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Mixed media show opening at Wayne Arthur Gallery

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Jean Wiens with some of her art.

PHOTO BY JARED STORY Enlarge Image

Jean Wiens with some of her art. Photo Store

Jean Wiens’ art could be described as the transference of thoughts.

The 76-year-old artist’s mixed media exhibition, New Work - New Ideas is heavily influenced by her interest in mental telepathy.  

"I love anything that’s futuristic or supernatural," Wiens says. "From when I was a kid, it’s just always been there. It was quite frightening as a child because there was nobody to talk to about it. I lived about five miles from the mental hospital in Selkirk, so I thought "Oh dear, I better not saying anything or I could end up there.’

"There wasn’t really anybody I could communicate with and it stayed hidden for years and years, but now when I look back on my art, I realize it’s all mental telepathy."

Wiens — who attended the Fine Arts program at the University of Manitoba between 1977 and 1981 — says she started seriously delving into art after her late husband took ill and went into a nursing home.

Wiens says she’s much more secure with the unusual aspects of her art than when she started.

"I really have gained enough confidence in the area of mental telepathy to actually put it down and feel comfortable about it," Wiens says. "I keep thinking ‘Oh, this is weird’ but nowadays it’s OK to be weird for some reason. Maybe that’s part of it, I’m accepting me for what I am and not worrying about what others think I am."

Wiens’ piece, Let Me Think About That, portrays the potential of the human mind, with adamantium claws coming out of each woman’s head, adamantium being the fictitious indestructible metal alloy that comic book character Wolverine’s claws and skeleton is made of.

"I believe our thoughts are just as indestructible," Wiens writes in a description of the piece. "The power of our mind is such a vast and unknown quantity, it makes it difficult to know what can and cannot be done with it."

From medium to mediums, Wiens says her mixed media artistic approach ranges from coloured pencil, photography, paper work, fabric and sometimes found objects, adding "My house is pretty messy, but I don’t care. I live alone so it doesn’t make any difference to me."

In 2011, Wiens won first prize at the Manitoba Society of Artists annual juried show. She says a little validation is always nice, especially when her art could be considered a little strange.  

"Almost anybody can fiddle around with technique, but to me it’s the idea you come up with," Wiens says. "Originality is the most important aspect to me. Anybody can paint a flower, but it’s the way you do it."

New Work - New Ideas will be displayed at Wayne Arthur Gallery (186 Provencher Blvd.) until Sept. 25. For more information go to www.waynearthurgallery.com.

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