MEDIA RELEASE

Media Contact: LaTiesha Fazakas at 604.876.2729 or info@fazakasgallery.com

Event: “SHE”
Opening Reception: Saturday May 23th 6pm – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: May 23th – June 20th
Venue: Fazakas Gallery, 145 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver
Gallery Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
Information: www.fazakasgallery.com
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1649230118643096/

SHE

Is SHE there yet? How far has SHE come? How far does SHE need to go?

What does it mean to be a woman in our ever-changing social landscape? How do female artists perceive the impact of gender on their work, practice, and career?  Do they even want their gender to be a discussion point?

In the Fazakas Gallery’s newest show, SHE, three very diverse female artists Rosa Quintana, Carollyne Yardley, and Trace Yeomans come together for a visual discussion.

In terms of female history, much has been said, challenged, restated and rectified. Thanks to some stubborn, tenacious and brilliant women, art history specifically has been revised and forced to include them.
Female artists today have role models with which to identify and draw inspiration. Which begs the question, is SHE there yet? How far has SHE come? How far does SHE need to go?

This exhibition creates an opportunity for pointed questions from the audience, while providing an opportunity to view exceptional work by three talented artists who also happen to be women.

Featured Artists who will be featured in SHE include:

Trace Yeomans was born on Haida Gwaii to a Haida mother and a Ukrainian father. She has been an artist for most of her life, prompting her to pursue this passion throughout high school, and to acquire post-secondary training. Her passion has always been painting but she is also known for her beautiful Dance Regalia with appliqued Haida designs and fabric art techniques, some of which are displayed in museums around the world.

Trace has frequently worked with her husband, Don Yeomans, combining their respective skills to create unique and critically acclaimed artwork, examples of which can be seen in her fabric art and paintings. She has also worked along side him painting and carving on several totem pole commissions, including the monumental poles in the rotunda of the Vancouver International Airport. Trace has explored many mediums during her art career but always circles back to her first love – oil painting.

Empty Nest by Trace Yeomans, oil on canvas, 40" x 30"

Empty Nest by Trace Yeomans, oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″

Haidaranian Raven Eggs by Trace Yeomans, ultra suede aplique on ultra suede background over board, 12" x 36"

Haidaranian Raven Eggs by Trace Yeomans, ultra suede aplique on ultra suede background over board, 12″ x 36″

Carollyne Yardley coined the term Squirrealism to describe her signature style of fine artwork using squirrel faces in paintings, photographs, and digital art to create strange, transgene characters and creatures, living in wonderful worlds.

Through the meticulous and minute brushwork of fine portraiture, Carollyne’s work incorporates allegory and surrealism to explore psychological truths and complexities about the human condition. Even without a human face, her paintings maintain the essence of a portrait, immediately conveying humour and personality — followed by budding uncertainty about the characters and the secrets they keep.

Carollyne Yardley has garnered all levels of press in Canada, featured in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, CTV News, CBC Radio, online weblogs, and the covers of several books and magazines.

Madonna and Bank Squirrel (birth of ideas), 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015
Madonna and the Birth of Ideas was already in progress by the time the show theme was revealed. I think it works perfectly into the exhibition, however. The squirrel representing the birth of ideas is a direct reference to how Squirrealism was born from painting just one little squirrel. Read more.

Madonna and Bank Squirrel, 24 x 36, oil on wood panel, 2015

Madonna and Bank Squirrel, 24″ x 36″, (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm) oil on wood panel, 2015

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60? x 40? (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), 2015 

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse is complete. It is the introduction of a new character.  The imagery is the marriage of Mickey Mouse ears, and a Guy Fawkes mask, the later being a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes,  the best-known member of the Gunpowder Plot. More recently the mask has been associated with the film V for Vendetta, the hacktivist group Anonymous, and had wider use in popular protests, such as the Occupy movement.
Read more.

Anonymouse detail of head

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, 60″ x 48″ (152.4 cm x 121.92 cm), oil on wood panel, 2015. Detail of head

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60" x 40" (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), by Carollyne Yardley

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse, oil on wood panel, 60″ x 40″ (152.4 cm x 101.6 cm), by Carollyne Yardley

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 40 x 40, 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore)
In order to remind myself of the WORD, I downloaded a copy of Gloria Steinem’s, Outrageous Acts, and Everyday Rebellions and re-read the Guerrilla Girls’, Beside Companion to the History of Western Art, and ART MUSEUM Activity Book. Happy 30th Anniversary to the Guerrilla Girls’! Read more.

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 40 x 40, 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls' and Pussy Galore)

Guerrilla Squirrel, oil on wood panel, 48″x 48″ (121.92 cm x 121.92 cm), 2015 (after Guerrilla Girls’ and Pussy Galore)

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl?
When I was enrolled at the Visual Arts, Department of Fine Arts, University of Victoria to complete my undergrad, I didn’t fully appreciate the value and privilege of being able to participate in gender equal art classes. Specifically, drawing male nude models.  When I returned to fine art almost a decade later, I still took for granted that this inclusive training was forbidden to women 150 years ago. Read more.

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn't 'Cause You're A Girl? oil on wood panel, 24 x 36, 2015

Male Figure Drawing Squirrel: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re A Girl? oil on wood panel, 24 x 36 (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm), 2015

Rosa Quintana Lillo, was born in Santiago, Chile and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1977, after fleeing two military dictatorships, she and her family arrived in Toronto, Canada. She is a painter and sculptor working on private and public commissions in Agassiz and Vancouver studios. She attended the Toronto Art Centre where she received a solid technical foundation in the fine arts. Her current paintings deal with content out of context, extinct birds, graffiti, art history and surface texture experimentation.

Since 1989, she has worked for many Contemporary West Coast artists. Her primary work for these artists was the production of carvings, rubber moulds and castings in various materials. She has worked for the Vancouver Art Gallery as a painter on the Michael Lin Mural Project, Public Art Commissions, the Vancouver Film Industry as a sculptor and Props maker and as a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University and The Art Institute of Vancouver.   Her works are in collections in the UK, US, Canada and Mexico.

Extinct Bird - Target Series #11 by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 36" x 60"

Extinct Bird – Target Series #11 by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 36″ x 60″

Rome Diptych by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 48” x 96” x 3”

Rome Diptych by Rosa Quintana Lillo, mixed media and acrylics on canvas, 48” x 96” x 3”

 

Diversity in Feminism, SHE, by Carollyne Yardley

When LaTiesha Fazakas, owner of the Fazakas Gallery suggested the theme for SHE, I was excited to think about how the squirrels would communicate their POV. Perhaps they would not all be squirrels, maybe a mouse would be in the house. Yes, more rodents. SHE, a group show includes Trace YeomansRosa Quintana Lillo, and myself. The theme explores diversity in feminism. The topic of feminism has not been a focus of my existing body of work per say, but I’ve always believed in equality for myself, and I was excited to be challenged to visually communicate this topic.

I was a young adult in the mid-90’s. Being a pioneer, founder, co-owner, and creative director of a software application and web development company, provided me with the experience of working with all types of business owners, and people in the technology industry. While the incidences of sexism I experienced during that time were too few to mention, if it did occur, the offender was surely drowned out in an acid bath of derisive mockery. During that time, I did notice a lack of women attending tech conferences in Victoria, BC, but it never occurred to my younger self, that this was probably a trickle down affect of sexism. I was there, and that’s what mattered to me at the time.

The last time I had read any feminist discourse or engaged in debate on the subject, was during coursework to complete my undergrad in Fine Art at the University of Victoria (early 90’s). I took courses such as Women in Film, and Women in Television. Perusing my bookshelves today, I still have some of the recommended readings: Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism, Logics of Television, Essays in Cultural Criticism, Television and Women’s Culture, and Feminism and Film Theory. During one of these courses, I recall writing a paper about how the television commercial made for the Emjoi Razor, which demonstrated dehairing the female body, made women a victim of patriarchy.  At the time, the course work resonated with me, and to this day I can’t watch a movie or television show without anticipating a white male protagonist to save the day.

To plan my artworks for the show, I began to pull books from my bookshelf. The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art, and the Art Museum Activity BookNext, I downloaded Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem.

I had not read any of Gloria’s books as a younger woman, so I didn’t get the perspective of comparing my thoughts from then to now. However, as a woman with life experience, Gloria’s discussion about how student-age women are probably treated with more equality than they ever will be again is not inaccurate. It’s true that with age, it’s the experience of life events: entering the paid labour force, marrying or having children and discovering who raises them and who does not; and aging, still a far greater penalty for women than for men – is how the lens can change from which you view the world. (1)  I submitted four paintings for this group show, and have described above how each one formulated in my mind.

(1) Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions