The Arbor Gallery in Vankleek Hill debuted a new exhibition October 28. Jephcott On & Off the Wall is a series of paintings by artist Susan Jephcott that continues the idea of her Horizons Exhibition in Ottawa. The coming change that you can see on the horizon is not always good, but there are moments of happiness along the way that steel your resolve and prepare you for the worst.
“I remember looking out the window and seeing a dark line of clouds and then a bright, bright, bright golden horizon, and that turned it more hopeful,” said Jephcott. “I did more things about the injustice of things, and that hope is on the horizon.”
Jephcott started the exhibition when the first round of lockdowns occurred at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2019. She focused on the positives of the situation and began painting full-time, looking at current events and reflecting on them through her work. When standing amidst misery, she observed, one must keep looking for the hope on the horizon.
“When anything terrible happens like this, I tend to have a reaction, and then I take the energy from that reaction and turn it into a statement that somehow makes it beautiful but also makes a person think,” she said. “I did a reaction to the kids being discovered in the schools, which just made me laugh sort of bitterly because we all knew this was happening.”
The exhibition also has copies of her books available for purchase. The Tangerine Cat and its sequel The Whiskey Cat are collections of short stories that Jephcott writes when she’s not painting; she’d been writing them since the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 2015 that she put them together in a book and published them.
“They’re for people with young minds, and sometimes they’ll have little bad swears in them which children love,” she said. “The Whiskey Cat, some of the stories are more adult but they’re all fun, they all have happy endings
Jephcott On & Off the Wall will be showing at the Arbor Gallery until November 21. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.