Gareth Bate

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"Lament" Paintings

Artist Statement
Gareth Bate
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Sometimes the saddest songs are the most inspiring. Rather than sink into guilt and despair at the state of the world, I try to find beauty in the tragic. As an artist I choose to believe that making art will somehow have an impact. It will make people feel, think and consider. It will motivate and affirm a sense of hope.

The “Lament” painting series is a song of sorrow and loss, an existential contemplation on our place within nature and our effect on the world. It evolved out of a desire to paint the places that are special to me like Grenadier Pond in Toronto’s High Park, and Kings County in Prince Edward Island. However, the paintings became something different. The result was often haunted and lonely. For me, a strange melancholy permeated each painting, a human presence felt but never seen. Despite the darkness, winding pathways continually emerged in a completely unconscious way.

If we value our environment so intensely will we make difficult choices of self-control? Or will we instead cut the tops off mountains while “waiting for the miracle”? I value this world because I believe this is all there will ever be.

"Lament" is usually exhibited along side Penance Performance.

This body of work was created while using The 401 Richmond Career-Launcher Prize.

Date: Jan. - May 2008
Medium: Acrylic on wood or canvas
Responsive Space II, Lonsdale Gallery.
Penance & Devotion at Glendon Gallery (Solo)
Winter "Lament" Paintingsat Canadian Heritage Office (Solo)
"Lament" 401 Richmond Career-Launcher Prize Exhibition, at 401 Richmond St. West (Solo)
"Lament" at Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (Solo)