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Colin Porato & Carlee Thompson

Opening Reception I Sat Oct 8, 2022 I 2 -4 pm
Show Viewing I Sun Oct 9, 2022 I 11 – 5 pm
Yactac at Red Gate I 1965 Main St, Vancouver BC

After three years, Yactac is excited to be at Red Gate Arts Society showing work to the public again. To mark a reemergence into sharing art in a physical space, we are pleased to present works by Colin Purato and Carlee Thompson. Both Colin and Carlee are exciting young artists who are recent graduates of Emily Carr University. The exhibition also marks a new beginning for these artists after devoting several years to studying and developing their practices.

bleaching my teeth by Carlee Thompson “is a mixed media deconstruction of home exploring the intimacy of physical space through ceramics and the adornment of found objects. The wheel thrown and slab built ceramic vessels reference architectural motifs commonly found on the façades of Vancouver households and apartment buildings. The concrete and brick objects offer industrial aesthetics giving the sculpture feelings of animosity, structure, weight, and utilitarian ideals. bleaching my teeth embodies the vulnerability of domestic residence in relation to constructed realities of personhood, and precarity”.

“It is no secret to anyone who has ever indulged themselves in an effort to make poetry that picking a subject is often the hardest part. The loosening of structural definitions which at one time shoe-horned mediums into specific categories with specific goals, have obscured even the most basic definitions of a medium. For example, a painting is no longer bound to the limitations of the stretcher bars, or even paint itself. Because of this we find ourselves in an environment rife with creative potential, yet, stifled by a sense of aimlessness. How then does an artist march forward without a compass to guide them? How does one respond creatively to circumstances which seem to make it impossible to fail?

Colin Porato finds his answer through a sort of ‘making by any means necessary’. For Porato anything is liable to become a subject. However, where the rubber meets the road is in the simple observation that ultimately Porato curates what is allowed for and what is denied. An intriguing mark can be the impetus for what becomes an entire painting. A direct appropriation of another artist gives way to Porato’s own ability to quote the work of those he idolizes. Through failure and improvisation these works become their own. What is at stake in the work is something ostensibly simple, why are we drawn to any particular subject? What makes one more valid than the next? Poetry, that is to say, meaning making, cannot be understood by the simple reverse engineering of the context which surrounds it (i.e science, language, culture, personal experience or technique) …. A sunset does not need to tell you why it is beautiful, you just know it so. Poetry takes shape in a similar capacity, beyond logic and within the abstract. It is impossible to appreciate beauty if one seeks to wholly know it. The classic idiom “It speaks to me” illustrates this perfectly, think how strange it might sound if it were the other way around “I speak to this.” One gives way to a certain kind of faith; the ascription of words seems to only to dull the blade. Certainly, this ideology isn’t without the capacity for misuse and failure. Simply put, not everything we don’t understand is worth our time. But the viewer and the artist are guided by the same instinct… affect.

In the past we might have said the artist was a conduit for god. Today, we might be more prepared to accept the artist’s role as a conduit of cultural cadence. A collective consciousness if you will. No small feat indeed. Although he is still finding the shape of his practice, Colin Porato’s work has something in common with much of that which has helped shape our understanding of art and poetry. That is, the courage to follow its nose”.

– Thomas O’reilly

Artist Bio

Carlee Thompson (she/they) is an emerging artist currently practicing in on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, the Musqueam, Squamish, and Sel̓íl̓witulh Nations. With a focus on ceramics, installation, and sculpture, Thompson’s work explores a constant desire to find discomfort/comfort, embodiment, and dissolution in everyday life. Through the expression of human behavior and identity Thompson’s work operates within the hauntingly mundane by questioning personal perceptions of being and individualistic culture. References to the modern still life as well as the city’s architecture can be found in the work.

Thompson is working towards receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2022). She has been the recipient of the Jessie Allan Forsyth Memorial Scholarship (2019) as well as the Clay Foundation Visual Arts Award (2018).

Colin Porato is a visual artist whose practice is primarily concerned with painting. His work was recently featured in the 2022 Emily Carr grad show after devoting 5 years of study to the development of his practice.
Thank you Red Gate Arts Society for their support.

Yactac is grateful to be able to program on the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We recognize the responsibility we all have in the process of reconciliation and to bring awareness to the fact that this land was stolen. I Instagram I Facebook I Twitter >> @yactac