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City Living - Spotlight - Reflections on Water

Reflections on Water

Su Sheedy, I Am Water Exhibit

By Stephanie Earp | Photo By Scott Adamson­­­­

Although artist Su Sheedy creates ab­stract encaustic paintings, she has often thought her work resembled marshlands. In past lives, Sheedy has been a geologist and a massage therapist, and now through her textured, multi-layered art she says she is still digging. “The medium lends itself to digging down, building up and excavating,” she says. Sheedy feels as though she is building a landscape in her works. “For me, they become marshes or swamps or bogs because they’re sort of murky and almost hideous in a way. I like the idea of challenging people aesthetically. Bogs are beautiful too.”

Though she can’t remember exactly how she decided to become a member of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, she suspects it had something to do with that insight. The advocacy group devoted to protecting Lake Ontario was founded 10 years ago, after the Walkerton water contamination trage­dy. Sheedy was inspired to curate an inter-disciplinary show in celebration of the group’s decade of activism.

“I Am Water” will feature Sheedy’s art along with pieces that speak to the theme of water from 20 other area artists. It will hang at the Window Gallery in the King­ston School of Art from March 22 (World Water Day) to April 22 (Earth Day), with a public forum on April 22 that will bring together activists and artists, including writer Helen Hum­p­hreys, poet Eric Folsum and musician Justin Bird. “People are very emotional about water. It means so many different things to different people.”

Sheedy plans to document the works created for and displayed at the exhibit through a book project she’s still developing. “When you’re an artist you want to use your art to create some sort of bigger picture,” she explains. “Art can be a tool to raise awareness for something else.”

“I Am Water” will be at the Window Art Gallery from March 22 to April 22, 647a Princess St., www.ksoa.info