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‘Symphony of Light’ on display at Town Hall Art Gallery 

June 20, 2024   ·   0 Comments

Written By Paula Brown

Dance with the movement of light and colour on canvas with the newest exhibit at the Shelburne Town Hall Art Gallery.

The exhibit, titled ‘Symphony of Light,’ features a collection of about 20 pieces of artwork from Mono-based artist, Marnie Cookie. 

“The exhibit is open for people to interpret in lots of different ways, but it is musically based. It’s that idea of a symphony, with lots of different instruments which are different colours to an orchestra and the connection with light,” said Cooke. 

As a child, Cooke studied ballet with the National Ballet and the Royal Academy of Dance, before going to university to study various theatre mediums including acting, singing, dressmaking and lighting. Over the span of her dance career, she went on to study dance in England, tour in Spain, and work with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and various small dance companies in Toronto. 

“I wanted to be a painter for years, but because my whole career was dance, I never really had the time to do it,” recalled Cooke. 

It wasn’t until moving to the Dufferin County community 15 years ago, that Cooke was able to finally begin to explore her desire to paint. Naturally, she would bring her decades of experience as a dancer into the storytelling of each painting. 

“When you look at my works you can see a lot of movement. With dance you don’t vocalize, you give images expressed through movement and with my paintings, I bring that same eye for movement,” explained Cooke. 

While listening to music is a requirement to help inspire her in the painting process, Cooke often uses different techniques to “find the movement” of the piece of art. Often times she’ll choose to rotate the canvas while painting as well as displaying it on walls in her home that have different light, in order to find the natural progress of the movement. 

Some of Cooke’s pieces on display at the art gallery include her latest pieces “Secrets,” “Allegro,” “Timeless,” “Cornelia” and “Twiggy.” One of her favourite pieces on display is a painting called “Flourish,” which took her over a month to complete.

“Flourish took a long time because it went through many stages. It started off as softer, and then I just kept adding more lines and colour until it wasn’t subtle anymore. It was interesting for me as an artist,” she said.

‘Symphony of Light’ will be on display at the Town of Shelburne Art Gallery, located at 203 Main St. E., until June 28. 

Cooke will also have her work on display in an exhibit at the Headwaters Arts Gallery in Alton from July 3 to Aug. 5. 



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