GiseleGiselle 3

This is Gisele Theriault, known professionally as The Barber’s Daughter. An artisan who creates thoughtful and beautiful jewellery, Gisele grew up in a Cape Breton town where her father was the local barber. The barber shop was a place of stories, a meeting place where people came to share their triumphs, their tribulations and the day-to-day minutiae of community life.

Inspired by her father’s retelling of these stories around the family supper table, Gisele was determined to inject this compassion, this sense of humanity, this thoughtfulness into her own work. As the Barber’s Daughter she creates contemplative jewellery, full of meaning and purpose.

Engraving words into precious metals, she speaks of this as providing a contemplative grounding or touch stone, her response to a world fraught with sensory overload. She says, “The most important element, and what puts a skip into my step, is being able to provide a way that we can walk daily with words that inspire.”

Blackboard of Gratitude





The Barber’s Daughter is one of the artists that Shannon will be bringing to our gallery in the fall. Shannon recalled her first exposure to the work of this artist.

“I first connected with Giséle in the fall 2007 as I was looking for a new voice for the gallery I was operating at that time. As I have always believed that the crafts people know the best work, I inquired within my artist circle to find a new and unique talent. Trudy Gallagher mentioned The Barber`s Daughter to me. When I saw her work, I knew my search had ended.”

We are so pleased that The Barber’s Daughter will be joining Buckland Merrifield Gallery this fall.



Onyx Beads



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next week I will be taking a break from our Meet The Artist Series, so that I can tell you about the upcoming exhibition to be held at my current location on Duke Street. Four artists: Cliff Turner, John Pottle, Glenn Hall and Peter Salmon have something very special taking shape for the Summer Gallery Hop on Friday August 21.



MEET PHILIP SAVAGE : Recipient of the 2015 Nel Oudemans Award


Philip Savage

Philip Savage has two overriding passions, farming and sculpting. I recently spotted him at the Queen Square Market, working his booth, obviously wearing his farmer’s hat. However, it is Philip Savage the artist that we are featuring today.

A rarity in this day when colleges and universities are turning out an ever-increasing number of well trained artists, Philip is essentially self taught. He did receive some very early assistance when, as a young boy, he joined the KV Carvers Club. It was there, at the age of ten years, he learned much about the tools and techniques of carving from the older members of the club.

Since then Philip’s work has evolved into a significant art form. The sophistication, complexity and sheer beauty of his work are undeniable.

Philip Savage, desk

Philip Savage, Herd

Philip Savage, Pods

Philip Savage has been receiving a great deal of attention lately, well deserved attention. He was recently the subject of a post in Created Here, a fine blog on regional artists, by Marie-Hélène Marmen Morell.

Even more recently, last evening as I write, Philip Savage was awarded the prestigious Nel Oudemans Award, given by the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation. This award recognizes the pursuit of excellence in the fields of fine craft and design by emerging New Brunswick artisans.

The Buckland Merrifield Gallery is very pleased that Philip Savage will be among the artists featured when it opens in October.

Philip Savage, Table

Philip Savage, Birds

Philip Savage, Vanity






Andrea Brewer is another artist who will be exhibiting with Buckland Merrifield Gallery when we open this fall. A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts (2001) and Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (2007), Andrea was selected in 2014 for the Studio Watch Emerging Artist Award by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

This coming Friday, July 10, Andrea Brewer will be opening a solo exhibition at the City of Saint John Gallery, located within the Saint John Arts Centre. Andrea has sent me a  number of images of her new work, from the series, Perishables. I’m going to give you a preview of what you can expect to see hanging in the City Gallery next week.

Sophie,40x30in, oil on wood panel

Sophie, oil on wood panel, 40″ x 30″

3 apples tall,48x36in.oil on wood panel

3 apples tall, oil on wood panel, 48″ x 36″

but you can call me Charlie, 40x30in, oil on wood panel

but you can call me Charlie, oil on wood panel, 40″ x 30″

Andrea talked to me about her new series, and about her interest in the juxtapositions of technique, colour, pattern and imagery. She said, “I draw great inspiration from my studies in Art History and Anthropology, and have a particular interest in nature, nature’s creatures and their patterns. Perishables is a series of paintings that use these patterns as narrative.”

Ring around Rosie

Ring around Rosie, we all fall down, oil on wood panel, 36″ x 24″


Leroy, oil on wood panel, 48″ x 48″

Until death do us part,36x36in, oil on canvas

Until death do us part, oil on wood panel, 36″ x 36″

Andrea provided further insight into her approach for this series.

“The white, crisp backgrounds are suggestive of sterile, clean plains, and are reminiscent of white serving platters. In contrast, the patterned backgrounds are reflective of the domestic coverings that hide, shelter and decorate life. The use of a more subdued palette allows the viewer to connect with the subject and to witness their story in a deeper, more meaningful way.”

When I visited Andrea in her studio last month, I was particularly impressed by the energy that this work has. I found within her images an incredible freshness. The connection with her subjects is direct and immediate. These works are darkly humorous, but you can sense within the paintings the strong empathy that the artist has for her subjects.

I’ll leave you with just three more pieces. Don’t miss this exhibition next Friday at the City Gallery. I hope to see you there.

Camouflage for Maggie,48x36in,oil on wood panel

Camouflage for Maggie, oil on wood panel, 48″ x 36″


Maggie’s close call, oil on wood panel, 48″ x 36″

Rodeo, 48x60in,oil on wood panel

Rodeo, oil on wood panel, 48″ x 60″