Meeting The Prince

Meeting Prince Edward has been one of the first things I am asked about when I run into people, so I'm posting photos here from the Royal visit. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and for asking me about it!

Q. "How did it happen?"

A. An event organizer was familiar with my work. They knew that I had connections to aviation, and that it served as inspiration for many pieces. From there a piece was selected by the museum to be presented to Prince Edward and Lady Sophie on behalf of the Royal Aviation Museum. They said the work was fresh, modern and unique, and they loved the back story. 

Q. "What was it like?" 

After going around the room, the Prince said “Now take me to meet those artists!”

A. It was really fun!  There was a lot of excitement in the air as we waited for their plane to arrive. We had to arrive an hour before they came, so that the building could be secured, and yet I didn't see a single person who looked like a security guard. Someone ran into people wearing headsets, around a corner out of sight. They had people beside them at all times that made eye contact and smiled, and seemed like friends, greeting people. I imagined the bag one of them held, being filled with grenades or rocket launchers. Lady Sophie was beautiful and oh-so sweet and lady-like. Prince Edward was outgoing and funny and gregarious. It occurred to me that although Royal Protocol was new for me, it was the Prince's whole life. With other people handling the details, he could just focus on meeting people and making them feel good, making them feel important. Whoever they talked to had their full attention for those brief minutes. After going around the room the Prince said, "Now take me to meet those artists". He asked about my method of combining the paint with plaster and we joked a bit about the drywall taping history that inspired them.

The Photos...

Event photo credits: Tracey Goncalves, Government Photographer

Rachael Kroeker and I, after curtseying to Lady Sophie, in the red.

Rachael Kroeker and I, after curtseying to Lady Sophie, in the red.

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About the Painting

Shelley Vanderbyl, Crepuscular Rays, 2016, Fresco on Panel, 8x10

Shelley Vanderbyl, Crepuscular Rays, 2016, Fresco on Panel, 8x10

Created by Winnipeg-based artist Shelley Vanderbyl (b. 1985), this fresco captures the phenomenon of ‘crepuscular rays’, sunlight that radiates outward from cloud formations. Ms. Vanderbyl’s art takes inspiration from the work of her husband, a RCAF Search and Rescue pilot, who often works in northern Manitoba and beyond. The plaster surface, chipped like the ice of the landscape itself, reveals warm hues of sunlight penetrating through the chill. The columns of sunlight reach across endless ice flows so evocative of the Canadian north - as seen from the perspective of one standing on the ice, looking to the sky for rescue.

Shelley Vanderbyl (b. 1985) is a Canadian expressive painter. Her plaster-based fresco work aims to build a material language of hope. Moved by tales of aerial Search and Rescue in remote northern landscapes, Ms Vanderbyl often paints views of skies and clouds to embody the expectancy of forthcoming help, and the desire to be seen or ‘found’. Her work is in corporate and private collections across Canada, in Switzerland, and in the UK.