3-Dimensional Art in A Multi-Dimensional World:
An Artist Talk with Karen Bagawaya
Saturday, December 16th, 2017, 3pm
This month, Ukama Gallery had the pleasure of hosting an intimate talk with Mixed Media Visual Artist Karen Bagayawa.
Attendees were taken through the eloquently woven tale that has led up to the mastery of Bagayawa’s incredibly unique and innovative tactile mixed media canvases.
Bagayawa began by describing the five years she spent in Japan early in her career and under the tutelage of three very important mentors; Printmaker Shegheki Tomura, Painter Eiichi Sugimura, and Painter & Printmaker Misashi Momose. From them, she learned to recognize the importance of patience and persistence when finding one’s artistic voice.
Notably, it was life-long printmaker Shigheki Tomoura who stressed to Bagayawa, “How can one make wonderful work if they are not mentally and physically well […] exercise and discipline are key to one's artistic practice and success.”
Bagayawa agrees, and is thankful to her mentors who “Enabled [her] to learn the importance of finding one’s genuine passions in making art.” The overarching commitment and dedication to craft throughout the country’s artistry was impactful to Bagayawa, who highlights a love for Hagiyaki ceramic work. Bagayawa elaborated on her affinity for Hagiyaki, “The beautiful pink and white glaze on ceramic pieces is caused by glazing the pieces over ninety times. Repetitive and beautiful. Honing their craft.”
Today, Bagayawa’s complex and layered panels speak volumes about artist’s exposure to Japanese traditions, just as they impressively emulate the colours and textures of the biologically diverse Northwest Coast Rainforest. Having found her studio and home Vancouver, British Columbia, Bagayawa continues to find inspiration through foraged treasures; soft mosses, skeletal branches, and the Pacific ocean…they all find their way into the artist’s stunning meditative work.
Through a culmination of weaving her own linen; layering, dying, cracking, and manipulating tile grout; and finally, following through a sequence of over 50 colour washes to her panels; a heavily saturated, living, and breathing Bagayawa work is born.
To learn more about the artist and her process, please ask a gallery attendant on your next visit as you tour the Karen Bagayawa collection.