Sunday, January 7, 2024

Charles Bound: RETROSPECTACLE

  12 January 2024 through 16 February 2024

Curated by Christopher Brayshaw

Charles Bound (b. 1939, NYC) has worked variously as a publisher’s representative, secondary school teacher, published poet, theatre worker, and, since the mid- 1980s, as a potter and ceramic artist. His earliest works in this, his first retrospective exhibition, are largeish wheel thrown, gas-fired pots whose symmetrical forms and gestural, highly activated surfaces only hint at the departures the artist would subsequently make from the wheel’s enforcing symmetry. Spurred by his close and careful reading of African and Japanese ceramic history, and by the fortuitous acquisition of a wood-fired kiln, Bound’s post- mid-90s ceramic productions are gnarlier, less symmetrical, and seemingly derived from complex natural phenomena: cart tracks through mud; buried “antique” forms; erosion, wind and rain, and other natural processes.  More recent works collage, recombine & refire failed and broken ceramic experiments, or seem indistinguishable from shapes created by undirected geological processes.

In spring 2023 I was fortunate to visit the famously taciturn Bound’s rural Wales studio and to spend a few days handling and photographing 40+ years of ceramic production.  From that visit, and our wide-ranging conversations, came the germ of this exhibition, which includes works from numerous North American and European collections, and loans from the artist’s own recent production. There is no living ceramic artist I have learned more from than Charles Bound, and I thank him for participating in this necessarily limited survey of his exemplary career.
 
Christopher Brayshaw
January 2024

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Evan Lee: OPEN WORK: YEARS FROM TODAY


2 November 2023 through 7 December 2023
Opening reception for the artist Thursday 2 November 2023, 6-9pm
 
Curated by Christopher Brayshaw, with a text by Kevin Chong

In his first solo exhibition at CSA Space since 2006, Vancouver artist Evan Lee presents Open Work: years from today, an installation of experimental lens-based, printed images. 

Over the past 25 years, Lee has been producing works inside and outside of photography. During this time, Lee has always been interested in the people and places of his home in East Vancouver. However, his early works demonstrated a tenuous relationship with the depiction of human subjects and he opted instead to explore them through still life surrogates such ginseng roots and dollar store objects. In particular, the motif of the elderly recurs in Lee’s conception of the city, as explored in his previous CSA Space installation, Manual Labour, and remains important in his own life, as exemplified by his large-scale photograph, Portrait of the Artist’s Grandmother. Although the city and its people have changed considerably in this time, this familiar figure remains the same.

Lee has explored the subject of elders through drawings, photographs, 3D modelling and 3D prints. In his latest exploration, Lee pairs photographs of old women with disposable paper doilies. Comprising Open Work: years from today, these temporary printed images offer a meditation on the passage of time, reflecting the paradoxical nature of memories and observances: timeless yet fleeting, fragile yet enduring. 

 

Evan Lee lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Recent public exhibitions include Forged at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, FUGAZI at Teck Gallery, SFU, Tyranny at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Everything Under the Sun: In Memory of Andrew Gruft and Kids Take Over at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Lee is represented by Monte Clark Gallery.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Mark Tigges & Robert Stickney: AN EXHIBITION OF FUNCTIONAL & SCULPTURAL POTTERY


7 July 2023 through 20 August 2023

Reception for the artists (& open studios in the Triangle Building!) Friday 7 July 2023, 6-9pm

Curated by Christopher Brayshaw and Steven Tong

An exhibition of functional & sculptural pottery by Mark Tigges (Maple Ridge) and Robert Stickney (Vancouver)

Mark Tigges makes wood- and soda- fired works in Maple Ridge, BC. “I fire two kilns, one a so-called manabigama which I use purely for wood firing. The second is a kiln of my own design adapted from an old gas kiln from Judy Burke. I converted to fire with wood and use it for soda firing. Any pots that come out of the manabigama that are a little lackluster or just boring get a second trip in the fire getting a soda glaze. I feel the two kilns allow a wide range of work while still maintaining surface effects that are almost purely a result of how the kiln is fired. To me, the firing is where the art is made.”  Tigges’ works have been exhibited throughout the Lower Mainland, and each year in the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour.

Robert Stickney’s wood fired pottery draws inspiration from the spirit of Japanese philosophy and sensitivity. His work has been exhibited at the Shadbolt Centre; the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre; Circle Craft; 05 Tea Bar, and Canton Sardine.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Bernadette Phan: LIFELINES AND PORTALS

3 February 2023 through 5 March 2023
Opening reception for the artist Friday 3 February 2023, 6-9pm

Curated by Steven Tong and Christopher Brayshaw

This series of new works by Bernadette Phan build on her previous “Stipple series” (rectangular canvases with concentric lines or the ripples of an occasional wave, against a ground). These new irregularly shaped works pulse with the soft eddies and currents of stippled paint on raw plywood supports.

"I work in series that evolve over time, some of them decades. The series involve repetition, formal restrictions, dialogues between painting and sculpture, memory and illusion. In each series I undertake particular subjects: language and translation, still life as imaginary springboards, perspectives as set ups. My interest and curiosity are nurtured by making percepts that connect sense perceptions and start with the obvious, visual touch as a means to investigate haptic and proximate spaces generated through the painting medium and weaving as of late. The economy of my decisions as part of the process addresses the potency of the work instead of its potentiality. In this “Stipple series”, the texture captures light and creates its own coloured shadow. The cadence and repetition amplifies the dimensional lines as an expression of warmth and intimacy within the cosmic dance of the everyday unknown."
(Bernadette Phan)

Thanh Marie Bernadette Phan was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and moved to Canada with her family at an early age, via France. She received a BFA from Concordia University, Montréal, and graduated from the MFA program at Tyler University, Philadelphia, in 1997. She moved back to Vancouver that same year and has continued her studio practice in painting, drawing and weaving as of late. She has shown locally, nationally, and in Europe for the past 25 years. When not working, she likes to travel to Cambodia and Alert Bay.

All exhibited works are available for sale

Monday, May 2, 2022

Nicole Ondre: PIRL


6 May 2022 NOW EXTENDED THROUGH 19 June 2022
Opening reception Friday 6 May 2022, 6-9pm


Helen Frankenthaler said that the lightest touch is the strongest gesture. Held in proximity to the ethos of antifragile, this reminds me that the redemptive potential of failure is relative to the scale of a condition and one’s response. The preposition anti- suggests that an oppositional energy to fragile–that of force, is needed to experience fortitude in the face of volatility. However, resilience may actually require the strength of the lightest touch–something akin to tenderness, in order to flourish. The works in Pirl express the practice of touching lightly. Lithe brush strokes feather out at their edges. The frayed edge of fabric sutures are subtly exposed. Clay ropes are gently coaxed to bend and loop. A wire is patiently pulled over the surface of a thin clay base. Plastic, fabric and elastic, which bear distinct degrees of tension, are carefully pulled taut.

-Excerpt from the exhibition text by Amy Kazymerchyk

Nicole Ondre is an artist based in Vancouver. Recent exhibitions include The eyes have walls (with Mina Totino) at the West Vancouver Art Museum (2020); and Blood Knot, Unit 17 (2018).

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Jessica Buie & Dan Siney: RAUNCH, RAUNCH, DANCE!


27 March 2022 through 24 April 2022
Opening reception for the artists Friday April 1 2022, 6-9pm

Guest curated by Fabiola Carranza

Image: Jessica Buie, Exposure, color photograph

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Sean Alward: DARK SALON


27 January 2022 through 6 March 2022
Organized by Christopher Brayshaw and Steven Tong

Get the key,
turn on the light,
and see the
DARK SALON

I began the first painting in this series as a tongue-in-cheek attempt to visualize a distant family member with no known photographs documenting their appearance. I knew where they came from, where they ended up, but little of their life other than their diet: potatoes. So, I painted an arrangement of potatoes on my studio table, avoiding portraiture in favour of still-life as a means of showing one thing via another, conscious that the original subject could never be depicted accurately anyway and thereby allowing metaphor to manifest in unexpected ways. In terms of process, my goal was to be as direct as possible, painting from life without photographic mediation. I wanted a kind of blunt, un-inflected naturalism, similar to that in use around the time photography first appeared (early-mid 19th century), before Impressionism and Modernism. I wanted any sense of inner-life in the subjects to come from an optical experience of their material appearance rather than embellishments of technique such as exaggerated colour or obviously gestural paint application. I also wanted to invoke a consideration of how the physical properties of the subjects were culturally and metaphorically resonant:

potatoes: you are what you eat, subterranean...

butter: solar energy store, fat, oil paint...

copper: distillation, electricity, currency, economy...

wooden sticks: folk art, the woods...

and so on...

Sean Alward is an artist based in Vancouver. His paintings explore the intersection of materials and historical consciousness. He received his MFA from the University of British Columbia and BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He has exhibited across Canada and in the U.S., most recently at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, WAAP Projects Vancouver/Vacation Gallery New York, AHVA Gallery at UBC, Surrey Art Gallery, and the Nanaimo Art Gallery. He has published writing in Canadian Art, C Magazine, and Border Crossings.

https://www.instagram.com/seanalward/  

Image: Sean Alward, Wavelength, oil on linen, 2021


Monday, November 1, 2021

Rowan Melling: BOSS BODIES

5 November 2021 through 12 December 2021
Opening reception for the artist Friday 5 November 2021, 6-9pm

Organized by Steven Tong with essays by Dan Adleman and Neal Rockwell
 

"For reasons that I hope are quite clear, you will not encounter many exhibitions like Boss Bodies around town. The local press won’t likely have much to say about it either. That’s because the exhibition, in its own modest way, challenges a fantasy system to which so many of us remain indentured. Even at this disastrous stage of the crisis, developer-funded media outlets would have you believe that the Vancouver model provides the only feasible optics for finding our way within a city in freefall. Just try not to look down. "
Dan Adleman Interfacing with the Vancouver Model

"In a certain way, Boss Bodies is a vibe-based reply to [the] image economy. ...The violence inherent in the concrete actions of these companies leaked through in promotional photographs of these organizations' CEOs. They could not quite gloss over their role in dispossessions, demolitions, driving up housing costs, annihilating the meaning of language, and the apparent foreclosing of imagination and possibilities towards a deeply mediocre aspirational vision of corporate citizenship. Their cracked smiles and glinting eyes registered something more sinister than the "good vibes only" image they were attempting to promote."
Neal Rockwell Portraits of the  Vibeconomy 
 
Rowan Melling started oil painting in 2019 to “deal” with his feelings. When he was anxious, he painted plants. When he felt love, he painted his friends and family. When he suffered horror at entrepreneurial superheroes re-making the world in their crappy brand-image, he painted upsetting portraits of CEOs. These latter paintings make up his first solo show, Boss Bodies. This work seeks to reground its branded, transcendental subjects in the abjection of their bodies through the thick materiality of oil paint. As a whole, Rowan’s painting practice tries to resuscitate a bodily intimacy, slowly being strangled by the alienation of digital capitalism. He has previously shown work at CSA Space in Vancouver and the Decadent Squalor in Montreal. Rowan has an M.A. in German Studies from UBC and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at SFU.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Ana Vojnovic: PERFORMATIVE GEOMETRY: GRIDS & GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTION


1 April 2021 through 9 May 2021

Organized by Christopher Brayshaw & Steven Tong

Ana Vojnovic works as an educator, artist, design researcher and a lecturer. Her pedagogical and art practices are an interdisciplinary response to urban conditions, and questions of how built/designed environments affect and condition human perception, our responses to designed circumstances and the ways we engage with each other.

Through her hand-drawn compositions and collage analysis, Ana narrates the inter-relations and intimacy between geometric language and space, and indirectly proposes multiple ways one can perceive and experience the work.

While her drawings and collage pieces are guided by the unexpectedness of inspiration and inner vision, they are performed through a deliberate, rhythmic re-working of compositional elements. As such, Ana’s work offers multi-layered engagement, one of a soothing dynamic and the activation of temporal images revealed within the white space.

For additional information on Ana’s practice and additional work(s), please visit her artist website conceptfioka.com

Monday, November 16, 2020

David Khang: SWORDS 2 PLOUGHSHARES (CUT PIECE 2 SEW PIECE) & ANTHROPOCENE 2 SYMBIOCENE (BOMBERS 2 BUTTERFLIES)

Swords 2 Ploughshares (Cut Piece 2 Sew Peace)
Performance, 24 October 2020, 1-4pm, Gertrude Guerin Plaza, Main/Kingsway

Anthropocene 2 Symbiocene (Bombers 2 Butterflies)
24 October 2020 through 27 December 2020
 
Organized by Steven Tong
 

In Swords 2 Ploughshares (Cut Piece 2 Sew Peace), David Khang de-commissioned his butterfly-covered, bicycle-powered tank. Invoking Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece (1964), public members were invited to participate in cutting pieces of fabric from the tank, to re-purpose them into sewn masks in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The project functions as a fundraiser for legal defence of Indigenous land defenders and water protectors in British Columbia. The masks will continue to be produced until the fabric from the tank runs out. Masks can be ordered at: cutpiece2sewpeace@gmail.com

 

Anthropocene 2 Symbiocene (Bombers 2 Butterflies) is a body of work that Khang produced while studying in law school. Off-cuts from the fabric used to cover the tank were collaged with paper cut-outs to produce two thematic series composed of military and animal imagery. Metamorphosis of Turtle Island is a piece that Khang produced in lieu of an academic paper for a class on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

David Khang’s art practice is informed by education in psychology, theology, dentistry, and law. Khang imbeds these disciplinary codes into his work, to compose interdisciplinary languages in visual, textual, and spoken forms. In performing, Khang embodies these languages to interrogate social constructions of gender, race, and interspecies relations. By strategically switching languages and codes, Khang produces divergent and dissonant readings that re-imagine the poetic and the political.


Khang received his BSc and DDS from the University of Toronto, BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, and MFA with Empahsis in Critical Theory from the University of California, Irvine. He has taught at Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2005–2016), and Goddard College (2009-2010). Khang was born in Seoul, grew up in Toronto, and currently resides in Vancouver, where he divides his time between art practice, dentistry, and studying law at the University of British Columbia (2016 – 2021).

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Heidi Meixner: UNMOVED MOVERS: THE MOVE TOWARD, AWAY AND THROUGH

10 September 2020 now extended until 29 October 2020, 7pm!
Virtual launch 10 September 2020  

“When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it. ” 
                                                      – Meister Eckhart

The sun, like the hub of a wheel, is an unmoved mover. The centre is static yet the perimeter rotates and the result is that we trundle – or even fly, as the case may be – onward with a cosmic momentum. The Aristotelian theory of the “unmoved mover,” which some dismiss as absurd, puts forth the idea that for every motion there is a mover and that at the mystic centre, the original mover is still. This concept speaks to the experience that the inanimate objects and images around us, occupying a seemingly static existence, can animate shifts and changes within our consciousness.
 
Rituals are created and performed in order to facilitate transformation. A “wünshelrute” (wishing rod), dowsing rod or witching rod is an instrument used to locate subterranean sources of water. In water witching, when someone suspects a valuable source lying beneath, a ritual search or sacred sourcing is performed to locate and move toward that which could nourish and sustain.
 
In A Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Circlot writes “to leave the circumference for the centre is the equivalent of moving from the exterior to the interior, from form to contemplation, from multiplicity to unity, from space to spacelessness, from time to timelessness.” Unmoved Movers is an inquiry into the perennial and regenerative nature of symbols that are revitalized with each contemplation and explores the idea of symbol as “mover.” 
__________
 
A body of waterThe many within the oneTowards centreDarkness & light, EnergeticsTowards expansion, Her proliferated reflections and The Braid are a series of painted papier-mâché witching rods that rest at the edges of the gallery, leaning with upward reaching arms, poised for conduction. These sculptures take the forked form of a Y, a symbol that has been associated with the sacred feminine and evokes both celebration and connectivity. 
 
Cotton fabric is pulled in measured loops through a woven backing to create the hooked rug. Here, at the edge of things is a two-part textile work that suggests adjacent thresholds or portals. Sun wheel and Nyx explore the collectively experienced transitional spaces of sunrise and moonrise and welcome contemplation of the liminal spaces occupied in the everyday.
  \
Heidi Meixner works in sculpture, painting and textiles. Her practice is inspired by folk art and traditions as well as alternative philosophies. Through slow-process materials and techniques, she explores the relationship between ritual and the everyday as an antidote to the pace and modes of engagement in contemporary culture. She is continuously drawn to the soft, versatile and buffering nature of textiles and is motivated by the vast history and contexts of fibre art. She lives on the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations known as Vancouver, B.C. In 2009 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in visual arts from Simon Fraser University.

 


Saturday, July 4, 2020

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: A WALK IN THE PARK



WALKING PIECE

Walk in the footsteps of the person in front.

1. on ground
2. in mud
3. in snow
4. on ice
5. in water

Try not to make sounds.

- Yoko Ono, 1964 spring



The time of the COVID-19 “lockdown” has not been a walk in the park. During the last few months, those of us who are able to take walks have done so of simple necessity: to get groceries, to do laundry, and to keep sane. The recent mass outpouring of rage following the police murder of George Floyd have been a reminder (if anyone had forgotten) that walking remains a powerful symbol of solidarity. There are indeed multiple, intertwined histories of walking, including regulation of who can walk, where they can walk, and when they can walk.

With these contexts in mind, CSA would like to invite you to join us in a socially-distanced art project, to take place in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Taking inspiration from Yoko Ono’s book Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings (1964), we invite submissions of instructions for socially-distanced walking activities and/or performances, to be completed by persons other than those issuing the instructions. Up to 30 instructions will be selected from submissions received, then freely distributed through CSA’s website as a PDF.

At 130 acres, QE is the second-largest park in the city of Vancouver. The spaciousness of QE Park will allow participants to maintain virally safe distances, while potentially allowing numerous participants to enact the same set of instructions at the same time. QE Park’s history as a former quarry makes it one of the most topographically interesting parks in Vancouver, providing all kinds of nooks and crannies where performances and/or activities could take place.

QE Park is at 4600 Cambie Street. A virtual drive-through of the park is available on Google Maps.

Submissions will be accepted, reviewed and released on a rolling basis, with a new batch released every Monday, until the end of the COVID-19 crisis. The curators may edit and format accepted submissions for clarity or brevity, in consultation with the artists.