April 22 – May 14, 2022

Donna Balma
Lost Thoughts

Reception: Sunday April 24 at 2pm

Lost Thoughts by Donna Balma is a suite of drawings overpainted on original works done on panel and canvas. On closer inspection, the viewer can observe faint traces of previous images, which have been sanded down and obscured with paint. The original work has been brought to new life, with surreal creatures, shapes and objects from Balma’s imagination – a direct line from mind through hand.

‘Investigations into Surreal Automatism’, is as the title suggests, spontaneous automatic lines without influence of preconceived thought. Created with micron pen on torn paper, the flow of movement and short marks create other worldly forms. I found myself drawn to this intimate work, and in conversation about it with Donna she stated, “the lines appear I am simply holding the pen.”

Curator: Nadina Tandy


Donna Balma was an innovative and prolific West Coast artist residing in Roberts Creek on BC’s Sunshine Coast. She lived half her life in rural and half her life in urban environments in both England and Canada. As an artist, she was a late starter and her work was profoundly affected by nature and her internal visions. Balma paints spiritual torment and narrative visions in highly idiosyncratic, surrealistic work.

Balma attended Antioch University in Vancouver B.C. for Independent Studies 1970-1971, the Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy from 1985 – 1986, and studied at Leach Pottery in St. Ives, England from 1974-1975. She was also a visual composer and improviser at LotFive Sound 2010-2013. Balma was a self-taught visionary mixed media artist whose work has been described as: authentic, original, outsider, singular, primitive, surreal, psycho-realist, classical, cosmic pop, and unique.

Link to the Podcast about the exhibition, with Andrea Dancer and Nadina Tandy