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Local artists to display unique art in Tidnish

Mathew and Maria Aldred’s work will be on display at the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery starting Aug. 25. 

TIDNISH – In their day-to-day life, Mathew Aldred and wife Maria teach and bee keep, respectively. Within them, lies a deep passion for art that has yet to garner their full attention.

“Let’s put it this way, when I retire from teaching, I won’t be doing anything else but painting,” Mathew said.

The couple have always appreciated the many forms of art, but it was only in the last couple years where they’ve been experimenting and developing new and unique painting techniques that would set them apart from others.

Now, they wish to share their creations with the world.

“We felt it was the right time to show our work,” Mathew said.

Last Friday, the couple displayed their collection of work titled “The Sea,” for the first time at the Fraser Cultural Centre in Tatamagouche to a crowd of 60 people. They’ll be attending the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery to further promote their vision on Sunday.

“To me the art is not complete unless someone is looking at it and they want to look at it and they appreciate it,” he said.

“The Sea,” is heavily influenced in the couple’s connection and experiences with the sea from their time in England, Ireland, France and now Nova Scotia.

“Since we moved from Europe to Nova Scotia, Canada’s Ocean Playground, it just seemed so natural to do the sea,” he said.

The couple said they’re proud of the unique techniques they’ve created, which are inspired by stained glass, which in itself features strong lines and curves.

One of the techniques is fluid-foil. Images are moulded on a canvas using fine chord or string. Once the images are formed, the canvas is then covered in aluminum foil, creating a 3D effect. The images are then filled with iridescent fluid acrylics and inks, which are then manipulated to create the required textures, lines and colours.

Another style they've developed is string-flow, which uses fine lengths of cord or string to create the strong black line that is the feature of the technique. Fluid acrylics and inks are then applied and manipulated to produce unique marbling effects.

Their final technique is chroma-flow, which blends fluid acrylic paints and inks, similar to more traditional abstract paintings.

Mathew described these techniques as being very intense, comparing it to a dentist applying a filling, in terms of the accuracy and time management that’s required.

“It’s a great challenge. If a mistake is made, the canvas is done, you have to start over. You cannot be distracted when doing this.”

What’s also unique about this duo is that they work so well together. Looking back on art’s history, it’s rare to find two artists working together and collaborating on pieces, Mathew said.

“As artists, you tend to have big egos."

But the couple have found a balance that has worked so well for them.

“We have this synergy. I feel we produce something that is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Neither one of us could have created these pieces without a collaboration.”

Admittedly the couple are very critical of their own work, but what makes it worthwhile is when people come away with something from the gallery, whether it’s something concrete like a painting, or something as simple as a smile.

“I think everyone needs some art in their life,” he said.

The Aldreds are always looking for new and innovative art forms to inspire one’s imagination, Maria said.

“We’re kind of like inventors,” Mathew added.

Organizations: Fraser Cultural Centre, Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Tatamagouche, England Ireland Europe Canada Aldreds

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