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Gallery 8 Saltspring Island


Monday - Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sundays & Holidays 11am to 4pm

Shelley Wuitchik


For me, painting with encaustic, creates a state of totipotentia:, a
latin term meaning the ability for all things. A totipotent cell has
the potential to develop and differentiate into any cell in the body,
be it skin, bone or even heart tissue.

Encaustic painting is also filled with such potential. Since the
medium is incredibly malleable and fluid, I am able to mix it with
vibrant pigments and embed sculptural elements. I  seek to illustrate
the flow of water, the dense weight of the earth and the flashy and
volatile qualities of fire.

My work is a reflection of my life, the rich texture of my family,
history and experiences are blended together just as composition
colours melt into swirls of water and bursts of fire. The ebb and flow
of the seasons is divided into different series which I explore both
the macroscopic and microscopic in tandem. With sweeping gestures of
my blowtorch, I am not only burning in the medium, adhering layer to
layer. I am also burning in memory, time and space. I hope the
luminosity and movement of my work offers the viewer the same
spontaneity and transformation I experience as I paint.

Totipotentia,  all things are possible.

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