Nature, Industry, and Diptychs
By Richard Malinsky, Arts Editor
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Joy Munt’s website details her work in the film and video industry and then her transition into painting to follow her love of landscape.
Inspired by living in four different cities in three provinces, Joy’s painting is an expressive, impressionistic distillation of the landscape around her. She searches for the unique personality of each place, whether it is city, ocean, prairie town, or large metropolis.
In her Rain Steam and Speed series she introduces asymmetrical diptych proportions. At first glance each panel appears to be a separate painting. “Going Down That Country Road” is a square composition of an abstracted bird’s-eye view of rectangular land patches divided by roads and interrupted by a river. The right-hand panel of the diptych is a narrower rectangle with numbers and words that presumably relate to this particular place.
Deeper into the site, she describes her use of text as information found on packaging, shipping containers, and commercial buildings; numbers are randomly chosen for compositional reasons rather than specific content. However, they do give evidence to past and present human and industrial interaction with the land. In “I’m Like a Lost Ship Adrift at Sea,” text can be found in the left-hand side of the diptych and seems to reflect nautical chart readings and possibly depth markings relating to the image of a coastline.
Munt applies multiple layers of paint to wood panels and grinds away at them with a power sander to achieve the physical textures that dominate each painting. It is as if she is stripping away the surface to reveal the unknown. She says: “I am transfixed by a beautiful and deteriorating world of industry juxtaposed with the prairies, trees, rivers, and coasts.”
Her World in Transit series perpetuates these themes, without the diptych composition, as in “Bridge over Troubled Waters.” The reddish brown at the bottom of the painting may be symbolic of polluted industrial waste.
Joy Munt is a Canadian artist living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Visual Arts and Film Studies from the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia.
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