Denise Nichol has always loved being close to water, walking the beaches and shorelines. It was a space where she could clear her mind, make space to enjoy nature and make space for creative thinking.
On these almost daily walks, she started collecting bits of glass, each time taking a photo of the handful collected. She always knew that some day this was going to become some form of art. Along with the glass, Nichol began noticing there was a large amount of garbage and debris on the beach too, and began to collect that as well. It wasn’t long before her son Jeremy jumped on board and they became avid beach cleaners.
The beach cleaning evolved into the recycling of plastics and cans, the donating of usable items and the up-cycling of what was once garbage. The biggest up-cycle was the found freshly broken, melted and ocean smoothed sea glass. This collection of glass is being transformed from debris into expressive framed art pieces that reflect not only the sun, but also reflect an inspirational and innovative art form. Both Jeremy and Denise are fine artists as well as beach cleaners. Husband, John MacDowell, has also come aboard, up-cycling old frames and using both new and discarded wood to create unique frames for their paintings and the glass art.
Denise and Jeremy are hosting an exhibition of their artwork in the Longhouse at Tsawwassen Art Gallery 1710 from Aug. 20 to 28 with an artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 20 open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m.