Beyond Limits revued by Gerald Smith

posted in: Uncategorized

Beyond Limits” is a focus show, featuring the works of Mario Cerroni, Jessica Fleury, Rob Huntley and Raymond Piesina. This exhibition will run from January 28, 2014 – February 16, 2014. “Meet the artists” on Sunday February 2, 2014 from 2 – 4pm.

“Beyond Limits” Show Review by Gerald Smith


“Beyond Limits” is the title of a new exhibition now on display at the Foyer Gallery in the Nepean Sportsplex. It is a focus show featuring Mario Cerroni, Jessica Fleury, Rob Huntley and Raymond Piesina. The show runs from January 28th to Feb. 16th.

Mario Cerroni is a retired school teacher who lives in Carp and is now writing mainly poetry. He is also engaged in photography which has been displayed in group and solo shows throughout Ontario and Quebec. A key statement is made in his accompanying artist’s’ statement in which he says that he is trying to show the viewers some of the inherent beauty that he finds in the rhythms and patterns that he sees in nature, architecture and everyday life. This he does very well. One large photograph entitled “Empathy” is a fine example of this. It shows an “s” shaped overhang of some architectural forms against an evening sky. Another fine example of his perceptive powers is a photo called “Reverb”. It is a closeup view of a metal construct consisting of cubes of what appears to be aluminum arranged geometrically on a curved surface. Very nice, and I suspect many people would walk by this object and fail to notice its inherent beauty.

Jessica Fleury is a self-taught artist who produces paintings of considerable merit and expressions. They are all of a distinctive style and rendered with great power. Most are winter scenes, three of which are crowded with people. Two are of night scenes in downtown Ottawa with swirling skies not unlike the night skies of works by Vincent Van Gogh. My favorite among them is one called “Sussex Drive” which effectively shows deep perspective and bold patterns of buildings, street lights and people on a sidewalk, all retreating into the distance. My only criticism is that she is not charging enough for them.

Rob Huntley is a photographer who joined the Foyer Gallery in January 2014 and brings to the gallery a body of work that is not only interesting but mostly created through a truly novel method. That method is to attach a remote controlled camera to a kite line and photograph the vistas as seen from that vantage point. All the images thus created are interesting and in some cases truly spectacular. One fine example is entitled “Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia”. It is a view along a coastline extending into a great distance with waves hitting the shore. One interesting feature of the photograph is the manner in which various clouds seem to match the places along the landscape where wind has caused the soil to erode, producing many areas of exposed sand. This photo is a real delight. Another photo by him that I like is a large one 26″:x 35″ which shows a farm road retreating diagonally into the distance through green fields. This has the simplicity and power of a painting by Barnett Newman. Like some of the others by him, he is shown on the ground below manipulating the device.

Ray Piesina is showing seven of his typically large paintings that he refers to as “earthscapes”. Part of his artist’s statement says that the most intimate part of nature in relation to man is the biosphere, its soil cover and everything else that is alive. He goes on to say that he finds every painting an exciting journey into earth’s origin. Through the use of color to create perpetual movement and endless energy, he depicts growth and evolution within the forces of nature. A painting called “Into the Abyss” is a fine example of this philosophy. It is a tumultuous rendering of emerging abstract forms to create an image that to me at least, suggests a form that is breaking though the earth’s surface to claim its rightful place among its already existing flora and fauna. Another painting by him called “Crossover” is a suggestion of human activity. The painting seems to suggest a bridge structure with people on it but its main appeal is not what it may or may not be but rather the poetic application of paint itself. Every part of the painting has its own inherent appeal and they are all combined to make a powerful image. After all, this is the true goal in a painting and this work accomplishes it with flare.