The Press Gang
Black is Gold
Black is gold for printmakers.
The Press Gang is a collective of Yukon printmakers who have come together to celebrate ink. While we have all been printmaking for several years, Bill Barnie, Joyce Majiski and Martha Ritchie have been working in this medium for most of their professional lives. We are all enamored with inky splendor.
Black is Gold is a show of relief prints executed with linoleum or woodblock plates. Bill and Linda are printing with Bill’s renovated press. Joyce Majiski uses her own press at Tuktu Studio. Her large piece, “River Dance“, is a product of an Art Under Pressure event in 2013, where a road packer was used as a press. Martha Ritchie and Leslie Leong are old school. They have hand pressed their prints.
After graduating in 1974 with a degree in fine art from University of Guelph, Barnie ventured north to become an art teacher in Iqaluit, (then Frobisher Bay, NWT). He stayed there producing many paintings and prints as a resident with a northern viewpoint and perspective.
In 1984, he moved south to Whitehorse, Yukon. He established Yukon Fine Arts, which includes a print shop, studio and ‘The Frame Shop’.
Barnie’s northern experience allows him to paint the north as it truly is. As a result, his art has gained the recognition and approval of his fellow northerners.
The government of the NWT has toured his work throughout the territory and has many of his paintings and prints. His work is included in many private and public collections.
Linda is a visual artist and theatre artist living in Whitehorse. The Northern life, and wildlife, provides endless inspiration. She works in two dimensions using oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel and charcoal drawings and collage. Currently, she is exploring relief printmaking.
Majoring in painting, Linda Leon graduated with a Degree in Fine Arts from University of Manitoba in 1974. She continued with her art practice despite a full time career in professional theatre spanning over thirty years. In many ways, theatre continues to inform Linda Leon’s art. Linda Leon is a member of Associated Designers of Canada and Yukon Artists @ Work
Visit Linda Leon’s website at http://www.lindaleonart.com/
My art practice began in photography and ceramics over 35 years ago. Today I employ a variety of expressive forms often using unorthodox materials, forcing me to adopt non-traditional techniques. This results in a more open-ended process, sending me on a journey of enquiry and exploration.
I am inquisitive and I have an obsessive drive to create. Currently the result is work that ponders a future in wearable tech, embeddable implants and human augmentation. With technology’s ability to accelerate tasks and production, I am worried by the inability of humans to manage the current pace of life and its extreme excesses. In reaction, I can often be found rummaging recycling stations and landfill sites for materials to reuse and repurpose into my art forms.
Leslie is always looking for ways to adapt traditional methods and try new ways of creating; print making is no exception.
Joyce’s work examines connection to place within a context of global environmental concerns. Past careers as a biologist and wilderness guide and several artistic residencies have taken her to remote wild spaces of the world contributing to her artistic practice. Moving between wilderness and urban landscapes, she seeks out connections between these environments and how humans live and find connection in each of them.
Joyce’s “North of Myth” exhibition travelled to northern Finland, Sweden and Ireland. Her current investigations about water and plastic have been exhibited in Spain and Mazatlan, Mexico. A Yukon resident since 1984, her first solo exhibition in Whitehorse was in 1997.
Martha Jane Ritchie
Martha (Marty) Ritchie is an artist who lives and works in Haines Junction, Yukon. Drawing from the natural beauty that surrounds her home-based studio, she creates images both bold and enticing. Martha received her formal training while attending Emily Carr College of Art and Design, where she graduated with honours in printmaking. She works primarily in linoleum cut prints, a medium that, while simple, is laborious and physical in the carving and hand printing processes. Her knowledge of the techniques and traditions of Printmaking provide a basis from which she explores new ways of integrating her prints into mixed medium artworks. This in turn has led to exploration into fabric and textile printing.
Martha is also devoted to the practices of drawing and painting and uses them as a means of gathering information and ideas for her prints.
She believes strongly in the importance of art and craft in the development of healthy individuals and communities and provides numerous creative opportunities within her community for children and adults.
Martha’s art has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. It can be found in private collections in Canada, the United States, Germany and England.