Diana Dabinett: Wind and Water
Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce Wind and Water, an exhibition of new work by Diana Dabinett. The exhibition will open with an artist reception on Aug. 25 from 6–8pm, and will continue until Sep. 17. Music at the opening reception will be provided by Boyd Chubbs.
“A year ago I moved from Shoe Cove, where I had lived for 47 years, into the city of St John’s. This was a hard decision as I had lived on four and a half acres of boreal forest that ended in 300-foot-high cliffs on the Atlantic Ocean and was a primary inspiration for my work. The unceasing winds battered the coast, eroding and reshaping the rocky shore, and frequently have been a protagonist in my work. In many of these paintings you will experience these winds along the coastal cliffs: they become visual, make a sound, you can feel them.
At the end of our forest path are the cliffs in Hollow Cove. The oil painting of these ice bedecked, precipitous heights was featured on the cover of American Psychologist in October 2021 so I have included it in the current show. A Thin, White Line was inspired by a photograph by Gerald Vaandering of the small waterfall in the same cove, frozen as a winter drawing on the rocks.
Waterfalls have also often featured as a subject and appear in some new egg tempera paintings. In August 2020 I visited the Codroy Valley and the southwestern corner of the island. The lushness of the verdant valley is a prolific agricultural area on the island and is backed by the Long Range Mountain chain that runs from the Appalachians to Gros Morne and to the Pennines in England. Their profile is an awe-inspiring backdrop to these small egg tempera works and extends to create the cliffs in Barachois Waterfall and the exposed, famous valley of Wreckhouse Winds.
The rugged, eroded coastline will persist as a subject in future works as will the movement of water in rivers and waterfalls. The works commissioned for the Labrador Health Centre, the Manuel River Interpretation centre and the river system in two works in the Fluvarium are other places my work can be seen. The common theme through these works is the reforming of the rocky landmass that has been home for me for 48 years.”
Diana Dabinett was born in Zimbabwe in 1943. After completing a BFA and Secondary Teacher’s Diploma in Cape Town, she taught in high schools in Zimbabwe and England before moving to London, Ontario in 1969 to become assistant curator at the Art Gallery of London. In 1975, Diana moved to Newfoundland and Labrador and since then she has maintained a full time professional studio art practise from her home and studio in Shoe Cove and her new studio in St. John’s. She has exhibited in over 70 solo and group exhibitions, and in 2018 she was awarded the ArtsNL Artists’ Achievement Award.
Diana Dabinett’s work is found in the public collections of The Provincial Art Bank, NL, the City of St. John’s, the Canada Council Art Bank, Foreign Affairs Canada, the University of Western Ontario, and many private collections around the world including Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Diana has completed over 15 site specific commissioned works for public spaces such as the Manuel’s River Hibernia Interpretation Centre, the Deer Lake Airport, the Fluvarium, St. John’s, Labrador Health Centre, Goose Bay, and Community Hospital in Monterey, California.