Love’s Hidden SymMeTrees is the new spring art exhibit for Culture Summerside’s Sixty Days of Fame series. It will feature the work of Patricia Clarkin and will be on view free of charge at the Lefurgey Cultural Centre in Summerside.
Patricia (Trisha) Clarkin grew up in Ontario and from a young age was enamoured with fabric, design and nature. In her heart she knew she was an artist. She studied fashion merchandising and, while working in the industry, continued her studies at the Ontario College of Art in textile design and at Ryerson in colour theory. In Portland, Oregon she studied apparel design. She also studied art history. But, an unexpected circumstance of life took Clarkin in a new direction.
At the age of thirty, Clarkin was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy and left her unable to pursue her fashion career. She moved to PEI and in 1999 began her journey as a visual artist through the medium of digital art, video and documentary production, and Mandalas. Finally, she took up painting.
Trisha’s husband Michael suggested she try painting with watercolours, a medium she had previously avoided—fearing her physical disability would not allow her to accomplish the straight lines. But when he gifted her the paper and paints, she embraced the challenge and embarked on the creation of abstracts. From there she started working with acrylic.
Nature was her focus with the painting of one flower each week. Clarkin spent time connecting with the plant and attempting to capture its essence. Trees made their way into her work as she is surrounded by them in her rural PEI setting. Clarkin now donates the proceeds of her art sales to Treesisters, a UK registered social change and reforestation charity that funds tropical forest restoration.
Love’s Hidden SymMeTrees will feature some of Clarkin’s many works and will be open to the public, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Note the change of location (The Sixty Days of Fame series has been featured in the past at the MacNaught History Centre and Archives gallery). The Lefurgey Cultural Centre is located at 205 Prince Street, Summerside.