Friday, July 26, 2019

Art Saturna Artist Interview: Nettie Adams








Nettie Adams is a photographer who lives and works (mostly) on Saturna Island. I met her at her lovely forest home on East Point Road on a sunny, summer afternoon where we talked about her passions, art, Saturna, bamboo and hardy cacti…

Tell me a little about yourself and your art.
As a photographer, I rarely set out to shoot a specific image. Photographs just happen. They are fragments of timelessness captured in time. I know this to be true because of the way I feel. Excitement, complete fascination, a sense of connection, even rapture at times. Something in my visual world just speaksto me and I am hooked. This “timelessness” is a miracle to me. I am so human, so bound by norms, expectations and judgments that to be caught in a moment, of creative exhilaration, is pure joy.

How did you come to live on Saturna?
I first came to Saturna in 1985 to attend a friend’s wedding. I was busy with the wedding and taking photographs and didnt see much of the island. Five years later, when Charles and I were looking for somewhere in the Southern Gulf Islands to get married, I remembered Saturna.  We were married in St. Christophers Church in 1990. We were living and working in Vancouver, so we went back home afterwards, smitten by Saturna, hoping to one day be able to buy property there. In 1996 an opportunity arose to buy property and then we camped for another 20 years until we bought this house. We are regular part-timers; we spend about two-thirds of our time here. 

How did you become a photographer?
I have always been a photographer. I think I had a Brownie camera when I was five years old and took pictures of my pet bunny. I have a degree from UBC in Fine Arts with a specialty in photography. I was fortunate enough to be taught and mentored by the now world-famous photographer, Fred Herzog. He was actually a Biomedical professor at UBC and, at that time, there was no one to teach photography in the Fine Arts Department, so they hired Fred to do that. It was a very special opportunity. A group of us tripped around with Fred in the mid 70s. Fred taught me that if you get one or two good shots out of a roll of 36 (back in the days of film) you were doing awesome. Of course, every shot that he took was amazing. He also helped me to develop an eye to look for things that other people didnt see. When I finished my degree I didnt show any of my work for thirty years. Ive always had a camera and I continued to take family photos but any other photos that I took, I just kept to myself. I also worked for Lens and Shutter for many years and saw a lot of other peoples photos (laughs).

How did you start showing your work again?
Jean-Francois Renaud was curating the art exhibitions at the Saturna Café and he said, I can offer you a show. Saturna had rekindled my interest in artistic photography and so I said ‘yes.’ There was a lot of nervousness and trepidation, but I agreed. Theres nothing like a show to motivate you (laughs). That first show was in 2012 and was called Sagaciousand Ive had several other shows since. I once covered the inside of the Café with panoramic shots of tree bark that totaled 21 feet in length. It was called “Enfoldment.”

Ethereal Egg
              
What inspires you?
Saturna inspires me. It has been a very photographic summer. I often photograph community events and I did the Lamb Barbecue, again this year. This time I focused on all the work bees and volunteers. It was amazing. It’s important, to me, to document that event because the record says so much about community. There are so many people, who do so much, that it is almost impossible to describe to someone who hasnt seen it. In many ways, Im like a voyeur when Im behind my camera but when I photographed the BBQ this year, I got to see how I fit into the community. That was an important moment for me.

How do you fit into the community?
I saw that everything that people do is important building the tables, making the rice, cleaning the site and I saw that what I do is important too. By taking photos I help others to see the community. I am a connector and making connections through my photographs builds and unites the community.  I help to broaden the view; to provide a window to each other and to life. 

Tell me about a piece of work that you are really happy with and why?
(Nettie took me inside her house to see two photographs that she has mounted and framed on her wall. Both photos portray intimate moments of young people in Thailand.  One is titled Boysand the other Painted.  As she shows them to me and speaks about them she has tears in her eyes).  Sometimes it is a privilege to take a photo.  There is a moment when I see something and I am smitten.  Its the movement of the light and I lose all sense of time and space; time stops and I am in awe.  I live in that moment.  Photography is a means to capture the magical wonder in nature and the world. 

What projects are you working on or looking forward to?
This weekend I have a show opening at the Café called 3 x 3 In Plain View.’  Two others photographers, Maureen Welton and Nancy Angermeyer and I are showing together.  I feel honoured to be sharing the space with these two women. The show will be up during the Art Saturna Tour on the BC Day weekend, August 3rd and 4th when other artists on the island also have their studios open. Im also very excited about an event Ill be having at the Sunset Talks at East Point on August 30th. Its called Night de Lightand my images will be projected large-scale onto the side of the Fog Alarm Building.  Having my images presented in such a grand scale is something Ive dreamed of for a long time.  Bring a blanket and come see!

You can see more of Nettie’s work at:  nettieadams.ca

-By Monica Morten

Thursday, July 25, 2019

An Exhibition of Photography: 3 X 3 - In Plain View


Photographers Nettie Adams, Nancy Angermeyer and Maureen Welton are featuring their work at the Saturna Cafe with an opening reception this Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 4-6 pm.  Come down and meet the artists and experience the world 'In Plain View' in a way that you may have never seen before! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Art Saturna Studio Tour 2019

The annual Saturna Arts Studio Tour will be happening on the August long weekend.  Tour the island and pop in to see artists in their studios. Come and join us!


Maps will be available at the Cafe and the General Store. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Saturna Island and the PRISM Art Gallery

Saturna is a very special place in this world, as free as possible from the intrusive and often-troubling distractions of the world at large. It's an island filled with gorgeous natural spots and much abiding inspiration. No wonder Saturna is home to many local artists and artisans. You can see a fine sample of work of local talent displayed on the walls of the Saturna Café until June 9.

I'm one of Saturna's local artists, with my Saturna Island studio being the place where the magic I can capture gets conveyed to canvas. My studio (up the hill from my home at Saturna) is in rather an out-of-the-way spot, even for this out-of-the-way island. Relatively few people come to visit me there, and I suppose that's just as well. It's busy with all the work I'm doing for current and upcoming shows in Vancouver and elsewhere, and there's hardly a place to "show" the work well. All the in-progress material impedes anyone but me from getting around. I try to tidy it up occasionally, but not when I'm busy on a project, which has been often these days. But, you know, it's nice to have people see and comment on your work. And I do miss that. So....

original painting, 2019, by Janet Strayer: www.janetstrayer.com
What I've done is open the PRISM, a small gallery for the summer months at lovely spot near the ferry. I don't know how long I can keep it running, but it's been a pleasure to invite people to see the art, to direct them to other people's studios, as well as to local scenic spots on Saturna. I welcome all the new visitors who just casually drop in as they wait for the ferry or have an ice-cream. And I'm happy to see return visitors, like the nature photographers who've come by boat for several seasons, eager to show and share work with me. Or like the couple from France who only had time to visit one Gulf Island and chose Saturna. Or the young bike-riders from Germany, who'd never  been to an "art gallery" before, but enjoyed this one. It's a small island that invites the world.

This summer, I'm hosting the PRISM Art Gallery once more--- OPENS  JUNE 1. The gallery will be open on weekends and holiday Mondays until after Labour Day. New paintings will be displayed  monthly, and there will be some surprises, including a large 3-D collages I've been working on for months. I'm eager to meet the new visitors and to welcome those who've come again to visit. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Spring ArtSaturna Group show at Saturna Cafe

Here are a few images from our spring 2019 ArtSaturna show at the cafe.  Chef Hubertus Surm made us a wonderful dinner Saturday night to celebrate spring and all new work on display. The show continues to May 29.



Art Saturna Group Show, Saturna Café, BC