Two artists, two mediums
On display together

Michele LeTourneau
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 10/99) - Though local artist Terry Pamplin has been drawing since he was a child, and has spent 20 odd years in the commercial art business, the way he sees it, the exhibit of his work at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre signifies a great leap in the right direction.

"This is my first concentrated effort to do a show of all fine art, if you want to call it that," says Pamplin, comparing his vibrant pastel drawings to his illustration work of yesteryear.

"In the summer of 1997, I made a date with myself," Pamplin says. "At first they were tight and awkward, laboured little pieces."

But the artist -- whose day job is exhibit designer at the Prince of Wales -- was determined.

"My attraction was getting past what I'm looking a nice theme or nice composition or something. So it's sorta allowing myself to go to that place, letting myself go."

According to Pamplin, there's a huge change. His first sketches made him feel clumsy and untrained, which was disheartening when he began.

But Pamplin noticed he had unused pastel crayons in his drawing box and was beginning to think the little coloured crayons were too fine. He believed the thick, coloured pastels would get him away from the drive to fine detail that was limiting him.

"And then there was about three sketches in about two weeks that got larger and larger and then all of a sudden...this one particular instance when I was outside. I was drawing it full size, without the little interim sketch. It was just like a revelation, like boom! I stepped back and thought 'whoa look at this!' I ran down the hill, ran back into the house to show my partner, and said 'Look at what I've got!'"

So the perseverance paid off and has culminated in a show of his work, mostly landscapes, a few human figures.

The exhibit itself is a double treat because another artist, photographer John Poirier, also has his work on display. Though Poirier, a photographer for at least 30 years, is an old hand at these public showings, with several solo and quite a few group shows under his belt.

This selection of photographs, titled Intimate Landscapes, is a very intense collection of close, detailed images from nature.

"They were taken primarily within the last five years, though it's really a selection from a larger body of work," explains Poirier, whose work is also on exhibit at Javaroma (NorthwesTel).

Comparing the two exhibits, Poirier -- who is employed as co-ordinator of technical services at the Heritage Centre -- says, "For the ones at the Prince of Wales, I used regular photographic materials. The ones at Javaroma are very different, there is a variety of subject, they were more of a technical experiment."

"Working digitally with colour is like going back into a dark room and working with black and white, in terms of coming much closer to what I was seeing when I took the picture," Poirier explains.

Poirier began working with the computer end of things about five years ago.

"I was doing digital imagery at work, with old photographs, then I got a computer and started playing around with it."

He adds, "At Javaroma, I wanted to show people that there's a lot of creative potential in using technology."

The double exhibit is on until the end of March at the Prince of Wales.