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Bruce Cull - Connection and Response - Audio Tour

On display in Gallery 1 from June 15 to July 20, 2024

"Tobias and the Angel"



acrylic on canvas, 58 X 70 inches, $4500

Tobias and the Angel is a story of the relationship between two figures, blind Tobias and the Angel who guides him to his destination. It was the topic of many Renaissance painters. Figuratively, the story is one of faith and thus it speaks to my intuitive belief in nature. I’ve incorporated the forms of rain, sun, cloud and a black impending storm that hover over a suggestion of landscape. But nature will also heal itself if, like Tobias, we allow ourselves to trust the unknown and unknowable. The fleshy pinks and slashes of red are an assertion of life, of hope. The yellow is faith that the light will break through the darkness. My initial paint application was fast and loose, allowing the paint to run and drip as I tilted the canvas.




mixed media on canvas, 48 x 96 inches, $4610"Love," This work incorporates manmade materials, both found and recycled, organic pieces from my garden, and manipulated materials. I grow a large bed of sunflowers to nourish the bees I raise and feed the many breeds of birds that share my property.  They are a vivid and beautiful source of nourishment, both physical and spiritual.  The bees I raise are fecund symbols of nature’s cyclic ability to survive and to thrive. The cheese cloth is soaked in bees wax, a preservative and source of candle light.  My home was once a cattle farm.  It was established in the early 20th century and those hardy settlers built a sawmill to process the wood from their land to build the barns and granary  that still stand. The blade was recovered from the overgrown ruins of that sawmill.    The shapes in the composition are deliberate symbolic choices.


mixed media on linen, 48 x 60 inches, 2023, $2880
In both "Winter" and "Spring", I have explored spontaneous gestural painting objects to express seasonality. The concepts I’ve explored are those of mortality and regeneration. “Spring” examines the burgeoning fecundity of life and its rebirth after winter My paint application here is deliberately loose, as spontaneous as the spring rain and as unpredictable.

"Into Primal Elements"


photograph and mixed media, 24 x36 inches, 2021, $800

Incorporating bone found on my property and ashes, this work speaks to life and mortality.

"Dense Gathering"


photograph and mixed media, 24 x 36 inches, 2021, $800

This quote from Virgil seemed to capture the essence of the fullness of a life well-lived.

"Jack Pine"



mixed media on canvas, including wasp nest in chicken wire, 60 x 48 inches, 2018, $2880

"Jack Pine" combines painting with photography and found objects to express my connection to a glorious old jack pine that sits outside my studio window on a wildflower strewn slope that curves down to one of the original, abandoned barns on my property. I’ve tried to capture the tangled and uncontrolled growth of all the native plants that so many think of as weeds. Their hardiness, like the Jack Pine’s, is a tribute to the tenacity of nature. The wire basket contains shards of natural paper from a wasp nest and of the paper that has been manufactured from the pulp of trees like the old pine. I printed my photo of the old Jack Pine on onion skin paper which I fixed to the canvas. Translucent layers of thin paint create an ephemeral ground. Splashes of heavier paint suggest the flora while the bees wax pays tribute to the transformative role of the bees in pollinating and in creating honey from pollen.




mixed media on linen, 48 x 60 inches, 2023, $2880

Winter is a dormant time.  Life slows, sleeps, and waits for the warming spring sun before it enters a new cycle of growth and reproduction. It is a quiet time.  Signs of life are few and only the hardiest creatures prevail.  Even in the quietest periods, there is a latent energy waiting to burst out. This cycle of dormancy and growth is one that has lasted for millennia.  Here, even the boulders that were formed in the earliest stages of the earth’s development are still part of the process of change as they  have slowly been shaped and rounded by millions of years of erosion.

"Thumb Tree Print: Chris"


ink on paper, spruce (dark), 22 x 30 inches, 2021, $800

"Thumb Tree Print: Savine"


ink on paper, spruce (dark), 22 x 30 inches, 2021, $800

"Thumb Tree Print: August 19"


ink on paper, spruce (dark), 22 x 30 inches, 2021, sold

"Thumb Tree Print"


ink on canvas, spruce (dark), 30 x 40 inches, 2021, $1200
The four thumb tree prints consider the unique “thumbprint” of each tree in relation to the “fingerprints” of a unique person. I harvested the cross sections of the tree trunks from deadfall on my property. Some of them became the bases for my sculptures but the most interesting shapes invited me to make block prints from them. The rings tell me a story of endurance and growth; the cut marks tell me how even these giants can be so easily dismembered and carelessly destroyed by natural or human forces. Just as each tree has a distinct, individual ring pattern, so do the fingerprints of the persons who have marked the prints. The individuality of each person applying the finger prints is expressed in their colour and placement choices. I am led to wonder how many human lifespans have these trees witnessed?

"Heart and Diver/Drummer"



acrylic on linen, 48 x 60 inches, 2021, $2880

“Heart and Diver/Drummer” considers our loving connection to our environment. The symbol of the heart is easily understood. The symbol of the Grouse/Drummer speaks to the ideas of Faith, Courage and Fecundity. Both symbols hover above the figure who dives into the unknowns of life with faith, courage and hope. Embedded in the work are suggestions of other figures, the ones who perhaps will bring fecundity and loving support.

"Heart and Begonia"


acrylic on canvas, 36 x 60 inches, 2021, $2160

"Heart and Begonia," The heart is a commonly recognized symbol of so many emotions: love, kindness, thoughtfulness, passion. Flowers are often used to express our love for another. This work, like the others in the “Heart” series is about connection to each other, to our world, to our memories of significant people, places and events, applying all of the meanings of the heart to so many aspects of our life experiences. I again used applications of translucent colour to build an ephemeral base from which the Heart emerges, like memory from the layers of time. But what are most solid, most real, are our feelings of love, remembered kindnesses and appreciation.

"Heart and Grouse"





acrylic on canvas, 36 x 60 inches, 2021, $2160

"Heart and Grouse," The male grouse emerges in spring and beating his wings, drums to announce his presence. He courageously opens himself to all of the dangers of this vulnerable exposure. His drumming is like the heartbeat of the
world: alive, an expression of fecundity, of growth, of potential birth. The image is contained within an arch of heaven, of the sacred. He is the blue of the spirit of life but I have painted his heart as a solid and lasting form; it will out live him.

"Drummer's Call"


acrylic on canvas, triptych, 60 x 108 inches, 2021, $648

"Drummers Call," This three part canvas combines references to the male grouse(the drummer), artifacts found on my rural property, and loosely painted symbols. The grouse and heart are references to courage and love as he stands in the forest drumming a mating signal despite all the dangers of attracting predators that incurs. He is a symbol of the resilience of our environment. In the central panel, we see the damage we are inflicting on our world and on ourselves as we disconnect from our relationship to the natural world. There is more reference to nature in the third panel through the application of watery blues and deep foliage greens, a hope of rejuvenation and rebirth and a recognition of the endless cycles of nature.

"Two Journeys/Two Divers"



mixed media on canvas, 24 x 36 inches, 2021, $1600

"Two Journeys/Two Divers," this piece combines collaged lino prints, photos and other papers to speak to the complexity of the loving relationship that nourishes and supports both parties on their journey together through life.

"My Dear Proteus"


mixed media on board, 36 x 40 inches, 2020, $1800
“My Dear Proteus”, taken from the writings of Virgil, speaks to our profound connection to life and transformation. The cross is a universal symbol that takes on different meanings in different cultures. Here,
it is an intersection of loss and memory, of the natural environment and the man-made, of the visual and the written languages, of the mortal and the immortal. I named one of my hives Proteus and so loved to hear the busy hum of the bees going about their lives under the guidance of the queen in the security of the combs they so industriously built over the summer. When I opened it in the early spring and found them
frozen despite all of my precautions to keep them safe, I was devastated. The comb, the bees’ bodies, the wire that encloses and excludes, the dried poppy heads, the images of plants and text, of siblings and ancestors speak to loss and lost connections. I began the work with applications of photographic transfers and built layers of the earthy tones of the soil that nourishes our world. The plants sustain the insects which sustain the plants in an eternal cyclical relationship. But perhaps someday even that relationship will be lost, the cycle broken through the devastation of climate change.




mixed media on OSB, 48 x 96 inches, 2021, $4610

"Intersectionalities," circular shapes reflect the regenerative life cycles of nature and of humanity.  The text is from Virgil, printed on onionskin and fixed to the canvas. Honey comb, hearts, and other more ambiguous shapes invite the viewer to join in a joyful celebration of life, of our loving connections to nature and to each other.

"Beescape, Henwood Township"


mixed media on canvas, 24 x 48 inches, 2018, $1152



photograph and mixed media, 24 x 36 inches, 2021, $800

"Bee," one of my beehives is housed in my greenhouse which is built from recycled barn board. The traces of the bees are seen in the wax on the windows, the blooming squash, all bathed in rich sunlight.