Fear, Hope and Longing I and II

Fear, Hope and Longing I: Paintings of the Pacific Northwest
Gallery 110, Seattle

Fear, Hope and Longing II: Paintings of the Pacific Northwest
September 27-29, 2013
Visual Space – 2075 Alberta Street, Vancouver, BC

view press release below

Press Release

The township of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island has had great significance as a personal and spiritual retreat for Vancouver artist David Haughton and his wife Lyne. For more than 10 years, Haughton has visited the remote area during storm season, November through February. Approaching squalls can cause fast weather changes that cycle through rain, snow, hail, darkness and brilliant sunshine within minutes. Fascinated by the changing light and colours of the sea, the off-shore islands and secluded beaches, Haughton has created thousands of sketches, paintings and photos of the region.

Fear, Hope & Longing II includes paintings previously shown in April 2013 at Gallery 110, Seattle, as well as new paintings being shown for the first time. Many images are based on sketches and photos taken from Haughton’s visits during storm season, while other images were painted on location.

The multimedia paintings are a lens through which the artist channels his emotions and experiences of the wild Pacific coast. “Fear” captures the adrenaline rush Haughton feels while surfing in the cold winter ocean, with the thrill and danger of being alone, vulnerable and sometimes fatiguing in giant dark waves. In his images of dawn, he seeks to paint the pure, clear early light and strong sense of “hope” in the crisp morning air. “Longing” expresses his acute yearning during the intense, fiery sunsets — a response to a heightened sense of his own mortality coupled with a passionate feeling of nostalgia for the world.

To these emotions and memories Haughton adds a third layer of artistic expression. Tilted horizons slightly unsettle the viewer and convey a sense of being at sea. Highly charged colours and dramatic contrasts between light and dark bestow an exaggerated perspective on the exploding seas and skies, especially as viewed through a window of a cabin on the beach. The most successful works combine his strong personal responses to nature with the confidence of a mature artistic expression.