Margaretha Bootsma

In Memoriam

Margaretha Bootsma

About the artist

West Coast artist Margaretha Bootsma melds the language of photography and paint to explore the subject of our human connection to the landscape. The expressive paint treatment connotes the emotional, intuitive body whereas the photographs reference the intellect. The paint is handled in a spontaneous manner that engages the quality of accident or chance and evokes organic matter and earth phenomenon.

In previous works, Bootsma inserted metal rectilinear forms into her images for their inherent organic qualities and to affirm the two dimensionality of the image. In recent work, the metal is replaced by formal devises of surface abstract marks, circular motifs and painted edges. These make reference to abstract painting and serve to assert the two dimensionality of the image.
Margaretha Bootsma in her Comox studio
Margaretha in her Comox studio
This treatment also aims to avoid sentimental depictions of the landscape and to askew the depth represented in the photographs.

Prior to painting, the photographs are placed on various surfaces, (often on studio paint tables) and then, as another way to engage the element of chance, the surface is sanded randomly. The marks left through the sanding process are emphasized with paint. These staccato marks visually represent invisible things that are nevertheless present: the constant "white" noise in the urban environment, the incessant inner conversation of the mind, the electro-magnetic forces, energy fields or the spirit world. Ink, wax, acrylic paint, oil stick and earth pigments are also incorporated.

The photographs are arranged in a constructed sequence to create a narrative that in reality does not exist. This construction questions notions of photography as an accurate record of reality. To further blur this distinction, by painting on its surface, permits the addition or elimination of elements depicted in the photo. In so doing one reflects on the effect of photography on realist painting traditions and on the influence of painting on the tradition of photography.

Photographs are taken by the artist in various West Coast locations including Vancouver and Comox, BC and in Muskokas, Ontario.

Bootsma has exhibited in private and public galleries in Canada, United States and Europe.
Comox Studio
She is also a professor in the Fine Art Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, BC. Bootsma was reviewed in an article in the winter 2010 issue of PhotoEd Magazine. Bootsma was also reviewed in Canadian Art Magazine in Spring 2007. She has also been selected to exhibit in the traveling exhibition: 'Artist's Speak: Environmental Issues' curated by Sarah Clark-Langager, Director, Western Gallery, Western Washington University and John Olbrantz, Director, Halle Ford Museum, Willamette University.

More details available in Margaretha Bootsma’s CV.

Upcoming exhibitions

A retrospective show is currently in the planning stages.

Selected solo exhibitions

Full list of solo exhibitions in Margaretha Bootsma’s CV.

Selected group exhibitions

Full list of group exhibitions in Margaretha Bootsma’s CV.

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