Tomorrow evening, my show 'Promised Land' opens at the Yactac Gallery. I am so pleased to feature the work I made while in Israel/Palestine last year, as well as a very recent piece from my trip to Northern Ireland!
'Promised Land' is a body of work that was inspired by a collection of film canisters filled with sand and water from the Holy Land- inherited when my Great Grandmother passed away. I went on a pilgrimage to return the relics to their homeland last year. While researching dislocation and homecoming my curiosity was piqued on the negative effects of Nationalism and its contribution to division and disenfranchisement. The next step for my research took me to Northern Ireland, another land with a history of walls. In Northern Ireland flags seem to point to territorial aggression. I explore these regions looking for the scars that have healed.
If you don't make it to the gallery, maybe you will see one of these on the street... it's just so hard to plan a show within four walls.
Yesterday I spent time in an old English cemetery in a small town west of London. I attended a Lenten prayer event, and was inspired to take my reading outside to enjoy the sun. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, death is an impermanent state. I had the urge to “tuck in” the tombs as if the occupants were sleeping and would soon wake up. Some of the grave stones date back to the 1800’s.
When I shared my idea one woman told me about an eccentric painter from the nearby village of Cookham. Sir Stanley Spencer had made several paintings around the theme of resurrection. His most known painting depicted a local church cemetery with people emerging from their graves as if they just woke up. His work was exhibited in the Tate a few years ago.
SHE-I-LA runs until March 31 so you have two weeks to go see. This is an incredible show with local Vancouver artists. The collaborative nature of this exhibit is reflective of the nurturing and community building that comes naturally for women. I am responsible for co-planning a discussion panel of local DTES involved artists, which will be held on March 25 from 2-4.
The Punch Gallery was formerly located near Pioneer Square in Seattle. I was in one of the very last exhibitions before they closed the doors. They now exist as a project based collective that seeks to create a visual dialogue between urban and rural communities. This two day show will be in Ellensburg, Washington. If you make it to the opening, please take pictures for me! My artwork will be available as a large print. I am thrilled to be reconnecting to my roots. I'm not from Central Washington but I grew up in a similar town that is two hours northeast of Ellensburg. My first solo show was also held in a barn almost a decade ago. Feels like home!
And for the very distant future, I have a solo show at Britannia Gallery for February 2018!
If you are looking for an immersive and thought provoking entertainment experience, come to Oppenheimer Park for the HomeGround Festival this Thursday ( February 9) and check out Eastside Confidential: Walking Through Shadowland. I had the privilege of collaborating with several artists from the Downtown Eastside. It will be unlike anything you have ever seen!
The show will run at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 and is located in the alley on the west side of the park.
I haven't painted in such a long time. Sharing a studio with painters reminded me what I was missing. Here's a process shot of recent work. In 2010 I painted a series of building facades from the Downtown Eastside, most of which have been demolished or renovated. My traditional palette is Canadian grey. Bright colours are not natural for me.
I found this building while wandering through the old city of Nablus in Palestine. I read about Jalal Aslan Tile Factory months before and accidently stumbled across it. Jalal Aslan is the last of it's kind. Why am I drawn to paint pictures of endangered buildings?
A heartfelt 'thank you' to everyone who came by my studio for the Eastside Culture Crawl. I feel so affirmed that I'm going in the right direction with my artwork, and I cherish all of the amazing conversations and vulnerability that was shared this week. Stay posted for the next event!
Wreckage and Resurrection is a series of assemblages that were shown in 'The Signature of All Things', an exhibit inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's novel of the same title.
These pieces took a lot more work than I anticipated. I thought long and hard on how to fit the different elements together, but it didn't click into the week before they had to be finished. The rocks, dried flowers, boat and the bone allude to my own childhood collections.
Throughout the novel, Alma is burdened with external expectations, repressed desires, heavy responsibility and her husband’s secret life in exile. The specimens under glass follow the arc of Alma’s progression from overwhelming grief to finding her way.
Moss had the temerity to begin luring the forest back to life. It is a resurrection engine. A single clump of mosses can lie dormant and dry for forty years at a stretch, and then vault back into life with a mere soaking of water. (169)
The materials used in Wreckage and Resurrection are incongruent - lace and ceramics coupled with dirt and bones; pluralism of the known and the transcendent. The dried flowers and bones reference vanitas, a highly symbolic art form exploring mortality mainly used by the Dutch still life painters of the 17th century. In each of the sculptures, lace plays an integral role in adorning, obscuring and uncovering the figure.
This week I am working on three assemblage/sculptures for OBAC's art show at VanDusen Gardens. Usually I have a good creative flow in the studio but yesterday was a bad day. Sometimes nothing works and you have to bike to Stanley Park to forage moss. Then things will be better.