Tag Archives: Pat Webster

Clichés to Live By

July 3rd, 2017 | 15 Comments »

I’m thrilled to announce that an exhibition of neon art I’ve created will open on July 8 at The Winsor Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Winsor Gallery features cutting edge contemporary art, and I’m honoured to be exhibiting there, where artists of the calibre of Alexander Calder, Attila Richard Lukacs, Patrick Hughes, Angela Grossman and Fiona Ackerman have been shown.

This exhibition gives me special pleasure: the invitation to exhibit came as the result of two garden visits.

The first visit happened several years ago when I went to Broadwoodside, a garden near Edinburgh that remains one of my favourites. Cut into a plaster wall was a Biblical phrase, The Writing is on the Wall. As soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to create a version of the sign.

A few months later, I made my version in neon as a gift for my husband, a career journalist whose writing has appeared around the world.


To get the full story on this quotation and why it seemed like a perfect gift for my husband on our 50th wedding anniversary, you can read this post.
To get the full story on this quotation and why it seemed like a perfect gift for my husband on our 50th wedding anniversary, you can read this post .


The second garden visit came last summer, following our first Open Garden Day. (The second Open Garden Day takes place on Saturday, July 29. It’s a fund-raiser for our local community foundation and its conservation trust.  You can register to attend on the foundation’s website.)

One of the people attending that first Open Garden Day was Jennifer Winsor, owner of Vancouver’s Winsor Gallery. She saw the sign and liked it, telephoned a few days later and invited me to exhibit at her gallery.

It didn’t take me long to say yes. The prospect was exciting. It was challenging. (And I like a challenge.) It pushed me to think about what I’d like to say to a wider public, and why.

Early in the process of preparing for the exhibition, I knew that I would call the show Clichés to Live By. The title summed up an attitude I hold about today’s political discourse — that ideas of merit too often become debased by being overly simplified.  


George Bush's statement was a promise not to raise taxes. Did he?
George Bush’s statement was a promise not to raise taxes. Did this phrase trivialize a significant issue?


The exhibition includes seven pieces, six wall signs and a desk top piece, all with political overtones. One is a new version of The Writing is on the Wall, others are phrases that most people who follow politics, in Canada or elsewhere, will recognize.


Pierre Trudeau's words could be a feminist statement as well as a political one.
Removed from their original context, Pierre Trudeau’s words can be read as a challenge, a feminist call to arms, or a child’s call for attention.


Clichés to Live By runs from July 9 to August 9 in conjunction with The Flats Block Party. You can find out more about the exhibition here.

There’s an opening reception on July 8 from 2-4. So if you are in Vancouver, please drop in for a visit and a chat.

The Winsor Gallery is located at 258 E 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC. For information about the pieces, contact the gallery on line or at (604) 681-4870.



I am confused

September 9th, 2013 | No Comments »
Do I look confused? I am.Help straighten me out!Last week I included a survey in my blog post. Many of you responded. But even more of you did not.Will you take a few minutes now to respond? I'd really appreciate it. Your input will help me make the blog better! And that, I hope, will make it more enjoyable for you.Just click here.

Borrowing a View

June 18th, 2013 | 3 Comments »
In England, the idea of enlarging the view beyond a garden wall -- whether the wall is real or metaphoric -- dates back to the 18th century. The furniture and landscape designer William Kent is said to be the first to recognize that land outside a garden's designed space could appear to be part of it. He understood that someone else's fields or farmlands could be 'borrowed' visually to make one's own lands seem larger. At Rousham House in Oxfordshire. Kent "leapt the wall and saw that all nature was a


An Artist’s Garden in Spring

May 19th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
An article about Glen Villa, entitled An Artist's Garden in Spring, appeared this week in the Montreal magazine Urban Expressions.  Written by Donna Nebenzahl, the article is lavishly illustrated with my photographs of spring flowers. I particularly liked the big spread that shows the linden tree, with muscari, or grape hycinth, blooming in the grass. Urban Expressions used a different photo. I like this one, too. The link takes you to the article but doesn't show the excellent layout. Too bad, because the balance between text and photos showed the photographs at