An interview with Leigh Square Arts Village
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Curious about me and my work? Check out this interview from my first solo show, Capturing a Wave, at the Outlet Gallery in Port Coquitlam, BC. Running from October 22nd- January 4th, 2021, this show has both in person and virtual components. I am very grateful to share my interview from this show, and that it was still able to happen during the covid-19 pandemic.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your background, and how did you begin your professional practice?
My background is quite interdisciplinary. It took me nearly 10 years to finish my arts degree – I took a number of breaks to take care of myself and expand my practice outside of the institution. My work has always been connected to nature in certain ways. For a long time, I made landscape paintings of sites I visited, incorporating my connection to them into the painting. I primarily used acrylic paints.
I went back to school to study painting at Emily Carr University in 2015 with the intention of finishing my degree. Soon after I was drawn to seek ways of eliminating chemicals and plastic from my life. I began to feel a disconnect to the work I was creating in the studio and using paints derived from plastic materials to do so. I felt blocked creatively. I started to spend more time outside in nature to recalibrate – particularly at the beach – my favourite place to be.
One day, in the fall of 2016, I was sitting at the beach and I wondered what the ocean would paint. I had some ink and paper with me. I knelt in front of the waves, and splashed the ink on the paper, and let a wave wash over it, creating an interesting image. I continued this practice, visiting the ocean often. One day, I came across some charcoal from a beach fire. I took it back to my studio and made a sort of ink out of it. I have been experimenting with this process ever since, refining it and playing around with the intricacies.
2. What subject matter do you work with and why?
I work with natural forces to capture the impact they create in gentle ways, using a variety of natural and artist-grade materials. It is important to me that the materials I use are connected to the land I am creating on. I do this to feel connected to nature, and because of the feeling of calm and curiosity, it inspires in me.
3. How does the idea of community relate to your practice?
Community is interwoven into what I do. To me, community is about a sense of belonging. Getting to know the land I am on, the beings who surround me, and how I am connected to it all is part of my process in building collaboration and bringing a sense of belonging to my arts practice.
4. What is your dream project?
A dream of mine is to create large-scale works with large powerful waves, like in the Clayoquot Sound, or a tropical place like Hawaii. There are challenges that come with working large scale in this way, and this is something I would love to explore more in-depth.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
Take your time. Relax and let inspiration find you.
6. How has COVID-19 impacted your professional practice?
I have felt so much gratitude for living where I do. It has reminded me of the great privilege I have to be able to go outside into nature and to connect more deeply with the natural spaces that surround me. I had plans to visit the Clayoquot Sound to create large scale wave imprints, which was postponed due to the uncertainties at the time. For a few months, I didn’t feel comfortable traveling outside of my neighbourhood to make art, which gave me the opportunity to find space and experiment with ways of collaborating with nature in urban spaces.
Thank you for reading!
I welcome you to send me an email if you have any questions, and connect with me on social media @kaitlynbeugh
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Kaitlyn is a practicing artist and has some of her artwork for sale in the form of original pieces via her website here. Kaitlyn is currently studying herbalism and connecting deeper with the energies of plants and natures cycles.