Artist highlights Johnson Street bridge with Iconic Blue

The exhibition continues to Aug. 25 and is open to the public weekday mornings

While it may be gone, the iconic Blue Bridge in Victoria stands as the inspiration behind an Oak Bay artists installation that starts Saturday.

The Iconic Blue series comprises contemporary drawings, painting and collage work reflecting the space and atmosphere of Victoria’s Blue Bridge more formally known as the Johnson Street Bridge.

The series seed was planted in 2012 as Jane Coombe studied the concepts of space and atmosphere at the Vancouver Island School of Art.

“Part of it was to go out in the community and walk around and get a feeling for places,” said Coombe, who found herself crossing the bridge. “The sun was shining and the light just shone like a cathedral though all of the girders up high.”

RELATED: Vancouver Island School of Art sets course for new Victoria campus

She embarked on a mission the capture the magnificence of the design, spatial construction, ingenuity of the architectural engineering and the feeling of civic pride when the Blue Bridge opened in 1924 at a cost of $918,000). The costs of the Blue Bridge replacement, from its initial estimate of $48 million in 2009 to final costs in 2018 of 148 million are reflected in large blue canvases.

“Early in this work I experienced immense feelings of sadness at the loss of a significant and iconic landmark and recall memories of crossing similar bridges in the industrial north east of England, my place of birth,” Coombe said. “I felt nostalgic for home. The controversy over the bridge replacement only deepened my sadness and became a catalyst for the series.”

RELATED: Video: Bye-bye Johnson Street bridge

Coombe took a sensory approach noting emotional responses to sight, touch, smell, sound and attacked all elements.

“I listened to the rhythm of traffic going over the bridge and recorded how these sounds look on canvas,” she said. “I’ve studied a lot of obstruct construction so the idea of drawing all of those angles and intersecting lines appealed to me and it was a challenge.”

Iconic Blue, 1924- 2018 opens June 30 with a reception 2 to 5 p.m. at the Stairwell Gallery, St. Philip Anglican Church, 2928 Eastdowne Rd.

Curator Cornelia van Voorst, “she’s trying to create a space where artists who have sort of spiritual connection, and a lot do, to their art, can show,” Coombe said. “I’m very happy, the work looks very good. I’m not a well known artist so this little gallery is perfect.”

The exhibition continues to Aug. 25 and is open to the public weekday mornings when the church is staffed. Call 778-440-8170 for an appointment. Learn more about the artist at janecoombe.com.

 

Just Posted

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

Sidewalk Trio reuniting at The Oaks

The next Blues for Eric scholarship benefit concert is Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read