Fourth-year critiques: the final test for BFA students

final-flag-ka

The fourth-year bachelor of fine arts students are taking part in the first of three intensive cri­tiques. Students work to create a piece and visual arts faculty, along with fellow students, hold a for­mal critique session and provide feedback to the artist.

The artist can answer questions about their work and get valuable insight from colleagues and teachers. I spoke with four of the thirteen fourth-year students, photographed their artwork and got a sneak peek into the artistic process, behind the scenes inside their studios.


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Amber Pattie

Dawson Creek, B.C.

Can you name a real-life experience that has inspired your artwork?

In the summertime, when I went to the Nowa Bug Museum in Japan.

20141114-Edited-4348What are your goals for your last semester here at TRU?

I just want to be more comfortable and specific in my own artwork and really define myself with my own style.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still in school. Hope to be doing a masters, at any school that will accept me! I’m thinking out east, hopefully.

How have you grown as an artist since your first year?

Not as naive, I suppose. I’m more serious. When I first started here, I wasn’t fresh out of high school, but working with teachers who have worked in this field for a prominent number of years has made me a bit more serious about what I’m doing. I just came here to study art. I had no idea what I was thinking about.
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Tell us about your piece on display today.

I’ve got three sculptures and one drawing of bugs that I created out of electronic parts. I’m try­ing to emphasize the fact that these electronic parts are made out of computers and typewriters and motors. Things that we created as human beings, at the time they were created, they were the best of the best, and five years later you get a new one, and these are garbage. Then we have these insects that everyone seems to hate, and they’re gross that no one seems to like them. No matter how much we evolve as a human species they’re always here. This expensive computer is now trash, but there’s this thing in your house, that you don’t even like, and it will never go away.

Can you name an artist that is inspiring your work?

One artist in New York named Ben Snead. His are more of murals and paintings. His work with insects has made me want to be more direct and specific with my insects. They are strictly done out of books, so if a biologist were to look at it they would recognize it. It’s inspired me to re­search and learn more. A push to learn more about them, not just what they look like.

 


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Rebecca McKerchar

Kamloops, B.C.

20141114-Edited-4366Can you name a real-life experience that has inspired your artwork?

I do a lot of writing, so a lot of my art comes from my desire to write, I suppose. Because I’d rather really write than do art, but people don’t want to r ead long things in galleries.

What are your goals for your last semester here at TRU?

Honestly, I just want to be done. I don’t really want to be an artist, I want to be a writer .

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully writing. I’m interested in young adult, modern fantasies, kind of. I think a lot of my art stems from that.

How have you grown as an artist since your first year?

It’s good to be exposed to a lot of different ways of doing art. I did a lot of sculpture in my first couple of years and I’ve been developing my painting a little. Exposure to new mediums really changed how I do art. I think I’ll continue with digital art.

Tell us about your piece on display today.

This is dealing with the idea of gods, of little things, like animism, spirit, energy of things. Kind of modern gods that no one would r eally pray to, but they still exist in some way.

Can you name an artist that is inspiring your work?

No, not really.

 


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Heather Pratt-Johnson

Salmon Arm, B.C. (Tappen, technically.)

Can you name a real-life experience that has inspired your artwork?

20141114-Edited-4355I used to take these photos at my grandmothers pool during Thanksgiving or the summertime. I’d use my sisters as my subjects. I was 16 or so. I had a lot of underwater cameras at that time and I still have them.

What are your goals for your last semester here at TRU?

To accomplish an art gallery-ready exhibition. To have made art that doesn’t just speak for itself, but has a lot more depth to it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

20141114-Edited-4427I don’t know and that ’s a good thing. I don’t want to know yet.

How have you grown as an artist since your first year?

A lot! I had no idea what was going on then. Basically you didn’t even know what fourth-years were doing. Or the intensity that goes into it, or even the type of work you can produce. I didn’t even know we had etching when I got her e.

Tell us about your piece on display today.

It’s about the movement of the body in relation to water. It’s not specifically about this one person. It could be about anybody. I want to translate the experience to the viewer, to see the pleasure of water.

Can you name an artist that is inspiring your work?

Emma Critchley and Bill Viola. They are water-based photographers and cinematographers.

 


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Alyshia Mudford

Kamloops, B.C.

Can you name a real-life experience that has inspired your artwork?

20141114-Edited-4353A lot of what I do is based on feminism that’s happening today. I do like to focus on rape culture and victim blaming. While I am not a victim myself, I have known multiple people, family and friends who have been victims. It hits really close to home, and I feel like art is a good way to convey those messages.

What are your goals for your last semester here at TRU?

A degree? I want feminism that’s happening today to be taken more seriously and not just as radical feminists, I want to get rid of that negative connotation. [I want to] bring things to view that people just shrug off. Like, rape jokes and rape culture. I want to bring all that attention to the forefront. Standing up for women’s rights isn’t a bad thing. Looking for equality doesn’t mean that we aren’t all nasty, scary, unshaven people. We are not evil.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d like to be still working in art, hopefully through exhibitions. As well as selling some other artwork that I do, which is more digital based. I’d like to move, to a more art-based city.

20141114-Edited-4360How have you grown as an artist since your first year?

So much. I have really branched out in style and technique. Before I’d never even think of painting. And that’s all I want to do now. Before I was into graphic art and cartoon, while I didn’t go into realism, it’s been a much more advanced form of art.

Tell us about your piece on display today.

“Asking for it” is basically referencing the 30s-50s, mainly because when I bring up topics that in­clude women’s rights today, I’m told that it isn’t the 50s anymore. It’s like an advertisement; it’s in your face. I chose a modern issue of victim blaming. I have a girl in revealing clothing on the left, and one with more modest clothing on the right. I want to raise the question of which one is asking for rape. The viewer has to make a choice, and hopefully they reflect on that choice and why they made it. I wiped off my makeup every day for a month in October; it’s on little sheets of flannel. It’s the way I choose to present myself to the world. My preference is, this is how I want to look to the world. I find putting on makeup almost therapeutic and artistic and it doesn’t make me any less of a women’s rights activist.

Can you name an artist that is inspiring your work?

Jenny Holzer. Her way with words is so incredible. She’s able to take the most simple statement and convey it into a complex way. Anyone can write something, but to actually make it have an impact is so much more [difficult].


Bonus studio shots

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