St. Matthias deeply appreciates the kind permission of artist Roberta Pyx Sutherland to direct your attention to this wonderful exhibit from our first Chapel Gallery season.  As she remarked recently, it is perfectly attuned to the reflective and thoughtful season of Lent.  We think it leads us beautifully to reflection during any season.  Enjoy!

Artist Statement: “As above so below II”

The intention for this exhibition will be to create a deeply contemplative atmosphere, one of not knowing… emptiness.. searching…of  mystery.  

The powerful vehicle the circle, is the primary image. It will be offered without decoration or colour. The principal focus will be an exploration of the ambiguous and enigmatic, a visual call to find pattern within the random and patience with the unfamiliar.  

The focus of the work affirms that we wait and abide with what we can not know, this includes examples of sombre darkness obscuring light. The images chosen are layered, complex, and without familiar reference.

The altar installation will be the prime circle, a suspended crown of thorns presented vertically.  This crown to me is the ultimate emblem of Lent. It presents a symbol individually and purposely crafted by a heart so hardened its only intention was to increase torture and intensify pain.

Within the paintings there may be aspects that seem obscure and cryptic, particularly in ‘Out of Stillness’ where the composition mimics that of text yet is incomprehensible and indecipherable. This is to reflect the unknowable, the unfathomable mystery we live.  

I look forward to creating this exhibition and deepening my personal exploration into the meaning of lent.  

Want to learn more?  

To learn more about the artist, please visit her website:

To learn more about this exhibit, please visit:

Artist Biography

 Roberta Pyx Sutherland is a visual artist living in Victoria and on Hornby Island, Canada.  Her education includes a BFA (Hon.) from the University of Victoria, study at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, printmaking at the University of Sheffield UK, Ikebana Ohara School, and residencies at the Banff Centre, the Bau Institute, Studio Ginestrelle, and Shambhala Art teacher training. 

Other related experiences include working for Oxfam in East Africa (where she initiated a ceramic school), studying Zen and calligraphy in Japan, and mandala painting in Boudnath, Nepal. 

Her teachers and mentors include Jack Wise, Roy Kiyooka, Don Jarvis and Jack Shadbolt. Since 1982, the artist has exhibited in Canada, Mexico, Europe and the US. Her work is represented in a number of public collections including the Canada Council for the Arts, Burnaby Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Toronto Public Library, University of British Columbia, Concordia University Library, and the Bibliothèque de Genève. 

For the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts, she mentored an Artist in Residence program. She is one of 50 artists featured in Canada's Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast. Sutherland was chosen as Editart's Cercle des Amis artist Geneva Switzerland 2012.

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