I met Linda Ward
Selbie in 1980 when I began to frequent her gallery, The Magic Image, in Pickering,
Ontario. She is a talented artist in her own right, however, I didn't look at her work
seriously until her show, Circus Fortuna, in 1989. At the time, I noted a strong
classical composition and design sense, and I offered her exhibition space at the Robert
McLaughlin Gallery. Organized by our staff member Linda Jansma, Circus Vesta,
received much acclaim in our 1992 exhibition year.
Throughout the years that I have been a curator, I
have often thought of Ward Selbie. When I received an invitation to write the essay for
her show Legna: the Goddess at the Crossroads, organized by David Taylor at the
Gallery Lambton in Sarnia in 1995, I reacted with delight. I had known she would be an
important artist. The Robert McLauglin Gallery has acquired over time a group of seventeen
works covering a ten year period of the artists development.
This exhibition introduces work which Ward Selbie had
done in the past two years in the Sicilian islands. The works are saturated with images of
the past and present -- thousands of years of history colliding -- yet still harmonizing
as shown through the sensitive gaze of Ward Selbie.
In her essay, Kate Regan discusses the isolation of
Sicily and how it has affected both its past and its people. Her descriptions of the
works, as well as the artist, reveal her sensitivity to both.
Joan Murrary Director, the
Robert McLaughlin Gallery