Opening Reception: Thursday July 16, 7:30PM
In the summer of 2013, Erin Wells and her husband Rigel purchased touring bikes and loaded them up with equipment necessary to camp every night and to carry everything they needed to be self-sufficient. They started on the road three days into September and winded down the coast of United States, crossing into Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and finally Panama, then flying back home to Brandon, MB on May 29, 2014. Since returning from this journey and moving to Vancouver, BC, Erin Wells has created a series of paintings with a desire to share her experience. As she writes, “You travel at the right speed to be able to see everything. And up hills, you hear all the birds and bugs singing and buzzing. Downhills are thrilling and exuberant. By traveling that slow, we met a lot of people on the road. Many were very generous and hospitable letting us camp on their land, and many gazed at us in wonder and amusement as we passed them.”
Camping: Cactus Edition
"Starting out the next day was still windy but much drier. The day went by pretty quickly since the really really strong wind was mostly behind us. Once we got to the Laguna de Chapala area we really started to fly. It was finally nice and flat with only a few rolling hills so we were able to cruise down the road at 40 km/hr without tiring. It was really great to get where you wanted to go fast. By the end of the day, we managed to cover 109 km. We camped off the side of the road just south of Punta Prieta. This was probably my favourite, although it was the most dangerous camping spot so far. We pulled off the road and went down a bit of a hill so we were out of sight of the highway, but this time there was no road. We carefully manoeuvered our bikes through the cacti until we found a decent clearing. There was some larger not-so-spikey trees amongst the bushes that helped to create a good spot but mostly if you stepped in the wrong direction you got pricked by thorns. I was amazed at how many different types of cacti were growing there; big big ones and really tiny ones that if you weren't careful, you would have a pant leg full of them. The next morning we decided to try the cactus fruit that we had been eyeing up. Turns out they are amazing and taste somewhere between a strawberry and a kiwi. They are called pitaya."
- Erin Wells