When Elizabeth Delgatty gets angry, she goes out of her way to make herself angrier.
The Elmwood artist’s latest exhibit with husband Bob Ludwick, titled Up Close and Personal, debuts her Missing Women paintings, which she’s been working on for the last several years.
The exhibit will run from July 30 to Aug. 24 at the Gwen Fox Gallery at the Selkirk Community Arts Centre in Selkirk. In addition to showcasing her art, Delgatty hopes to raise awareness and funds for the Nova House Women’s Shelter (www.novahouse.ca).
The retired River East Transcona School Division teacher normally paints landscapes in watercolour, but this exhibit is more abstract in nature. As well, she chose to use acrylic paint for the Missing Women collection.
"Because I’m painting something that makes me angry, if the paint makes me angry, too, that’s better," she said. "If I’m going to be angry, I’m going to be angry for a reason."
Delgatty initially was inspired by a phrase she heard during a late-night CBC Radio report: "...an only child with 13 sisters."
She hadn’t heard enough of the report to garner what the context was, but it riled her up enough to paint.
"I got so mad — how could any society, any person think that a man could be an only child when he had 13 sisters?" Delgatty recalled. "When I was finished, I wasn’t so mad anymore, because I painted him standing on the shoulders of one of his sisters. All his sisters in the background are being supportive of him.
"Even though in some societies, women aren’t seen as important, they are."
Delgatty’s work takes aim at several issues in Canada and abroad, analyzing the effects of female genocide in southeast Asia and criticizing police for their inaction as B.C. pig farmer Robert Pickton murdered women.
"They were seen as valueless women so they didn’t do anything about it," Delgatty said.
Delgatty hopes to help bring some change in the attitudes of those who visit the show, and hopes they will live their lives a little differently afterward.
"I just want them to be aware. I know that we’re not going to India and repopulate it with 160 or 200 million women," she said. "There are missing women in Canada. There’s violence towards women in Canada. If nothing else, you can go home and say to your wife or your sweetheart or your girl child how important they are in your life."
Ludwick, meanwhile, is making his debut as a photographer at the show. He’ll show off photos taken from as far away as Florida, Hawaii, and California, though some were taken in Manitoba in Selkirk and Flin Flon.
"Most people may just see a broad expanse," Ludwick said. "I like to see a focal point. I enjoy, perhaps, something abstract."