June 16th, 2024

New addition to Tangle exhibit takes shape at SAAG


By Lethbridge Herald on January 10, 2023.

HERALD PHOTO BY JUSTIN SEWARD Visual artist Dagmar Dahle fielded questions about her latest large-scale wall painting on Saturday afternoon at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. The completed artwork will be revealed on Feb. 4.

Local visual artist Dagmar Dahle was at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery on Saturday discussing and continuing to paint her large-scale wall painting as part of her Tangle exhibition that began in December.

Tangle has gathered 14 years’ worth of Dahle’s gouache paintings on paper and refers to interwoven, chaotic linearity of the artworks but also recognizes the reckoning of oneself through meditative introspection.

“So they’re often somehow related to a place, or a moment or sometimes like last summer I was working in the garden; so the garden would kind of show up somehow,” said Dahle.

“(The) garden, colours (and) shapes would show up but it wasn’t my intention. It just happens because it’s what’s happening. Like this one over here, I was in the Arctic some years ago and that one was kind of based on looking at a glacier. So that’s kind of how it goes. So this big thing is kind of an attempt to…do that.”

Dahle said there’s no vision involved in what the final outcome might resemble.

“Because the whole idea is not to have a vision,” she said. “No plans. Maybe I’ll wipe it off, I don’t know. But you see it’s not really done, ever, because it’s temporary, right? Like it’ll be over, there’ll be nothing left. It’s not going to be saved the way the works on paper are.”

She felt it has been about being at the art gallery and its surroundings that influenced the art work.

“It’s being here,” she said. “This is where I am. I’m in this beautiful space – like this is a beautiful little room here. I’m in public and surrounded by my own work and sometimes people come by and chat when I’m working or I chat with the staff. I look out the window and see those trees – the winter leafless tree branches – and the sky and then I’m influenced by my own work.”

Dahle said there was a lot of progress last week.

“I think big shifts happened and the tricky part is it gets harder as you go along,” said Dahle. “Like when you first start, you think this is fun, this is easy and then it gets somehow more complicated because you get more invested or because the decisions get harder. So once there’s a lot of stuff there it gets harder to decide what to do next.”

The artist of over 40 years has found the experience different having to work in a public art gallery rather than the comforts of her own studio.

“It’s different because you know you have an audience all the time,” she said. “Like even though there might not be another person in the room while I’m working, I know that people are going to come by at some point. Whereas in my studio, people only come by if I invite them. I try not to think about that too much because I don’t want to get nervous.”

The completed wall artwork will be unveiled on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.

Tangle will be on display at SAAG until Feb. 11.

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