Longing to belong: Siu Hong Yu visits New Edinburgh’s Dale Smith Gallery

Wading, Sarah Hatton

Siu Hong Yu is a scientist working at the National Research Council. Outside the lab he tries to stay out of trouble with live music, food outings, photography, gallery visits, running, hiking, good reads and cinema.

“I’m falling fast while hoping
I’ll land in your arms
’cause all my time is spent here
longing to belong
to you” – Eddie Vedder

Joy to the leaf buds and flower blossoms!

While the tulips are coming in full bloom at one end of the city, I decided to take a stroll to New Edinburgh for some food for thought (and my tummy). After the best-in-town egg benedict at Fraser Cafe, off I went to visit Dale Smith Gallery’s latest exhibition, Belonging, showcasing recent works by Sarah Hatton.

For this series, Sarah explores her ideas of longing with oil, resin and wax and right away, I was captivated by the sense of bittersweet and nostalgia brought about through the paintings’ sepia tone and weeping paint motif. Worked exclusively on wood panels, the pigments steep through tiny cracks of the medium also marking the passage of time. Along with the family dog and Sarah’s daughter, float planes are featured in three of the larger works and I was delighted by the playful framing of tilting angles, almost feel like you are tilting your head to look at something ordinary in new lights while appreciating the moment and your surroundings.

Shore 1, Sarah Hatton

Opened in 2003, Dale Smith Gallery is located at 137 Beechwood Avenue, just east of the ByWard Market area. The main gallery space is relaxed, intimate and filled with natural light. Upstairs showcases other gallery artists including Kristin Bjornerud and Amy Thompson whose

The Dale Smith Gallery, courtesy of Siu Hong Yu

works are currently featured in Ottawa City Hall Gallery’s Place and Circumstance, an exhibition of the city’s recent fine art acquisitions. As for the owner/curator, Dale herself is very knowledgeable regarding each artist’s techniques and inspirations and is always up for a chat.

Thinking back over Sarah’s stunning paintings while listening to Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder’s Longing To Belong, I just realized that water, as the universal symbol for life, is the common element throughout the whole series. With the warmer weather is finally here to stay, I can’t help but to look forward to all the summer fun and friend and family gatherings. I will indeed treasure those precious moments and not to take anything for granted because good times are way too short.

Belonging runs until May 29, 2011.