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Island Time - Ester Strijbos, Janny Thompson and Monica Nawrocki

A review of Island Time: Finding Time

by Kristen Scholfield-Sweet

I learned there were five kinds of time nestled within our usual sense of “time.”  The current exhibition at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery, called Island Time by artists Ester Strijbos, Janny Thompson and Monica Nawrocki, seems like a good opportunity to find these in art.

Sun Time

Sun Time is walking into the gallery, seeing this richly varied display of prints, pottery, paintings and books during July of 2023 on Cortes Island.  The time most of us wear on our wrists.  Sun Time in art is the current dialog of this moment; the collective, present conversation between these three artists as they inspire and influence each other.

Moon Time

Moon Time is cycles. The repeating flow of day and night, of seasons, of stories we return to again and again. Janny Thompson’s watercolour series titled Time After Time, is embedded in and inspired by Moon Time.  A monthly project that creates colour maps also uses time as an art media. Both the unfolding of the form and the experience of the viewer creates a narrative structure, a linear path.

Ocean Time

Ocean Time is the vast experience of time happening everywhere, all at once. Ester Strijbos creates art in Ocean Time, by creating something ancient and new with her hands.  Across all places and cultures, the human urge to shape and decorate creates an ocean of form that is both momentarily unique and universally shared.

Sudden Time

Sudden Time is this moment, never able to be repeated in this exact way.  Janny’s process of monoprinting makes it “impossible to create two prints that are exactly the same.”  Ester’s attention to “the stormy weather, the flowers that opened in the garden, the smell of rain or the poem I read” is what generates her choices of form and decoration.  Monica’s use of words is a most subtle and dramatic example of Sudden Time.  A word is fundamentally, first, an image.  An image that lives only as a thought or non-embodied object, conjured in the moment by the reader.

Possible Time

Possible Time is not now, yet made of now.  The stuff of imagination, of projection, of metaphor. Monica Nawroki’s writing is an art that inhabits Possible Time completely.  Words are ephemeral, without the materiality of most art media, and yet the information they convey is the brushwork used to create a larger image in the awareness of the viewer.

Island Time continues at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery Friday 14th with an artist’s talk and reading beginning at 6:30, on Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th from 2 to 6 pm.  Go again, or for the first time, to this exhibit–stand at the doorway, and see if you can feel all 5 kinds of time, all at once.

Thanks to Martin Prechtel for these concepts of time. 


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