Artist Showcases Nature-Based Paintings for Chatham-Kent Debut

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New to the Chatham-Kent art scene, Tracy Root has reflected on her feelings during the ongoing pandemic and released a series of paintings that show a connection to the natural world.

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The works are collected in Prism of Perception, an exhibition on view at ARTspace in downtown Chatham through May 14. Root, who had worked as an artist in London, moved to Chatham in 2019 and created most of the paintings in the series that year.

Root said the early days of the pandemic were “difficult” for her as she was sick, her dog died and her marriage broke down.

“I was dealing with all of this on top of the COVID isolation,” she said. “I struggled. I actually stopped painting for a while.

“Then I started thinking about things and started getting into my head, and that’s how I created some of the nature paintings.”

Root said she started painting again after another local artist, Laurie Langford, commissioned a piece from her. She also credited a painting she made of her therapy horse with helping her resume her practice.

A former realist painter, Root said she finally grew weary of this style nearly two decades ago.

“I just hit a plateau and decided to create my own style. I started to bring it all back, simplify everything, put things into basic shapes and geometry and focus on color and movement in painting,” she said.

Noting that she is still evolving, Root said her recent work is meant to present a spiritual connection to the outdoors.

“With lots of trees, you might see eyes of little figures there,” she said.

Root said she expects to explore these themes further in her work in the future.

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