Out of the Wood
The reach of Rosemary Kilbourn's art -- primarily wood engravings and works of stained glass -- spans the country, having found welcoming homes in galleries and churches from Victoria to Montreal. Her engravings on wood have inspired and influenced a generation of artists that include Gerard Brender a Brandis, Wesley W Bates and George A Walker, but Kilbourn herself lives in quiet seclusion in a nineteenth-century schoolhouse -- known as the Dingle School by locals -- in the midst of a protected forest area on the Niagara Escarpment, and she's lived there in the woods, a mile from her nearest neighbour, since she bought the property in the late 1950s.
Out of the Wood presents a chronological retrospective of Kilbourn's wood engravings, starting with samples of early work she completed in London in the 1950s and thence documenting the remarkable growth of her utterly unique style over the next five decades. Each print is accompanied by Kilbourn's own anecdotal commentary, offering insight into the art of wood engraving as well as reminisces about her life as an artist and as a resident of her beloved Dingle School in the Caledon Hills.
Kilbourn's engravings often depict local scenes of nature and countryside, and her affection for the rural life shines through in the sweep of her burins. The writing is fresh and humble, welcoming the reader into Kilbourn's world and offering a rare glimpse into the core mechanics of a wood engraver.