“On Grief: Ghosts” by Christine Savage in the KAC Alcove Gallery
Thursday, May 4th, 2022 – Tuesday, May 30th, 2023
After a season of singular focus on my young family, I set a goal of creating 100 drawings. Initially, my focus was on output, but as my drawings improved, I looked for ways to hone my skills further. I started doing continuous blind contour drawings of objects in my surroundings and then shifted to self-portraits using this same method. In continuous blind contour drawing, an artist draws an image using a single, unbroken line without looking. An arresting image emerged in one of my early drawings: the juxtaposed, fragmented planes of my face mirrored my state of grief so accurately. My dad had passed away without warning, and I was working through shock as well as grief. This image that materialized was the most honest answer to the only question we know to ask bereaved people: how are you feeling?
I could not fathom the pain fading. I saw my dad where he wasn’t. Work boots, a stranger’s casual crossed leg or easy mannerisms. A work truck. An unkempt shop or garage. A particular pen. He’s still everywhere…more to me than when he was alive. I have continued in this series combining blind portraits of myself or family members with gestural mark-making. Some works are focused around a single image, while others are multiple exposures of portraits travelling the page. These drawings are comprised of ink, watercolour pencil, and oil stick. Some of my influences are Eva Hess, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly.
Christine Savage completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at TRU in 2009. In her graduating year, she was invited to apply for BMO 1st Art! and was the recipient of the Curator’s Choice Award. She has shown her work nationally and internationally. After some time off to focus on raising her four daughters, Savage resumed her art practice by aspiring to create 100 drawings within a year. Her current body of work is an exploration of grief using blind self-portraits and gestural mark-making. A selection of this work was featured in a collaborative drawing show at the Cube in Kamloops Art Gallery last year.
Christine’s show will be exhibited in the alcove gallery from May 4 to May 30, 2023.
View their upcoming show in our online gallery here!