a dazzling range of information and experience. William Blake, Japanese papers, Yugoslavian refugees, the 13th century mystic poet Rumi, cabaret songs, army bases, the spatial harmonies of Arab geometry - this woman will not be corralled. To simplify PMB is to miss the chaotic richness of her life. She rambled on about travel and teaching, friendships and literature. Though she escapes summary I’ll set off on a tangent across her world. Let’s explore her relationship with colour - and its absence. Pat Martin was born in St. John, New Brunswick on June 5, 1927. She studied at Mt. Allison University with Stanley Royle and went on to graduate from the Academie des Beaux Arts in Belgium in 1957. Her professor there, noting her passion for strong colours, set her to work beside another student whose work was muted and sombre. They had an effect on one another. Her first professional show was at the Robertson Gallery in Ottawa in 1962. Two days before the opening, a fire in the gallery destroyed all the paintings. She set to work immediately to replace them with new work - predominantly painted in reds! In that year her husband Al (a paymaster in the Canadian Forces, whom she married in 1948) was posted to the wintry fastness of Wainwright, Alberta. PMB’s palette turned white. Eileen Learoyd, writing in this newspaper, explained this whiteness another way: “After her father’s untimely death at age eight, PMB was brought up by her great aunts, who lived in an old parsonage where small windows dimmed the interior lights. Young Pat sat and looked out on areas of winter snow, filtered by heavy lace curtains, stained glass and ivory fans.” In 1963 the Bates family (they have two children) came to Victoria to live on the Forces Base Properties. Here she introduced black as a major element in her work. She has explained this as a result of falling down a coal chute when she was a child, after which she was bedridden for six months. “Black, for PMB, does not represent darkness,” Alma de Chantal wrote in Vie des Arts Magazine. “Still less Death. On the contrary, it symbolizes rather a passage-way opening on light, wisdom, knowledge.” PMB is a printmaker. But her approach to printmaking does not involve the reproduction of drawings. It’s more like making footprints in the snow. There are no “editions” of a single image. Each print is for her an opportunity to create a unique impression, an embossed low relief sculpture in paper, created with a printing press. As interesting as these surfaces can be, they are for this artist the visible membrane between ourselves and the ineffable. With her grandmother’s big hatpin, she pokes thousands of holes in them. In this way she perforates the silence and lets the inner light shine forth. “Pierce the mystery,” she has said, “and discover what is on the other side of blackness.” She places her perforated prints before a window or in a lightbox, and that homely illumination becomes a sufficient substitute for cosmic brilliance. Or, to put it more effusively, she creates “a dazzling, winking landscape of black and white and silver. Her prints,” to quote Eileen Learoyd again, “were shot with lacy pinpoints of light, pulsing with stars, moons and planets. Fireflies seem to have settled on perforated prints suspended from the ceiling.” These pinpoints of light dance in patterns approved by mystics (hexagram, circle, mandala, triangle) and by Mother Nature herself (solar flare, spiral, star). Grommets and tiny gold wires make visible the gravity which draws the planets together, while PMB’s independent playfulness represents the chaotic randomness which keeps the stars apart. As enthralling as these “estampille” print assemblages are, they are actually a means to something beyond. “I don’t look forward to being rewarded,” she has explained. “Art and the doing of it are their own rewards. Art for me is a bridge to another level - a silent communication - a nutrient.” James Purdie, writing in the Globe and Mail, explained her artwork as “a neverending exploration of the invisible shoreline where spirit laps over matter to create infinite ranks of lower forms - stars, hearts, souls and other essentials of a benign universe evolving and unfolding its wonders.” The current exhibition, her third at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, is not presented to enhance the artist’s reputation or to forward her career. It is offered to us as an opportunity: for our contemplation, exhilaration, and stimulation. Open your eyes, your mind and your heart. Spend some time and prepare for illumination. SIDEBAR NUMBER ONE (PMB has often inscribed her creations with long titles, homemade chants and poetics. Some of the titles of her artworks give the flavour of her intentions.) Perforations in silence The seven secret sounds Chinese night train to Yangtse Kian Garden threads beneath the sands of time and tide Sung Chinese night and the porcelain lady’s star Golden-ringed rock with starweb The gold pavilion gives grace to the goddess of water that runs uphill Signal 19: perforated northern silence of an Arctic night Inscape sea sailor moons Lover hover hover lover SIDEBAR NUMBER TWO (Upon her retirement in 1994, PMB stopped keeping up to date her vast curriculum vitae, and has devoted herself to creative pursuits ever since. I have selected some of her more colorful accomplishments to record here.) 1963 - Chilean Biennial Grand Award of Honour (Canadian group) 1963 - founding professor of University of Victoria Fine Arts Faculty 1969 - exhibited in Miro Drawing Invitational, Barcelona 1973 - Honourary Citizen, City of Victoria 1975 - elected to Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts 1975 - two-personal exhibition with Tony Urquhart shown at Canadian Cultural Centre Paris, Canada House London and Canada Gallery, New York 1978 - National Prison Arts advisory board 1981 - became a member of the Limners art group 1984 - solo show travelled to Toronto and Victoria 1985 - International Decade of Women Conference, Nairobi 1986 - gold medal, Internatial Biennial of Prints, Fredrikstad, Norway 1989 - guest of honour, Biennial of Graphic Art, Ljubliana, Yugoslavia 1990 - teaching at Banasthali University, Rajasthan, India 1990 - solo show at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 1991 - excellence in teaching award, University of Victoria 1993 - Global Graphics Award, Biennial of prints in Holland 1994 - Honourary Doctorate, University of Victoria ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2005Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com