July 15 - August 15: Riki Kuropatwa Roadshow 3. Art show in the Southern Cross and Main Hall. Free.
A few years ago, I began drawing from TV stills, as a way to reignite my studio practice. It began at a point in which I was feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of beginning a new body of work. I found comfort in watching television, as it provides relief and distraction through a controlled form of overstimulation.
After a while, I began to focus exclusively on Antiques Roadshow, as its potential content and context became an increasingly rich area for me to explore. The show is always presented the same way – people bring their precious objects to a team of experts who then offer insight and information. Often, there is a deferential relationship between the owner and the expert. But, there is also animosity, defiance, and other strong emotions that occur between the two. Sometimes, the focus is on the objects’ monetary value; and, other times, the main concern is the historical significance, often including all kinds of stories (biographical, geographical, technical, and so on). My interest is in the human stories that are suggested through the structure of the show, and through the frame of my TV screen. The original context changes as the image moves from the television world into the world of painting.
The roadshow offers me an ideal place in which to explore the psychosocial drama of human interaction. As I continue to work with this subject, I find myself focusing on the universal experiences we have as social creatures. Body language and facial expression are key components of each image. Visually, the stills offer all the compositional and narrative qualities I explore in my work. The selected compositions also allow me to play with the figure in pictorial space, which is a consistent theme in all my work.
Riki Kuropatwa (b. 1970, Canada)
Originally from Winnipeg, Riki now considers Edmonton home. Primarily a figurative painter, she also works in printmaking and drawing. Her work is often described as theatrical and has visual connections to Classical and Mannerist narrative paintings. Work that is accessible and invites the viewer to take an active role is a key feature. For the past several years Riki has been teaching pre-service teachers how to teach art at the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. She has exhibited her work in several galleries across Canada and is in many private collections. Riki obtained her Master of Fine Art from York University, her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba, and her Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.