In Light of Winter: 9 Artists Interpret the Meaning of Winter Solstice 

Artists' Statement:

We in the high latitudes are well acquainted with the slide into short days and long nights during the year’s closing months.  

Autumn arrives with its early sunsets, cool temperatures and gathering shadows. We wear more layers, simmer more stews, light more candles and have more fires.  We generally draw inward—both literally within our homes and meditatively within our minds. This cold and darkness also brings with it a weight of symbolism often depicting witherings, endings, loss and sorrow.  

Then, as the celestial gears keep turning, we’re delivered into winter solstice on or near December 21. Here is the turning point in the slow cycle out of the dark and back to the light. For good reason, this period leading up to winter solstice is called the Season of Hope, and it’s the time many people celebrate Advent and Christmas.  

Although darkness reigns through the winter months, we can still revel in the light: the visible kind, often low and fleeting, kind seen across landscapes and seascapes on a winter’s day; and the kind that shines in our mind’s eye in poetic or abstracted form.  

Real or virtual, this light of winter has the power to lift our spirits, reassure us that endings bring new beginnings, and remind us of the invincible nature of hope even in the depths of darkness. 

“In Light of Winter” features the paintings of nine members of Victoria’s Zebra Art Collective. Each artist has created a personal response to the shift of darkness and light that characterizes the closing months of the year.  

We invite viewers to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings about winter’s light, and on what it means to maintain a hopeful spirit in challenging times.

Artists' Biographies:

Lindsay Anderson

Lindsay is new to Victoria and to the Zebra Art Collective. Her first love is Performing Arts, but she thoroughly enjoys picking up a paintbrush, learning and collaborating with this amazing and supportive group of artists. 

The piece she is exhibiting is her first piece in black and white, an effort to capture the longest night of the year. 

Kerry Brown  

I began my artistic exploration late in life and derive immense pleasure in the creative process as I experiment with different styles and processes. When I am painting, I am transported to another space and time. 

My father was an artist, exploring over his life many mediums and subjects. From Japanese watercolour, native beadwork and carving to precious and semi-precious jewelry design and creation, he was and continues to be my inspiration. 

I derive my inspiration from my passion for travel and the unique vignettes I discover while exploring. I am also very appreciative and inspired by my fellow artists who every day have me see this amazing and diverse world through their eyes.   

Katharine Geddes

My artistic influences come from my childhood summers spent in northern Ontario and living on the West Coast near the ocean. I am most interested in bringing across to the viewer how it feels to be in nature. 

I enjoy plein air painting and painting larger abstract works in the studio. I use acrylic paint because it dries quickly and can be built up with many layers to provide texture. 

Walking my dog in the morning has always been a great start to my day. One cold and dark December morning I took a photo of the sunrise at Clover Point on Dallas Road. I painted this image in the studio. 

Every morning is a new beginning and the sunrise during Winter Solstice to me is the beginning of a whole new year. 

I am a member of the Victoria Arts Council and the Zebra Arts Collective where I show my work a few times a year.   

Christine Harker

A transplant from Ottawa, I have lived in Victoria since 1997.  I studied design at Algonquin College in the three-year advanced program focusing on design and Architecture.  I joined Zebra Art Collective 5 years ago – prior to that I studied with Michelle Miller, Sandi Terri and other local artists.  There are many styles and subject matters that interest me and my portfolio reflects that diversity.   

Megan Hill

I have lived in Victoria, BC, since 1982 and first started painting eight years ago. I’ve been a member of the Zebra Art Collective for the last four years. Being a part of the collective allows me to give and get support and, more importantly, to continue learning something new every time I get together with others in the group. 

I love experimenting in my artwork and the freedom that brings. I am drawn to the interaction of colours and shapes and allowing those elements to evolve.  As all our lives get busier and busier, I find that painting has become an important way for me to tap into my own self and the things that bring me happiness.  

Georgina Montgomery

After a long career as a professional writer and editor, I embraced the other form of interpretation and translation forever in my life: visual arts. Where I once wrangled text to get ideas across and prompt reaction, I now use paint, mixed media, collage and elements of photography in hopes of achieving the same results, most often abstractly. 

Still, I remain a magpie when it comes to collecting words and expressions, poetic lines and punch lines, facts and fancies—especially those related to my preoccupation with human notions of time and place. 

All this grist fills my mind daily and invariably influences what turns up in my work. Interpretation and translation anew. 

I’ve spent many years in art workshops, courses and independent study learning new skills and exploring several mediums—hot glass, 3D assemblage and encaustic among them. My focus is now abstract work on canvas, paper and panel.Home is southern Vancouver Island, near Duncan, BC. I’m a member of the arc.hive Artist-Run Centre mentorship program, the Zebra Art Collective, and two other artist groups.  

Anne Pybus 

Anne’s daytime job has been as an educator and psychologist. While working and raising her family, she’s been fortunate enough to have spent most of her adult years in the vast wilderness of the Yukon and the beauty of southern Vancouver Island.

She believes deeply in the capacity within each of us to develop compassionate, supportive human relationships and to live in harmony and balance with the natural environment.

Although formerly a quilter, she’s come relatively late in life to painting as a form of artistic expression and, as that creative expression unfolds, she’s frequently drawn to an exploration of the interconnectedness between our psychological and natural worlds.                      

Virginia Ronning

My art is a visual expression of my heart and soul. The placement and flow of colours and shapes contain a wordless narrative of my dreams for the world, my perception of life’s essence, and at times the conflict that lies between. 

I found art again 18 years ago in my search for healthy work-life balance. Through this journey I discovered that painting offers much more because of the magical hidden world within the paint, the colour, the shapes, composition and form.… I also found a wonderful community. How delightful it is to get lost in all these special places. 

Painting for me is about giving shape, space, and structure, in this uncertain world, to ‘Let Go and Let Be’… to create a place where I am fully present in a process – accepting and allowing the colours to speak … to take form without attachment. It is my mindful practice. 

My work as a counsellor and coach has given me the reflective insight and time to create. And I will always be grateful for the encouragement of my teachers, my amazing family, especially my two beautiful daughters, and my mom (all incredibly creative), and of course my dear friends and my patrons. 

I am still learning and will continue to do so through my lifetime. I will always welcome your feedback! 

MaryLou Wakefield

I draw much of my inspiration from the natural world - wild landscapes, seascapes and places in memory. In particular, it is the lines, shapes and textures of natural forms that capture my attention. Architecture and design are also key influences.

In between a career and family, I’ve studied and made art in one form or another for 30 years. Some of my early work includes mono prints and hand lettering. Current work explores ideas about connection to place, ideas and memory.

I work in acrylic and ink and make brushes and tools from foraged botanical materials to create one-of-a-kind marks.

I am a member of Zebra Art Collective, Ground Zero Printmakers, and the Mentorship Program at arc.hive artist run centre in Victoria, BC, Canada. My studio practice includes painting, printmaking, and hand-lettered works. I live on spectacular Vancouver Island, surrounded by the Salish Sea, both of which seem to find their way into my work.      

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Want to learn more?  Click on the links below for Bio and Artist Statement.