Nathan Birch â€” Waters
Where: Douglas Udell Gallery, 10332 124th St.
When: through April 6
EDMONTON – Skilfully, sassily, Nathan Birch patrols the border between decorative commercial art and its mythical antithesis, â€œidea-basedâ€� conceptual work.
His nearly photorealistic acrylic landscape paintings â€” up now at Douglas Udell Gallery in a show called Waters â€” are of powerfully pretty, unspoiled stretches of Vancouver Island, often less than half an hour away from his studio home in Campbell River. There, looking for the next diorama to capture and recreate, he mountain bikes or is led along by his young yellow lab, Lucy.
As such, Birchâ€™s work exemplifies lovely frontier, unobtrusive Canadiana: postcard images of secret coves, centred and solitary driftwood trunks against Strait of Georgia mist, stillwater glades. Itâ€™s stuff that sells on the merit of its looks.
But in its unusual presentation, former Edmontonian Birch â€” trained at Alberta College of Art + Design â€”