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upArt 2011: Yshia Wallace
The Gladstone Hotel and a group of local artists explore Nature vs. Culture in a new curated installation.

upArt is back. Staring tonight, the historic Gladstone Hotel will once again be transformed by a crew of local artists and their site specific installations, this year under the theme of Nature vs Culture, with the purpose of exploring society’s interactions with environmental chaos. The annual art fair will take place from Thursday, October 27th to 30th with admission at only five dollars. Special guests include Nadja Sayej, who will host the launching of Vintage ArtStars* DVD.

Over the next couple days, we’re profiling a few of the artists participating in this year’s edition.

First up is Yshia Wallace, a multi-disciplinary artist who practices painting, sculpture and animation. She worked in documentary film production industry for six years before to pursuing her art.

(Superorganism 1, porcelain and wire, 2011)

Describe the work you’re exhibiting as part of upArt in one sentence.
Superorganism 1 is a simplified model of a society or an entity: a group of individuals that form a whole.

How does it address or examine our relationship with nature?
The human species is sometimes inclined to distance itself from nature. Nature is chaotic, and humans impose rationality and order upon it. With this piece I compare the human species to eusocial insects like ants, termites and wasps, and I invite the viewer to consider the “natural” qualities of human society. We are a species made up of billions of individual consciousnesses and we are interconnected in many ways, like one superorganism.

Describe your process.
Currently I am working with porcelain and it takes me about 10-15 minutes to hand build one figure, each figure is then pierced so that I can string them onto wire.

Favorite Canadian contemporary artist(s)?
My favourite Canadian Contemporary artists are Shary Boyle and Ray Caesar

(Jane Doe – bronze, 3.5” x 3,” 2009)

Describe your first visit to the Gladstone Hotel.
I can’t remember my first visit to the Gladstone, I have been going for many years and I love it.

What’s next?
I plan to create a larger and more immersive installation with the porcelain figures. I will continue to explore the relationship between the individual and the whole.

(Aunt Rose: Oil on MDF board, 30" x 40", 2010)

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