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About Alana Kapell's non-dominant hand work: Melanie Duggan, Profile Kingston Magazine, March 17, 1999: "In the late 1980's she began experimenting with working with her non-dominant hand. This process, espoused by art therapist, Lucia Capacchione, involves doing daily tasks with your left hand if you're right-handed and in practice serves to focus one's attention. Subsequently, an antic, playful mood began to infuse her paintings. She experimented with different media, incorporating sculptural elements in her pieces; she dissolved the limits of her paintings and began to decorate the frames, which became integral elements of the works."
About the Doukhorbor element: Melanie Duggan, Profile Kingston Magazine, March 17, 1999: "Alana's spiritual explorations and her interest in novel approaches to making art, combined with a growing interest in her own background, culminated in the creation of a remarkable series of multi-media works and a video in 1995. Baba Yaga Flies Over Saskatchewan is a series of four multi-media works which explore Alana's Doukhobor roots."
Lee Parpart, The Whig Standard, Companion Magazine, July 1, 1995: Baba Yaga Flies Over Saskatchewan (Agnes Etherington Art Center) has to do with beets and needlepoint, not bombs and nudity. As a response to one woman's experiences on an Independent Doukhobor farm in Saskatchewan, it's a celebration of the foods, flora and fabric arts that have enriched the lives of peaceful Doukhobors on the Canadian prairies since the early 1900's."
Koozma Tarasoff, Sprirt Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneers' Strategies for Living, 2002 Legas Publishing. "Alana's Doukhobor grandmother, Ann Hoodecoff, as well as her Doukhobor aunts, inspired her to incorporate Doukhobor traditions of needlework, textiles, and foods into her art. Her portrayal of the garden, for example, speaks of the meditative and spiritual qualities of gardens and their importance in her own life as well as in Doukhobor culture. 'It represents', she writes, 'the place I go within myself to meditate…This is a time of regeneration, of stepping back and getting a new perspective.' "
About SYMBOLISM in Kapell's work: Jennie Punter, The Whig Standard Companion Magazine, August 10, 1988: "Compared to the installations and sculpture, the paintings and drawings in the show Influence of the Land, Agnes Etherington Art Center, are more personal in tone and imagery, but no less challenging to the viewer. Alana Kapell's fine-textured, larger-than-life watercolour and oil pastel works contain some intriguing symbolism: Of Cabbages and Kings- a phrase from Lewis Carroll's poem in Alice in Wonderland-presents a dream vision of blood dripping from a pricked finger. The bright red color beginning to soak through a bunch of colorless tulips."
Jan Allen, Parallelogramme, Vol. 18 #4 1993: "The Oxford dictionary defines a shrine as an altar or chapel of special associations. In their December exhibition, Jocelyn Purdie and Alana Kapell created shrines which offered an inventive mix of associations by combing references to personal history, familiar emblems of spiritual sustenance and goddess symbols from historically remote cultures. The startling juxtapositions of diverse signs invested ritual forms with new life."
Philosophy: Linda Jones, "Clothed in Abstraction", Whig Standard Companion Magazine, 19/2/83: "Kapell was fascinated by what she saw in the electron-microscope phographs, magnified about 1,600 times, which she obtained from Queen's and Alcan. She perceived "an alien world" which existed concomitantly with human life yet was invisible to the naked eye. The similarities rather than the differences between plant, animal and mineral forms were what intrigued her. "A rabbit, a rock, or a coleus leaf, it all seems the same," Kapell explains."
Technique: Don McCallum, The Whig Standard Companion Magazine 1979: "I find it fascinating that two representation painters working in similar media have such opposite approaches. Both are natives of Saskatchewan and both are thoroughly trained artists. Both can draw. A few years ago, good draftsmanship seemed to be a forgotten art but this show is evidence that the ability to draw well is back in favor."
On Rug Hooking: Lori Myers, Rug Hooking Magazine, Jan.Feb. 2009: "Years ago, Alana studied Tai Chi, a meditation in motion and found a strong correlation between the full body Tai Chi to the tying of knots. 'Both stimulate kinesthetic memory and cannot be learned intellectually,' Alana says. 'Visually they are both beautiful movements to observe.' Alana appreciated the aesthetics of nautical knots and was also stimulated by the historical element in knots and the fact that these humble objects could carry so much information. For Alana, the subject of knots and rug hooking complemented each other on many levels."