Audie Murray, Catherine Blackburn, Marcy Friesen, Carollyne Yardley, and Trace Yeomans
688 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
October 1 – November 13, 2020
Fazakas Gallery is pleased to present this group exhibition as an active contemplation and celebration of domiciliary practices. Living Room brings together works by artists Audie Murray, Catherine Blackburn, Carollyne Yardley, Marcy Friesen, and Trace Yeomans. In the gallery-turned-living room, the exhibition considers the global shift towards living and working in simultaneous spaces following the public health guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scale of the pandemic has created the largest collective experience in modern history. Public health measures, national lockdowns, travel restrictions, new daily protocols, economic devastation. No stone is left unturned by the innumerable effects the pandemic has and will have in the future. As we witness the seismic scale of repercussions, we’ve been forced by our individual experiences of introspection to slow down and meditate on the more intimate details of our lives. With an increased familiarity with our domestic spaces, the ways in which we live and work have shifted to prioritize new thoughts, scales, and materialities.
As the discourse of contemporary cultural production, art has always prioritized conversations that center relevance. The artists in this exhibition have demonstrated such pertinence as forefronted through the legacies of Indigenous crafting techniques. Reflecting on experimental materiality and social awareness to the issues of domestic violence following stay-at-home orders, the effect on global supply chains, urbanization of natural habitats as disease-harbouring, and the woes of introspection following the bleakness of self-isolation. History is being written before us, and art has always been one of the most effective tools for studying history.
Audie Murray is a multi-disciplinary Métis artist from Saskatchewan currently based in Regina. Working with themes of contemporary Indigenous culture and ideas of duality and connectivity, Murray draws on time-honoured techniques and contemporary concepts to inform her material choices. She often uses found objects from daily life, and then modifies them with special materials and techniques as a way to reclaim or work-through the cultural content of the object.
Murray completed a Diploma in Visual Arts at Camosun College in 2016, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Regina in 2017. In 2018 she attended the Plug In ICA: Bush Gallery Summer Institute in Winnipeg. In the summer of 2017 she studied traditional tattoo practices with the Earth Line Tattoo Collective and continues to work with hand poke and skin stitching methods. Her BFA graduating work, Pair of Socks was selected as the Saskatchewan winner of the 2017 BMO 1st Art! Prize, and in 2018 she was the recipient of the William and Meredith Saunderson Prize through the Hnatyshyn Foundation.
Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak, SK. She is of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller, whose common themes address Canada’s colonial past and are often prompted by personal narratives. Her art merges contemporary concepts with elements of traditional Dene culture that create a dialogue between traditional art forms and new interpretations of them. She has been included in notable national and international exhibitions and fashion runways, including the Santa Fe Haute Couture Fashion Show, Niigaanikwewag (2nd iteration), Art Gallery of Mississauga, and Art Encounters on the Edge, Bonavista Biennale, Newfoundland. She has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including a Governor General History Award, the Saskatchewan RBC Emerging Artist Award, the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award, a publication in Vogue online magazine, as well as her inclusion on the 2019 Sobey Art Award longlist. She is affiliated with the Alcheringa Gallery in Victoria, BC; the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert, SK; Remai Modern in Saskatoon, SK; Slate Gallery in Regina, SK; as well as the B.Yellowtail Collective in Los Angeles, CA.
Marcy Friesen is of Swampy Cree and Welsh ancestry and currently resides on a mixed farm with her family near Carrot River, SK. She comes from a long line of traditional master beaders and talented creative family members. Marcy has always felt the need to create and started her career with her Trapline Creations business where she makes utilitarian pieces such as mitts and mukluks. After visiting the Remai Modern in Saskatoon, she changed her focus to creating “useless” pieces of art. Marcy now uses beads, leather, and furs in new and exciting ways to open discussions on mental health issues. Her piece Muskrat Tears was included in Montreal’s Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) from April to June 2020, and two of her beaded COVID-19 masks are currently on view at the Whyte Museum in Banff, AB.
Trace Yeomans was born on Haida Gwaii to a Haida mother and a Ukrainian father. As a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of media, her passion for art-making is fostered by beautiful Dance Regalia with appliquéd Haida designs and fabric art techniques. Her Haida style appliqué techniques point to her inspiration in designing pieces that are culturally significant to her combined dual heritage. Several of her works are displayed in museums around the world. Trace frequently works with her partner, Don Yeomans, combining their respective skills to create unique and critically acclaimed artworks. For example, they worked together on several totem pole commissions including the monumental poles and oil paintings in the rotunda of the Vancouver International Airport.