1920 - 2001
November 13 - December 8, 2002
Art Collector Fred Turner, recently moved to Durham, came upon the paintings of Mary Belfry at an estate auction two years ago. Mary, lately of Walkerton, was a school teacher in the area. The oil paintings, dated between 1950 and 1952, show the imagery associated with the concerns of the amateur painter whose understanding of contemporary art was vague.
Mary Belfry whether bucolic landscape, or ducks in flight indicates a formulaic approach to design that hones a stylised approach to colour and brush work. The paintings are redeemed by passages that break free from the rigidity of this stricture and open to other possibilities and directions in the creative process. What is the cultural phenomenon that wroughts images that reject the contemporary and pastiche the maudlin? The subversive conservative riles the muse of modernism in the guise of the stereotype.