press releases


For additional samples, please see all press releases for exhibits at Diane Farris Gallery since 2004.


Wil Murray: This Haunted House Is Not A Haunted Home
April 23 – May 9, 2009

Canadian artist Wil Murray, the 2008 RBC Painting Competition honours recipient, will reveal a new series of work in his first solo exhibition, This Haunted House Is Not A Haunted Home, at Diane Farris Gallery. Murray is known for abstract assemblages created in neon hues and accompanied by pithy titles.

In this exhibition, the artist successfully seduces viewers with his large, jutting, three-dimensional paintings. The surfaces explode with a dripping mix of colour and form. Completed over a series of months, each piece is thick with acrylic paint, spray foam, glitter, glazes and collaged sections of paint that extend from the board up to four inches.

As he describes his process, “Sometimes I am a sausage maker or Montgolfier, sealing the edges and filling the insides with foam. Other times I compose off the support and apply the results as fabric, fitted, folded and pinned in place. I cut back in. Remove sections. I collage my own marks. Re-apply them, sagging or proud.”

Born in Calgary in 1978, Wil Murray studied painting and drawing at the Alberta College of Art and Design. His work was recently chosen for publication in Carte Blanche, Vol. 2: Painting, Magenta Foundation (2008) and exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. He was short-listed for the RBC Painting Competition Prize in 2005. His work is included in collections across Canada and the United States.

Murray is represented in Western Canada by Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver. He currently lives and works in Montreal.


The 2004 Annual VIVA Awards and The First Audain Prize for the Visual Arts

On Tuesday, April 27 at 8 pm, three prestigious awards were announced at the Vancouver Art Gallery. British Columbia artists RON TERADA and REBECCA BELMORE each received a $10,000 VIVA Award from the Shadbolt Foundation. ANN KIPLING received the new $25,000 Audain Foundation award for lifetime achievement as a visual artist.

Her Honour, THE HONOURABLE IONA CAMPAGNOLO, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, presented the influential awards and talked about visual art and philanthropy to a gathering of approximately 500 members of the visual arts community.

Beginning this year, the Annual VIVA Awards included the new Audain Prize for the Visual Arts, a Lifetime Achievement Award funded by the Audain Foundation. Over the last 25 years, MICHAEL AUDAIN, chairman and CEO of Polygon Homes Ltd. has been a strong supporter of the arts in Vancouver. He currently serves as Chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery Foundation, Chair of the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, and was appointed to the Arts Council of British Columbia.

The late JACK AND DORIS SHADBOLT were well-known philanthropists and community arts supporters. Jack Shadbolt was a significant artist, teacher and arts advocate, while Doris was equally successful as a writer, historian, curator and critic. The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation established the VIVA Awards in 1988 to help stimulate a responsive atmosphere in which the visual arts may thrive.

The administration of the combined awards programme and the presentation of the awards falls under the auspices of the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation, a legal trust and charitable foundation governed by a board of trustees. Each year the trustees appoint a new jury to choose the recipients of the Annual VIVA Awards. This year, they appointed a second jury to choose the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The trustees do not recommend or require of the jury that they consider specific art or artists, but require that the recipients must be residents of British Columbia and have demonstrated exceptional creative ability and accomplishment.

This year’s award winners represent the best characteristics of B.C. art today. Respectively, their work demonstrates intellect, compassion and skill.

Presented by The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation

First Nations artist Rebecca Belmore does not “go gently into that good night”. The 44-year old internationally-acclaimed artist has dealt significantly with such themes as social justice, land ownership, family and identity in hard-hitting performance art and installations. She has provided a voice for her people, the Anashinabe Objibwa, for 15 years. She has become a major force in contemporary art through her assertive installations and disturbing shows, especially those that protest violence against women.

Rebecca Belmore was born in the Sioux Lookout District of Northern Ontario and now lives in Vancouver. She first began doing performance art and creating installation pieces at the Ontario College of Art. Her extensive biography includes exhibitions and performances in galleries and museums, on the street, and at conferences, festivals and schools. Her artist-in-residencies have included sojourns in Trinidad, Banff and Providence, Rhode Island. She has been the recipient of several Ontario Arts Council Awards. Belmore has created installations in San Diego, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Tokyo, Toronto, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Montreal. To her credit, the majority of her work continues to be done in Canada and for Canadians.

Belmore speaks for disenfranchised people as well as for herself and the Objibwa First Nations in works like The Named and Unnamed (Art Gallery of Ontario, 2003), a series of sober memorials to the more than four dozen women who went missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Her personal negotiation of her status as a woman and as First Nations has led to multidisciplinary work where she uses her body as her voice. Images of symbolic bloodshed with red blotches against fields of white and acts of tearing, ripping and shredding lay bare the realities of Ojibway culture and the status of women.

Her involvement with numerous communities of people in Canada and the United States has called attention to the struggles of different cultures to find their place in the geography of North America. As an artist, Belmore describes her role not as healer, but as witness and navigator through the indifference, contempt and and atrocities frequently faced by women and First Nations people. Currently she is exhibiting five new installations at UBC’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, to May 16.

Ron Terada is a post-modernist conceptual artist who uses signage and advertising as art forms. He is best known for his monochromatic and neon signs onto which he transposes text, such as “Welcome to Vancouver”. He has also used the concept of an art exhibition as a vehicle. For example, he has created neon signs to hang at the entrance to exhibitions of his work and others. The signs are both the art piece and the exhibition signage. In a group exhibit at Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery (2003), his artwork consisted of vinyl names and logos of the exhibit’s sponsors.

Ron Terada was born in 1969 in Vancouver, BC, where he continues to reside. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the University of British Columbia. Since 1998 he has been an instructor at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Terada has been a significant force in the development of a deconstructionist viewpoint on the trappings of contemporary art. He has pointed to the conflated esteem in which contemporary art exhibitions are held, the veneration for the venues, the curatorial and critical forces that promote them, and the forces behind their sponsorship.

His work intentionally casts suspicion on “high” art for the manner in which it is legitimized by art writings, sponsorship and catalogues. A recent example was an exhibition catalogue for the Contemporary Art Gallery (2003). the catalogue was designed to appear and perform like a typical publication for an exhibition. By emphasizing the patronage aspects of the show, it proposed to both reveal and take advantage of conventions relied upon by promotional instruments to contextualize and legitimize artist’s work.

Recent solo projects by Terada include the magazine Defile, Art Metropole in Toronto, and Big Toast at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast in Contemporary Art (2003), which opened at the Seattle Art Museum before touring to the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Wattis Institute, Oakland and the Vancouver Art Gallery. His work was also included in the 2003 Prague Biennale and Subscribe: Recent Art in Print at Bard College in New York.

Presented by the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts in British Columbia

British Columbia’s Ann Kipling has kept alive the art of drawing for more than forty-five years since she graduated from the Vancouver School of Art in 1960. Her love of line and gesture – whether directly on paper or through printmaking – and her skill as a draftsman have ensured her place among British Columbia’s most successful and loved artists.

From her earliest recollections as a child born in Victoria, BC in 1934, Kipling has closely observed and captured the natural environment through her drawing skills. In 1962, she and her husband, the ceramic artist Leonhard Epp, moved to Lynn Valley, North Vancouver, where they lived until 1965. At that time they moved to the small community of Sunshine Falls on Indian Arm, and then to Richmond in 1967. She purchased a small etching press and taught herself drypoint, etching and aquatint.

Her earliest prints included her first portrait heads, for which she was to become famous. Her portraits are composed of hundreds of tiny lines that shimmer and briefly coalesce into images of people, as if seen through a hundred small glances. Her subjects seem to flicker and change before our eyes. Kipling’s mark-making process reveals an energy, concentration and compulsiveness that transform her subjects, whether landscapes, animals or head studies, into temporal experiences for viewers. Her tools seem to be extensions of her intense responses to subject matter.

Kipling has received wide recognition for her distinctive mark-making style, including numerous Canada Council awards and grants. In 1995, the Vancouver Art Gallery featured a major exhibition of her work, which subsequently was shown in two parts at the Kelowna Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan in 1996. Kipling and her husband moved to Falkland, BC where she now resides. After a 30-year hiatus, Kipling returned to printmaking in 1999. Her prints and drawings have been acquired by many public art museums in Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Edmonton Art Gallery. In 2003, she was one of 40 artists chosen for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s major drawing retrospective, For the Record: Drawing Contemporary Life.



Roberta Bondar: Desert in Time

The Diane Farris Gallery is pleased to announce Roberta Bondar’s eagerly anticipated second solo exhibition, Desert in Time. The exhibit presents desert photographs from around the world – from the Arctic in the far north to the American southwest, and from California to Libya and Egypt.

As an astronaut aboard the space shuttle Discovery, Roberta Bondar saw the vast deserts of Earth from space in 1992 and never forgot them. These photographs, many of which were shown in Ancient Ruins and Desert Dunes at London’s prestigious Hoopers Gallery last year, were among the first taken in the area when Canada established diplomatic relations with Libya in 2002. The exhibit includes images of the Great Sand Seas of Ubari in Libya; the eroded rock formations of the Acacus with their prehistoric drawings; and the ruins of ancient Roman cities Sabratha and Leptis Magna.

Bondar works in a number of photographic traditions. She has the viewpoint of an explorer who is among the first to document remote geographic regions. She has the eye of a scientist for recording transient geological conditions, as well as the most sophisticated camera equipment and printing processes. Yet she approaches the wild landscape with a poetic soul, and captures it with a lush sense of colour and atmosphere. Her images are as memorable for what they reveal as for what they don’t: a sense of infinite mystery that extends far beyond the camera lens.

Accompanying the exhibit is Bondar’s new catalogue, The Arid Edge of Earth (2006). The 90-page publication showcases the images in the exhibit as well as many others, both black-and-white and colour. Bondar has captioned each photograph with location information and anecdotes of her experiences.

Roberta Bondar is the first Canadian woman to have flown in space. Among her numerous commendations, she has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for her pioneering research in space medicine; and recognized with the Order of Canada and the NASA Space Medal. She holds five degrees and has received 24 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and the United States. Her photographs have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON; Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, ON; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON; Hoopers Gallery, London, UK; Markham Museum, Markham, ON; Greenwich Interpretive Centre, Greenwich, PEI; Moncton Public Museum, Moncton, NB; and the Regional Art & Historical Museum, London, ON. Her publications include Canada: Landscape Of Dreams (2002) and Passionate Vision: Discovering Canada’s National Parks (2000).