Currently on display at the Imagemaker Gallery in Port Credit is a different type of exhibition.

RED Hot features local artists, including Nada Annan, Liliane Lear, Gary Pavia, Susan Chin, Nadia Fernandez, Kristina Heredia, Nancy Phillips, and Alison Syer. What makes this exhibit interesting is that all pieces were required to be 50% red.

Despite this common theme, each artist creates a radically different piece. One wall displayed Annan’s “Ah… The Sun”, “Blazing Trees”, “Power of Red”, and “Red Beauty.” These landscape paintings consist of bright red flowers and trees. Up close, the works focus on texture. The rise and fall of Annan’s brushstrokes create rhythm within her images. Her colours appear to melt into one another.

Annan’s “Ruby Red” painting hangs on the opposite wall. This canvas depicts a slice of pomegranate resting next to a full pomegranate. Instead of using acrylic paints like in her other works, Annan uses oil for this piece. Various shades of warm colours imitate a glow within the fruit.

Unlike Annan’s work, the rest of the paintings in the gallery are abstract.

Pavia’s “Man with Dog” looks nothing like the title suggests. The man and dog have been reduced to geometric shapes. The many lines, shapes, and contrasting colours within the piece force your eyes to move around the piece. Pavia appears to mimic everyday life, but in a way that redefines its standards in a meaningful way.

Fernandez’s “Tiger in the Room” and Chin’s “Sun” also portray abstract modes of expression. Both paintings depict glowing yellows, reds, and oranges without a specific subject. Like Pavia, Fernandez’s piece differs greatly from its title. The painting involves a scene of crashing waves. The more I inspected it, the more I came to realize the meaning behind the title. The tiger serves as a metaphor for the violence of the waves.

Another standout piece belonged to Lear, who distorts images with Photoshop, and then embroiders them in her piece, “Darlene”. Her art resembles the negatives of photographs. The contrast in colour between the people, the background, and the lines throughout the piece make her work look as though it were crafted from shards of colourful glass.

RED Hot embodies the idea that art isn’t bound in a set of rules. The powerful, individualistic pieces suggest that art focuses on the experience of the observer.

RED Hot is on display at Imagemaker Gallery until September 30.

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