Home Illustration Cape Breton artist illustration inspired by 25 years of Celtic colors

Cape Breton artist illustration inspired by 25 years of Celtic colors

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Alison Uhma’s latest work pays homage to 25 years of Celtic Colors. Entitled Ekphrasis, the watercolor and ink illustration with digital components, highlights festival venues from the past, with threads of sound waves moving through a dreamy autumnal color palette. (Alison Uhma)

Alison Uhma admits she wouldn’t be an artist if she didn’t live in Cape Breton.

The Sydney-based artist shared his talents to create an original piece of art to mark the 25th anniversary of the Celtic Colors International Festival, which will open on Friday October 8 and run through October 16.

Commissioned by CBC, copies of Uhma’s work will be distributed during the festival on CBC Cape Breton’s Information Morning with host Steve Sutherland and Mainstreet with Wendy Bergfeldt. This is a limited edition print and only 25 copies will be awarded to listeners to local CBC Radio One shows.

The title of the illustration is Ekphrasis. Uhma explains the inspiration behind the work in her description:

“The name Celtic Colors evokes the sublime landscapes that surround us. We are invited to consider the natural world when we feel the sounds of the festival, but the built landscape is an integral part of this landscape; the places of music – their texture and their architecture – are an imprint in the landscape, an archive of our desire to be here. For 25 years, the Celtic Colors International Festival has amplified a vibrant tradition of sound, dance and storytelling on an island-sized stage. Ekphrasis shines a light on places of the past, with threads of sound waves moving through a palette of dreamy fall colors, all to celebrate 25 fantastic years and many more to come. “

Ekphrasis is a watercolor and ink illustration with digital components.

Cape Breton artist Alison Uhma in her Sydney studio. (Courtesy of Alison Uhma)

In preparation for the commissioned illustration, Uhma read the roots of the festival and the experience of the attendees. She considered her own experiences with Celtic colors, from how she felt dancing at the Festival Club to attending a concert at the Louisbourg Playhouse with her son.

“I found photos I took over the years at Cape Clear – one of my favorite places to visit in the fall – and used them to inspire a color palette for the illustration,” explains she does. “I wanted to highlight the variety of scenes used over the past 25 years, so I included drawings of places and to incorporate music I woven sound waves through the illustration.”

Born in Cape Breton, Uhma spent her early days in Ingonish where her family ran a seasonal tourism business.

“It was a very beautiful place to spend the first years of my life,” she says. “My work often focuses on this place; how I feel and how it shapes who I am as a person. I lived in Alberta for 10 years and returned to Cape Breton 10 years ago. I sincerely believe I wouldn’t. to be an artist if I didn’t live here. “

RELATED: Watch 18 Virtual Concerts Over Nine Days During Celtic Colors International Festival

Uhma spends most of her time working at an independent bookstore, On Paper Books, which she and her husband opened in Sydney city center last December.

But she says she makes room in her life for orders and commercial work.

“I also continue to work on larger art projects, in particular a graphic novel titled The space between, which is a fictional account of my youth playing tennis and traveling North America, ”she says.

Most of his work is in comics, illustration and animation. A self-taught artist, Uhma received technical training and participated in a workshop at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

She says being surrounded by an incredible and supportive group of artists, from filmmakers to Cape Breton painters, helps fuel her creativity.

“Their work inspired and informed much of my approach, and they gave me the confidence to pursue art.”


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