The Drive By series captures motion in stillness, using the agedness of trees perceived through a moving vehicle as a metaphor for the endless and ongoing passage of time.
Keeping true to the title of the series, McMenemy begins by taking a sequence of photographs from a moving vehicle of the woods lining the sea-to-sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler. Using a low shutter speed, she captures a blurred image. This becomes the beginning inspiration and raw material for her under-painting. Moving on to painting, McMenemy begins a layer of quick brushstrokes, conveying motion and levity.
“I paint motion because I am motion. Photography allows me to slow down, collapsing time in a stagnant picture while painting is a return back to a motion-filled reality.”
Trees are a particularly important subject matter for this body of work because of their connection to history. For the artist, they act as a witness to the changing landscape. Through the deep colour palette and denseness of composition, one senses both the heavy formidability of time in these ancient trees. Yet the blurred brushstrokes and flecks of light hint at the ultimately ephemeral quality of all living things.