At first, Nikol Haskova and Amy J. Dyck thought it would be difficult to pair their contrasting artwork together.
Haskova, known best for her mixed media portrayals of crows and trees, often uses art to comment on urban sprawl.
Amy J. Dyck, on the other hand, has perfected the art of human form, using oil paints to create emotional figures.
But when the two Langley artists’ work is hung side-by-side in one gallery, it’s as if they had been painting together all along.
“We have a lot of commonalities in a way, and even just the emotional feeling we both get. It makes sense,” Dyck said, while taking a break from hanging artwork in the Fort Gallery on Tuesday afternoon.
“We tackle it from different sides though. Mine are dark and moody and dramatic, and hers are kind of lighter and more expressive in sort of a movement and flow kind of way. And when we first put it together, we went, ‘Oh my, how are we going to make this feel like it belongs together?’ But I think it did. I think it works.”
Opening Oct. 12, their joint art exhibition and sale, E c h o, is running at the Fort Gallery in Fort Langley until Oct. 31. This is the first time the artists have teamed up for a show, and also the first time Dyck has had a feature exhibit, after becoming a member of the Fort Gallery this year.
“I have to say, I am thrilled to show with Amy because of her talent,” Haskova said.
“I just feel that she is one of the most skilled artists that we have in here, and I can’t think of anybody else that I would rather show with.”
“I love her (Haskova) for many reasons, but I love working with her, too, because of her skill level,” Dyck said in response.
“I love the way she does things, the way she expresses things. We both respect each other.”
Haskova has had her contemporary paintings shown at galleries across Canada, including the Fort Gallery, where Destination Right Here ran in 2015.
Dyck has won several awards for her paintings with the Federation of Canadians Artists, and frequently hosts community art challenges, including a children’s art collaboration last year.
Their show’s name, E c h o, is a reflection of the ladies’ surprise that their different artistic subjects and styles came together so seamlessly.
“The themes of our work tend to echo each other, but we didn’t nail exactly what it was at first,” Dyck said.
“We are almost dancing around the same themes. They didn’t mirror each other, but they kind of echoed each other. They were a little bit more subtle, but there are some connections.”
“They almost echo as in, they carry a thread through, but not repeating exactly,” Haskova added.
One of the most prominent themes in both of their works is motherhood. Dyck has a nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, and Haskova has a nine-year-old son as well.
“I think the reason why we paint is the same,” Haskova said.
“I was surprised that this almost subconscious connection to motherhood kept coming up for both of us really deeply. And ironically, we have boys that are exactly the same age, and they are now becoming friends.
“I think that whether I try to or not, that is such an important inspiration for me — not necessarily in painting things for kids or about kids — but that feminine energy and the connection to that.”
“There is a lot of feminine (themes) in our work,” Dyck added.
“And I think that because we are women, and because we are who we are, we just can’t seem to get away from it. It’s the way it comes out in our work. It’s expressive, it’s feeling, it’s sensitive, it’s maternal.”
As part of the exhibit, Haskova has also built a surprise installation piece, which will be unveiled tomorrow night (Oct. 14) at the opening reception.
Though she didn’t want to reveal the details, Haskova did say “it’s about taking something that has been destroyed and showing that even that can be beautiful.”
The opening reception is on from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., featuring refreshments and a discussion period with the artists.
Regular gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
The gallery is located at 9048 Glover Rd. For more info, visit www.fortgallery.ca.