Obscured Faces & Rearranged Spam: 2 Excellent Art Exhibitions in Vancouver BC

There are two excellent exhibitions currently showing in Vancouver: Michelle Gay’s Poemitron at Charles H. Scott Gallery and Hannah Hughes and Ahbyah Baker in Shapely at CSA Space.

Michelle Gay: Poemitron and other works @ Charles H. Scott Gallery


Spampoet by Michelle Gay


Spampoet (description) by Michelle Gay

Michelle Gay is a visual artist who uses computer programming (her brother is the programmer) to create pieces that have an unpredictable nature to them. Many are interactive. Text features heavily in her work.
I attended the artist talk at Charles H. Scott Gallery at Emily Carr University to hear Michelle Gay speak about her work.


Charles H. Scott's director introducing Michelle Gay


Wordforge by Michelle Gay


Compiler by Michelle Gay

This piece, Retrieval Pictures, was my favourite of the show.


Retrieval Pictures by Michelle Gay

It is an interactive piece; the screen is black until the viewer moves their fingers across a trackpad that is on a small podium facing the screen. By swiping across the screen, you begin to reveal an image underneath. But as you continue to “unmask” the hidden image, the areas you unmasked earlier begin to darken again, which means you will never reveal the entire image. Gay said this piece is about memory, and it truly is the most accurate representation of memory that I’ve ever encountered.


Retrieval Pictures (description) by Michelle Gay

Ahbyah Baker & Hannah Hughes: Shapely @ CSA Space

In the small but perfectly intimate CSA Space, the show called Shapely features two Vancouver artists, Hannah Hughes and Ahbyah Baker.


Entrance to CSA Space

On a windy, raining day, it was the perfect time to head upstairs (after requesting the key from the awesome staff at Pulpfiction Books) and soak up the art.


Checking out the exhibit

Baker’s paintings are abstract circular shapes with thin vertical lines of colour within them.


Drip Shape 10 by Ahbyah Baker

Hughes’ paintings are modifications of portraits. One seems to be a fashion photo that has angrily, yet specifically, blotched out the face of the model with thick swatches of paint.


Dig by Hannah Hughes

The other (& my favourite piece in the exhibit) is a large classical portrait that has pastel-coloured mushroom/pillow shapes obscuring the face.


Molded by Hannah Hughes

The expert execution of the underlying painting is incredible. Look at the lushness of her lips!


Molded (detail) by Hannah Hughes


Shapely bios

Shapely is only on for another few days. It closes November 16, so be sure to get in as soon as you can. See Pulpfiction Books (2422 Main St.) for admission during regular business hours: Mon-Wed 10am-8pm and Thurs-Sat 10am-9pm.

Poemitron and Other Works is at Charles H. Scott until December 18. Don’t forget – You absolutely must go to experience the memory piece. The gallery is open Monday to Friday 12pm to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm. Entrance to both exhibits is free.