Ruth Hartley is a ceramic artist. Bruce Hartley is a photographic artist.
Together, the Innerkip couple has created Complementary Visions, an ongoing exhibit at the Station Arts Centre in Tillsonburg.
“His is the visual element, and she is embracing the experience and the moment of it in her ceramic works – the sights, the sounds,” said Tabitha Verbuyst, program and community co-ordinator and gallery curator. “In turn, they complement each other in this wonderful exhibit.”
With the two of them having travelled extensively, it’s helped influence their work, Bruce Hartley said.
“It’s not surprising that the same cultural experiences have inspired us. I will always have a camera with me and try to capture … moments.”
One photograph featuring waves is enhanced by a nearby pottery piece, Wave Lengths. Photos of cherry blossoms in Japan inspire the designs on porcelain.
“We were just trying to find related subjects together,” said Ruth Hartley. “One of our favourite places is Japan, and we went specifically for cherry blossom time. … He loves taking pictures of trees, nature, and these are my impressions or inspirations from trees.”
You might not see the same complementary connections as the Hartleys, and that’s OK, said Bruce Hartley.
“I think it’s best to look at something and you react to it emotionally, and then read the description.”
Getting a reaction is one of their primary goals.
“You’ve got to stop them – sometimes it’s colour, sometimes it’s something they have to understand.”
The exhibit has been more than two years in the planning stages and will run at the Station Arts Centre until Sept. 25.