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Gathie Falk

Gathie Falk (b. 1928) was born to a Mennonite family in Alexander, Manitoba, and now lives in Vancouver, B.C. She trained to become an elementary teacher at the University of British Columbia, and focussed on Fine Arts, attaining a double major in that area. Following extra studio courses and study, she became a full-time artist in 1965. Falk’s early reputation was made primarily through her performance work and her ceramic sculptures. More recently, she has turned to papier mâché as a medium, and her interest in the motif of the empty garment has become central to her work. Falk was awarded the Order of Canada in 1997 and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2003.

Much of my work is boxed. It is a natural way to think about sculpture for me because you have not only the precious object, but also a protecting and also aesthetic surround for it. Sometimes the object is seen through glass or plastic.

One early piece (a memento mori) was entirely covered with varnished lace. You had to look hard to see the good stuff, but the outside was also beautiful.

Old things of value end up in boxes, like shoe boxes, and sit on shelves, seldom looked at. This work reflects that experience, common to us all.

The column is an interesting object in itself. I could go on at length about columns, but will leave that to the memories and imaginations of the viewers.

Gathie Falk

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