Sailing Pretty Close to the Wind

Sat April 23, 2022  to Sat June 18, 2022
Kamloops Art Gallery (465 Victoria St #101, Kamloops, BC V2C 2A9, Canada)
Arts & Culture, Galleries & Exhibits

Robin Hodgson

The Cube
Curated by Craig Willms

In a new group of paintings, Kamloops artist Robin Hodgson investigates the psychological and emotional nature of post-able-body life. Through his large-scale colourful compositions, Hodgson incorporates autobiographical moments with broader narratives about the global pandemic. Health and life challenges have been heightened for everyone during the pandemic; through his new work Hodgson explores his personal physical and psychological well-being in relation to those in similar situations.

The exhibition title, Sailing Pretty Close to the Wind, plays on a common aphorism that recalls the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun and refers to actions on the edge of acceptable behaviour. In the artist’s case, living on the edge as a young person resulted in a life-long disability. This selection of work combines abstraction and representational imagery in which Hodgson looks back on his life.

Hodgson’s paintings are intuitive, with spontaneous application and vigorous brush strokes often layered over areas of fine detail and text. These layers reveal and evoke ideas reconsidered or purposefully left obscured, yet not entirely erased, suggesting a past left behind but not forgotten. Compositionally, Hodgson’s work is influenced by the drama and symbolism of Renaissance painting. His process builds on the practice and subconscious imagery of other artists of influence, including Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907–1954). Through his experimental and adaptive painting process, Hodgson seeks not only to transcend his disability but to find a connection between himself and the viewer.

Hodgson creates conceptual paintings where the process and the outcome are equally important, and he often experiments with new devices and tools to paint beyond the scale of his own body movements. Working from a wheelchair, he has invented and adapted a number of tools to overcome his mobility restrictions, with the additional help of his assistants. His continued experimentation aims to develop a painting style unique to his disability, while expanding on the already existing history of notable artists within the disabled community.

Robin Hodgson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Thompson Rivers University. In 2019, Hodgson received the Kamloops Mayor’s Award for the Arts as Emerging Artist of the Year.

Kamloops Art Gallery
City Centre

About Kamloops Art Gallery

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The Kamloops Art Gallery is a registered charity and not-for-profit society.

Incorporated in 1978, the Kamloops Art Gallery serves residents of and visitors to Kamloops (pop. 82,000) and the surrounding Thompson-Nicola Regional District (pop. 124,000) as well as national and international audiences.

In 1998, the KAG moved to a purpose-built civic building, designed by award-winning architects Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin, which also houses the Thompson-Nicola Regional District offices and the Kamloops branch of the TNRD Library System. The 20,853 square foot Gallery includes 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, an admissions/store area, two multipurpose studio/workshop/lecture rooms, a packing and acclimatization area, the collection storage vault with an adjoining workroom and, on a mezzanine above, administration and curatorial offices along with a research library. In 2006, the KAG was designated a Category “A” institution under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

The Gallery’s annual attendance has ranged between 24,000 and 37,000 over the last five years. It enjoys a national reputation for its touring exhibitions and publications and has developed relationships with national and international artists, curators, critics and scholars. The KAG is also well respected for its exhibitions, events and educational and public programs through activities organized and presented in the community and region involving both contemporary and historical art. Its collection as of December 2012 consists of 2,700 works that primarily reflect the Gallery’s exhibition history. In 2005, the KAG co-commissioned with the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Canada’s participation in the 51st Venice Biennale with the work of Rebecca Belmore.

Governed by a Board of Trustees, the KAG maintains an effective organizational structure that includes a Management Team led by the executive director, a Program Team led by the curator and a Development Team led by the manager of operations. Teams meet monthly to report, evaluate, problem solve and plan.


The Kamloops Art Gallery brings art, artists and communities together.


The Kamloops Art Gallery is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The KAG acknowledges art to be an essential part of the human experience in nurturing a healthy society. As a leading cultural institution, the KAG is an integral part of the fabric that draws intellectual, social and economic opportunities to our province and to our region.

The Kamloops Art Gallery fosters enjoyment of and interest in the visual arts by researching, developing and producing exhibitions, publications and programs that engage, challenge and inform its various audiences. The Gallery also oversees the development and preservation of a permanent collection that includes regional, national and international art in all media. It also strives to create rewarding opportunities for visual arts professionals and the public.

Guiding Principles

  • Committed to art, artists and audiences
  • Collaborative, respectful and ethical
  • Tolerant, inclusive and diverse
  • Relevant to local and regional communities
  • Striving for excellence
  • Fiscally responsible
  • Sustainable

Activity Stream

Wed, Sep 28, 2022 at 3:25 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Canada can’t let industry and provinces stall carbon pricing
Wed, Sep 28, 2022 at 8:58 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Hiking to Painted Bluffs – Kamloops Trails
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Tue, Sep 20, 2022 at 8:58 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Zupjok Peak – Kamloops Trails
Thu, Sep 15, 2022 at 5:25 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Finding our place along the grand scale
Thu, Sep 15, 2022 at 8:52 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Through the Black Forests on the Bonaparte Plateau
Mon, Sep 12, 2022 at 8:52 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Estekwalan Mountain (2022) – Kamloops Trails
Fri, Sep 9, 2022 at 8:52 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Stake Lake Paddle and Giant Firs Hike
Wed, Sep 7, 2022 at 6:12 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Water runs through the climate crisis
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