Burrard Arts—December 3, 2020
It’s tempting to understand computation as immaterial. Terms like ‘cyberspace,’ ‘the cloud,’ and ‘virtual reality’ sound ethereal and otherworldly, as if there were a dreamy, idealized space just beyond our collective screens.
But the digital realm is not a realm at all. It’s just our world, in all its corruption and complexity. In ‘Genuine Fakes,’ Eli Muro explores this contradiction, questioning whether the digital landscape can ever be neutral or intangible, and asking who benefits from our perceiving it as such.
Keep reading to hear about the ideas, processes, and challenges behind Muro’s current show.
Burrard Arts—November 27, 2020
Interactivity, physical touch, and the confluence of virtuality and meatspace are central themes of Michael Edward Miller’s practice: ones he hoped to explore in his residency at Burrard Arts Foundation.
But then, COVID-19 radically reshaped the way we experience the world, and Miller had to revisit his planned exhibition, too.
In this interview, we talk to Miller about his materials, reacting to a changed reality, and existing in virtual space.
Burrard Arts—November 19, 2020
Haley Bassett’s practice draws from many different mediums: drawing, ceramics, social practice, and installation. While she has worked with natural materials before, her public project for BAF’s Garage was the first time she’s done so on such a large scale.
In this interview, we spoke with Bassett about trauma, invasive species, working as an artist of mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous ancestry, and what’s next for her practice.
Burrard Arts—October 1, 2020
Perception, entropy, subjectivity and the history of Western figurative painting are some of the themes that propel Cara Guri’s practice. Her concealed portraits exist in a careful tension; between what is hidden and what is revealed, between stillness, growth and decay; and between artist, subject and viewer.
Keep reading to learn more about Guri’s artwork in her own words.
Burrard Arts—September 25, 2020
Through her unique mode of abstract painting, Russna Kaur synthesizes her equally unique life experience. Her vibrant, modular and large-scale way of working speaks to her background in design and biology as well as her identity as a woman of colour – initiating an open dialogue with her viewer while remaining completely true to herself.
In this interview, Kaur discusses her poetic approach to titles, how drawing holds her paintings together, and what abstraction means to her as a contemporary South Asian artist.
Burrard Arts—September 18, 2020
‘An Extraterrestrial Picnic’ transforms BAF’s Garage into an explosion of colour, energy, and retro-futuristic nostalgia. Olivia di Liberto brought dozens of unique cut paper elements into the space to create a playful environment saturated with countercultural symbols.
For this instalment of our In Conversation series, we spoke to di Liberto about taking inspiration from the past, moving into three-dimensionality, and how starting out as an artist means getting creative with limited resources.
Burrard Arts—July 21, 2020
In recent years, self care has become an increasingly prominent and commercialized concept alongside growing awareness of mental illness. Katie So has always used her practice to talk about personal topics like depression and anxiety, and during her BAF artist residency, she explored the complex – and not always Instagram-worthy – reality of caring for oneself.
In this interview, we speak to Katie So about moving from tattoo to painting, creating an environment within her exhibition, and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected her perspective on the work.
Burrard Arts—July 15, 2020
With Crosshatch, Caitlin Almond explores the relationship between form, object, and ornamentation with her use of elements pulled from painting, sculpture, textile and domestic craft.
In this interview, Almond speaks about her creative influences, working with BAF’s public Garage exhibition space, and how this installation brought together her writing, research, and visual art practices.
Burrard Arts—July 7, 2020
Through photography and installation, Jackie Dives’ ‘Becoming Not a Mother’ invites the viewer into the highly personal process of coming to terms with a life-altering choice.
In this interview, we speak to Dives about how art-making interacts with her experience of the world, experimenting with different mediums, and how the BAF residency influenced the final work.
Burrard Arts—February 19, 2020
Candice Okada’s ‘Emergency Situation’ speaks to the urgency and tension saturating the present day sociopolitical climate.
In this interview, we take a closer look into how Okada arrived upon the oxygen mask as symbolic object, the political connotations of her chosen materials, and her experience working with BAF’s Garage – a unique, street-facing exhibition space.
Burrard Arts—February 18, 2020
Howie Tsui’s ‘Parallax Chambers’ conflates the anarchic universe of martial arts fiction (wuxia*), with the ungoverned community that formed the Kowloon Walled City. We interviewed him to find out more and learn about his technical masteries for this new body of work.
Burrard Arts—February 5, 2020
With ‘The Sakaki Tree, A Jewel and The Mirror’, Cindy Mochizuki creates a theatrical environment rich with magic and storytelling. We sat down with Cindy Mochizuki to discuss her experience in the BAF artist residency program, how her installation came together, and the narrative she seeks to tell.
Burrard Arts—December 6, 2019
In ‘Eleven Minutes Late’, Ryan Quast creates a paradox, producing replicas of consumer goods through painstaking hand labour. The show is a departure from his previous works in that this time he shows objects that are useless rather functional, although they’re still as mundane as ever. In this interview, we talk to Quast about British TV, his unique paint-sculpting process, and how he stays motivated when his pieces take years to complete.
Burrard Arts—November 29, 2019
With ‘The Thinking Eye’, Kate Metten brings her deep engagement with theory and modernism to a show of exclusively paintings – a bold departure for an emerging artist known primarily for ceramics. For this interview, we asked Metten a few questions about the works, her process, and her experience in the Burrard Arts Foundation Residency Program.
Burrard Arts—November 21, 2019
From skateboarding, to exploring the European art scene, to what she’s working on now – Laura Piasta spoke with us about her life as a Vancouver artist and her current residency at BAF.
We spoke with Shawn Hunt, B.C. based Heiltsuk artist, on his upcoming series of paintings, entitled Line as Language.
In Conversation: Andrew Maize
We spoke with Eric Metcalfe about his upcoming project for Façade Festival 2016.
We spoke with artist Barry Doupé about his upcoming project for Façade Festival 2016.
We spoke to artist Rebecca Chaperon about her upcoming project for Façade Festival 2016
We spoke with Renée Van Halm about her upcoming project for Façade Festival 2016.
We spoke to artist Chris Shier about his upcoming project for Façade Festival 2016.
Kelly Lycan is a Canadian, Vancouver-based artist working primarily in photography and installation. Often, her work explores how we display and observe objects, place value upon them, and how they are produced and reproduced. We spoke with Kelly about her work, inspirations, and her BAF residency and upcoming show.
It is a basic human impulse to attempt to place oneself within the chaos of the world. For centuries, we have employed geometry, navigation and cartography to make sense of our physical environment, beginning with the simple act of drawing a line. Canadian artist Lyndl Hall works with these themes in drawing, sculpture and video for her current exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation, ‘Circle, Sphere, Horizon Line’.
For this iteration of our series In Conversation, we spoke to the three contemporary emerging artists selected by curator Gabi Dao to participate in Blood Love Trouble: Julia Dahee Hong, Katrina Niebergal, and Casey Wei.
For this iteration of our series In Conversation, we spoke to Virginie Lamarche, curator and co-founder of the FotoFilmic travelling exhibition and photobook.
Perception. Chaos. Ritual. Language. These are some of the concerns explored by A Third Thing, Richard Clements’ upcoming show at BAF Gallery. The enigmatic sculptures, which the artist describes as being architectural without mimicking larger buildings, reference spiritual structures such as the altar, grave, or ziggurat.
For this instalment of In Conversation, we spoke to Clements about the complex vision behind this new body of work. Originally from London, England, Clements holds a BFA in sculpture from the Alberta College of Art and Design and an MFA from Goldsmith’s College in his home city. Clements has exhibited throughout Europe and Canada. He works primarily in sculpture and is also an accomplished writer.
Many of your previous works incorporate an element of chance or serendipity. For example, your installation “Falling: Catching” was a brick wall held together by only twine, sticks, and gravity. What can you tell us about this recurring theme, and to what degree is it present in your current show at BAF Gallery?
Burrard Arts—November 20, 2019
Shawn Hunt’s practice hinges on the traditional practice of formline, yet makes it uniquely his own. In a distinctive palette of rich blacks and blues against which grey and white seem to jump out at the viewer, providing depth, Hunt brings new subversion to this artform, exploring its narrative potential. Trained as a carver before branching out into painting, his creative background is evident in the relief-like dimensionality of his works, unusual in a style that’s typically more flat. We exhibited his work in ‘Line as Language’, a 2016 solo show, and his Façade 2017 presentation will expand on those works, enlarging and combining them to tell ancient stories at an unprecedented scale.
‘Media with movement’ is how Evann Siebens describes her practice. A trained dancer, Siebens now works in photography and video art, with her first love of dance often playing a central role. In 2015, BAF Gallery exhibited her show ‘deConstruction’, which recorded the politically and socially charged process of building demolition, bringing to it surprising grace by juxtaposing the films with the delicate accompaniment of Chopin’s preludes. Her Façade Fest 2017 project, Orange Magpies, also deals with place, but includes the theme of dance much more overtly. Siebens collaborated with two dancers, James Gnam and Vanessa Goodman, and filmed their improvisational movements against a series of highly recognizable Vancouver backdrops. By projecting these images onto the Vancouver Art Gallery façade, complex conversations about history, place, and identity begin to unfold.
Diyan Achjadi’s vibrant, intricately detailed works investigate the relationship between beings and the land they inhabit in an illustrative style that draws heavily on textile traditions such as toile and Javanese batik. The artist’s Indonesian heritage figures prominently in her work, and in the past she has drawn on diverse cultural practices to raise questions about complex issues related to the environment and colonialism. For Façade Festival 2017, she will explore the ocean-bound nature of her home archipelago through an animation of shifting islands and clouds.
Burrard Arts—November 19, 2019
In this interview, we learn about Mollie Burke’s spatial explorations via her installation in the BAF Garage, and the process of transitioning her practice away from a familiar 2D space of a canvas.
Burrard Arts—July 24, 2019
Chris Eugene Mills’ display in the Garage, ‘a finely-tuned interference engine thwarted by a painting of an ouroboros (in thirty-six parts)’ presents a coded performance of data, that consumes and regenerates itself, as a beautiful array of digital ‘paintings’.
We sat down with the artist to discuss his experience of working in a site-specific space, and learn more about the becomings of this particular instillation.
Burrard Arts—July 19, 2019
Scott Billings’ artistic practice is marked by a material ingenuity. An engineer and industrial designer as well as a visual artist, it’s clear that for Billings, these concerns exist symbiotically. Creating sculptures and video installations that centre around issues of animality, mobility and spectatorship, Billings often makes use of industrial techniques – in the past he’s employed rare earth magnets, laser pointers, IMAX film, and custom circuitry. For his Façade 2017 project, Billings will use 3D scanning and printing to create a scale model of the Vancouver Art Gallery, then record it being physically damaged and manipulated. Projecting this back onto the enormous structure will create an illusory material experiment on a monumental scale.
Burrard Arts—July 11, 2019
With ‘Flat Moon’, Scott Billings deviates from his primarily video-based installation work to produce an abstract show. In this interview, we chat with the Vancouver-based artist about the new works created during his residency and the personal curiosities that drove them.
Read on to gain deeper insight into ‘Flat Moon’, and be sure to join us for his artist talk this Saturday, July 13th at 2pm in the gallery.
Burrard Arts—June 29, 2019
Luke Ramsey brings a simple, almost childlike style to all of his illustration, collaborations, and murals. His works depart from the most basic elements of visual art: line, colour, and shape. Using a bright, likeable palette to depict friendly characters, scenes from nature, or doodle-inspired lines, his works are equally suited to small-scale drawings and large public installations. He has been featured in Booooooom, the New York Times, Vice, and more, and founded the Island Folds residency on Pender Island in 2005. His Façade Festival 2017 project epitomizes and yet simplifies his practice, covering the Vancouver Art Gallery in quickly evolving squiggles that reference the politically loaded gesture of graffiti-writing.
Beautifully chosen colour and proportion achieve a delicate balance in the works of Fiona Ackerman. Many of her works are completely abstract, but she has also brought representation into her works with series centred around artists’ studios and garden environments. Beyond the mesmerizing aesthetics of her paintings often lays a philosophical inspiration – her 2012 mirror series referenced Foucault, while her 2014 piece Dreams of Zhang Zhou alludes to the famous story of the 4th-century Chinese thinker dreaming that he is a butterfly. Her playful, yet masterfully rendered works exude a deep respect for the discipline of painting.
Blending the tangible and ephemeral to haunting effect, Ben Skinner’s practice is equally informed by curiosity about the nature of language and fascination with the varied materials he works in. His text works play humorously on the subjectivity inherent in communication; pictured below is a piece from his ‘Pangram’ series, which showed absurdist phrases that use every letter of the alphabet. He has made use of materials including mirror, holographic foil, plexiglass, and water marbling, carefully choosing colours including Klein blue and dusty pastels. His projection mapped project for Façade Festival explores the complexities of linguistic nuance with a string of synonyms that gradually digress in meaning.
Annie Briard’s work explores the fragility of the real. Although the world we experience may give the illusion of being fixed, objective, impartial, it’s more fallible than that, an image painted impressionistically by the senses. It’s in this ambiguity that Briard finds inspiration – vision, perception, and where they diverge, in the form of hallucination or illusion. She works in video, photography, and installation to create works that explore how we construct our own reality, all with the hazy aura of a fading memory.
With a career spanning four decades, Paul Wong has been an instrumental proponent to contemporary art in Canada. Often with an element of narrative, much of his work is site-specific or video-based. An award-winning artist and curator, Wong has led public arts policy, organized festivals and public interventions, and been a founding member of groups including VIVO Media Arts and the Mainstreeters collective. His works have been collected internationally, by institutions including the National Gallery of Canada and Whitney Museum of American Art. He is the recipient of major awards including the 2015 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art and the 2016 Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. His Façade Festival 2017 project will shine a light on a piece of recent Vancouver history many would prefer to forget: the 2011 Stanley Cup Riots.
From Five Octave Range, a free public artwork designed by Paul Wong for the 2017 Vancouver Opera Festival.
Wandering though Emily Neufeld’s ‘Before Demolition’ conjures up the specific, almost uncomfortable feeling of finding oneself alone in a home that is not yours. Neufeld gained permission to explore houses set to be demolished, then created photographs, sculptures, and site-specific interventions using these intimate experiences as raw material. She displayed the photographs at life-size on the gallery walls, alongside interventions reminiscent of the ones she conducted in these homes, and vaguely humanlike structures created from materials gleaned from these sites. The final effect is an eerie, illusory immersive environment that explores how our bodies interact with space, and speaks to the loaded topic of the current Vancouver housing market.
For this iteration of In Conversation, BAF spoke to Neufeld about this body of work and how it fits into her greater artistic practice.
In ‘You, Only Better’, Kim Kennedy Austin examines vintage magazine illustrations and their message of self-improvement during the capitalist boom of the post WWII-era. Pulled from 1960s copies of Western Homes and Living magazine and a 1946 workout manual titled ‘Figure Fitness in Fifteen Days: Your Rx for Slenderness’, the characters in the clippings Austin has chosen cheerily model an affluent, heteronormative, patriarchal lifestyle; one that’s presented to the reader as not only desirable, but attainable in just a few simple steps. In this interview, we asked Austin about the inspiration, thematic ideas, and artistic processes behind this show.
Burrard Arts—May 16, 2019
Charlene Vickers allowed her work to grow intuitively and organically in her BAF Gallery show, ‘Chrysalis’. Coming into the Residency Program from a period of intense creative activity, Vickers chose to approach her time in the program as both a space of much-needed rest, and the chance to sow the seeds of a new body of work – one that clearly sits within the lineage of her vibrant, abstract paintings, but brings them into a looser, less structured mode of production. In this interview, BAF chats with the artist about these new works and her experience creating them.
Burrard Arts—May 1, 2019
FOTOFILMIC17 marks the third consecutive year that BAF Gallery has hosted the Vancouver stop of this travelling group photographic exhibition. Based on Bowen Island, the organization has broadened their focus in that time to include multiple sub-exhibitions, their PULP Gallery location, and a printed photo-book. The exhibition will also be stopping in Paris, France; Thessaloniki, Greece; and New York City.
Burrard Arts—April 25, 2019
For this iteration of In Conversation, BAF speaks to Vancouver-based artist residency program participant Karen Zalamea. With a primarily photography-based practice, Zalamea’s intricate compositions explore the play of light and matter in space. To create her BAF Gallery show, ‘When the sun rises, we keep the fire aflame’, Zalamea worked from source material shot in a variety of locations across North America. She manipulated the photographs by printing on silk, canvas, and other unconventional materials, then experimented with cutting, folding, and collaging them. The finished show represents the development of exciting new directions in Zalamea’s practice.
With ‘That mountain is a good listener’, Colleen Brown expands her sculpturally-focused practice in unconventional new directions, drawing inspiration from such surprising sources as weather reports and hobbyist landscape painting to comment on the inevitable gap between representational art and the material experience to which it alludes. Extending the two-dimensional components of the works with gestural and sculptural elements, she seeks to achieve a balance of gesture, image, object, and symbol.
Read on to gain deeper insight into the show directly from the artist, and be sure to join us for the opening reception on Thursday, May 31st at 7PM.
Alex Tedlie-Stursberg explores the constantly flowing streams of interactions and transactions that make up our society in a practice that combines sculpture, assemblage and collage. Interested in the “bottom end of the market”, Tedlie-Stursberg’s works tend to incorporate what might be bluntly referred to as garbage – not just waste and discarded objects, but actual earth and soil. The finished works exude an eccentric, fantastical energy, seeming to come neither from the future nor the past, but perhaps an alternate timeline or dimension. This humour and irreverence characterizes Tedlie-Stursberg’s practice; in the past, he has created video art from a Ron Perlman movie and a mock campfire from found objects.
Burrard Arts—April 24, 2019
How did your time in the BAF Residency Program impact the creation of this show? In what directions did it lead your practice?
‘Building’ incorporates both installation and photographic work. To you, how do these two mediums work together in the show?
Burrard Arts—April 23, 2019
Borrowing its title from a famous line from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, Tyler Toews’ show ‘He who marches out of step hears another drum’ shares his remarkable journey. A survivor of mental illness, Toews is no stranger to oppression, and his dramatic, expressive large-scale works convey a message that is hopeful and positive without shying away from the darkness and struggle that’s integral to the human experience. In this interview, BAF spoke to Toews about the influence of memory on his practice, his recent experiments in screenprinting, and his visions for the future of his work.
Identity, memory, and sexuality are just some of the overarching themes explored in Rafael Soldi’s current show at the Burrard Arts Foundation. The show comprises two new bodies of work: in one, ‘Cargamontón’, Soldi delved into the near-forgotten hazing rituals he experienced growing up in Peru; the other, ‘Imagined Futures’, he contemplates the paths his life could have taken had he not immigrated from that country. Below, we speak with Soldi about his practice, this show, and his future projects.
Birthe Piontek’s Burrard Arts Foundation Residency, and the resulting exhibition, represented exciting ventures for the artist in scale, material, and form. In this interview, we spoke with Piontek about her artist residency at BAF’s Vancouver studio, progressing to object-based work while remaining engaged with photography, her fascinations with cloth and the body, and more.
Burrard Arts—April 12, 2019
How did your time in the BAF Residency Program impact the creation of this show? In what directions did it lead your practice?