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Pat Martin Bates

Destinations, Navigations, Illuminations

April 8, 2005 - April 8, 2005

In this exhibition, the Art Gallery celebrates the career and achievements of one of Victoria’s most loved and colourful personalities, master printmaker Pat Martin Bates. Known for her remarkable and inventive printmaking techniques across the world and honoured as “Lady Print” in the UK, Bates has been pushing the boundaries of printmaking for over 40 years.

This exhibition is one of the first major investigations into her work and draws together work from the 1960s to the 1990s. It reviews her innovative presentation modes and her unique vision, including her embossed and “perforated” prints and her signature lightboxes that turn her prints into three-dimensional sculptures with pin-pricked holes of jewel-box light.

“PMB”, as she is known to her friends, first achieved international recognition for her innovative printmaking accomplishments as a member of an award-winning contingent of young Canadian artists at a 1963 Chilean Biennial Exhibition. In 1964, Bates joined the faculty at the University of Victoria and would inspire generations of new artists. She was a member of the Victoria artists’ group, the Limners with others such as Maxwell Bates, Herbert Siebner, Robin Skelton, Nikola Pavelic, Karl Spreitz, Robert de Castro and Myfawny Pavelic. In 1991 she received the UVic Alumni Association annual award for teaching excellence and in 1994 she received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from UVic in recognition of her extraordinary achievements, contributions, pedagogy and service as a faculty member. She continues to work in the community as President of the Victoria College of Art. Her work has been collected by important public institutions and recognized by national and international prizes.

Pat Martin Bates’ innovations in printing methods and presentation modes have set her work apart. She is known for her Plexiglas racks, lightcubes, lightboxes and installations combining prints and objects.

These star-studded backlit boxes containing her characteristic embossed perforated prints comprise the majority of Destinations, Navigations, Illuminations, with many lightboxes being refurbished and some new lightboxes being created for this occasion. Also included are examples of her several Plexiglas “lightcubes” containing embossed prints, and a silk-screened transparent acrylic “rack” printed with layered mandorla iconography.

Destinations, Navigations, Illuminations presents a major body of Pat Martin Bates? work that demonstrates her printmaking innovations and embodies this much-loved artist’s spirit and artistic vision.

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