Artist Rhonda Simmonds sits among her latest show

Solemate explores relationships through shoes

Show runs at Ranger Station through to May 27

Artist in Residence Rhonda Simmonds will be hosting her installation of Solemate at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs. The artist has been assembling her show for a year, and the presentation will include a collection of donated and borrowed vintage and modern shoes, including pairs from Alberta and the USA.

Simmonds says that her artwork is inspired by the lack of face-to-face communication that used to exist before technology moved in and the ever-increasing impact it has had and will continue to have on our day-to-day lives. Simmonds says that her installation is mostly playing with the concept of on-line dating.

“Basically,” she says, “If you’ve ever done [on-line dating], you fill out an application and you fill out a profile. The show in this case is the actual profile.”

The shoes on display have been painted and modified in a variety of ways, and each segment will have a written profile about the shoe.

“You can meet your beloved through a computer screen, why can’t you meet your s-o-l-e-m-a-t-e through a pair of shoes?”

The exhibit also critiques “how far apart we are from face-to-face contact, that technology is constantly between people in one way or another.”

Simmonds admits that her work is being extremely facetious and pokes fun at the process of on-line dating by comparing it to shopping in a shoe store.

“If you were looking for a solemate, you would come in, fill out an application, and go through the database and see if there’s a shoe that maybe interests you based on the profile.” Then as the shoes are displayed, “you can look at them, pick them up and say ‘Hmmm. You know, I think I like that one, I’d like to get to know that shoe a little bit better.’ You could even try it on if you want.”

Simmonds is a mixed-media artist, and enjoys using objects that have “had a past life,” items that were once used for something else but have exceeded their need, and recycles them into her artwork. The idea behind Solemate originally came from a project Simmonds completed while in school.

“This show is actually dedicated to my former sculpture teacher, who has passed,” she says, “he was extremely encouraging… he encouraged me to expand it and to make it an exhibit, so that’s how this one came to be.” Simmonds says that the communities of Harrisson and Agassiz have been “very good” to her, and that the environments are “a great place for an artist to create. It’s a fantastic place.”

Installations are always exciting for art-enthusiasts because attention to detail is a must, but there is also always a story being told through the different pieces. Simmonds’ work is vibrant and sparkling, but not literal. She knows what the meaning of it is for her, and encourages her audience to discover their own.

Just Posted

Sewage fees going up 10% in Harrison Hot Springs

Residential homes will pay $22.50 more in 2019 to flush their toilets

Origami-inspired art lights up Chilliwack art gallery

Chilliwack textile sculpture artist Sylvie Roussel-Jannsens presents Whole, a solo exhibition

Missing Chilliwack man last seen on Island 22

Paul James Braumberger, 66, hasn’t been heard from since Jan. 11

AESS senior girls eyeing spot in basketball provincials

The team needs to move up one more ranking get a place in the championships

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

VIDEO: Harrison sailor looking for competitors to race model boats

Bernhard Van Velze is hoping to create a club for model sailboats at Harrison Lake

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Most Read