Cory Trepanier, the artist behind a new exhibit at the Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature, begins his presentation with a photo of all the lights in the United States. There’s clusters of sparkling lights scattered over the map with the darkest part coming from the top of the photo.
“I realized if I wanted to paint some of the wildest places in Canada or even the world, it was time to head north,” he stated to the small gallery filled with about 15 people.
And that’s exactly what Trepainer did, resulting in his exhibit — Into the Arctic — that turns the stereotypical white terrain of the Arctic into a series of highly detailed paintings that show the depth of glaciers and forests that bring the viewer along on his journey.
Showcasing over 50 Arctic oil paintings and three films from four expeditions to the furthest reaches of the Canadian North, Trepanier says he hopes his work will inspire a sense of wonder for those viewing it.
While he says he doesn’t have one specific painting that he favours best, the size of some of his paintings highlights the grandeousity of certain landscapes and how small he felt while looking at them.
More than a few of the paintings featured in the gallery take over whole walls or at least the majority of the wall.
The opening holds a special place for Trepanier, who has followed Robert Batemen’s work since he was a teenager. He can recall meeting him more than 25 years ago at a book signing. Unable to afford Batemen’s coffee table book, Trepanier bought his calender , asking him to sign the calender and how to paint fog.
“It truly was inspiring for me to pursue art when I started to see Mr. Batemen’s work,” says Trepainer in a small presentation Thursday morning at the gallery. “The idea idea that one could bring nature to a two-dimensional image to life.”
Into the Arctic will be at the Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature in Victoria’s inner harbour from June 14 to Nov. 3 with the official public launch on Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with admission by donation all day and free guided tours by Trepanier himself at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
There is also a ticketed launch event on Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This VIP event includes a relaxed reception with drinks and canapés, followed by presentations by both Trepanier and Bateman. Tickets are $75 and available at batemancentre.org/events/an-evening-with-cory-trepanier-and-robert-bateman/.
Finally, on Sunday June 23rd from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. there will be a special advance screening of Trepanier’s latest award- winning film, Into the Arctic: Awakening at the Vic Theatre. Tickets are $20 and available at eventbrite.ca/e/into-the-arctic-film-screening-tickets-62679921332.
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