Winnipeg Arts Council

Glimmers: An unparalleled collection of 30+ breathtaking new landscape paintings by Nicki Ault

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With her soft application of oil paints and incredible use of light, Nicki Ault is known for contemplative landscapes with sublime skies, marvellous clouds and shimmering waters. Glimmers, Ault’s first solo exhibition outside her home province of Saskatchewan, is like a new beginning and the light after a storm.

After enduring two incredibly rough years, personally and throughout a pandemic, Ault held fast to her art practice as an anchor. In early 2023 she spontaneously accepted a two month artist residency in Calgary. A saving grace, this retreat allowed her to withdraw from the moil of everyday life and recharge. Having time and space to stay fully immersed in her creative zone, steeped in books and endless reference photos compiled over the years, she found her footing and began to heal.

Embracing her intuition with a renewed sense of clarity, Ault poured passion into her paintings. Between soft layers of colour and creamy brushstrokes, pillowy clouds sheathed in light and expansive fields effortlessly emerged. Her paintings embody quietude, allowing us to pause and transpose our minds to a restful place. Finding brief moments of relaxation or joy, like a breath of fresh air or observing a beautiful painting, can help us recharge and restore a sense of calm. These moments are called “Glimmers*.”

Just like a smell, a touch or a place can evoke a unique feeling or memory, glimmers can be different for everyone. They can be as simple as a smile from a stranger or a song on the radio, helping to us feel safe and connected.

Nicki Ault finds her Glimmers in the beauty of nature, stating, “when in nature, I feel like I am being charged up with love. I feel deeply connected to life when I’m at the lake, by a river, in the forest, watching a sunset or standing on a country road feeling the power of a prairie storm. I absorb the energy of the moment, save it and then try to articulate it via paint on canvas. I attempt to release the love from that moment onto the canvas.”

We hope you enjoy this exhibition, and find a connection with Nicki Ault’s new paintings. We hope you find Glimmers!

* A term coined by Deb Dana, in her book “The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy”, “Glimmers refer to small moments when our biology is in a place of connection or regulation, which cues our nervous system to feel safe or calm. We’re not talking great, big, expansive experiences of joy or safety or connection,” she says. These are micro moments that begin to shape our system in very gentle ways.”