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Flowers fall in our longing, weeds sprout in our judgement. - Dogen, Shobogenzo

Artists Statement
I am the opposite of a perfectionist. I like making messes and turning them into beautiful, provocative things. It is proven that exposure to complex natural patterns increases the human IQ. I strive to create simpli ed, human versions reminiscent of such organic compositions and use them to subtly comment on the forms of society. My practice is based on the indigenous knowledge of art as a transcendental object and the painter/philosopher Literati tradition of second millennia China. Every time I look at art it looks back at me anew from another place or another dimension. it reveals nuances to me I feel I must explore. Art has transformative power. I believe it is the artists job to manifest transformation by painting the world di erently from how everyone else sees it, while still rendering an image that can be intuitively understood.

Peak Experience: From the Beginning

It started as a fence. e neighbour had ripped out our old one. We needed some privacy for gardening and tanning. We hung up a long piece of cheap cotton. I hate large white spaces. So early one summer evening, I took out a paintbrush and started painting the biggest landscape of my life: 100 sq. . of modern Chinese joy. I had once been emboldened by a college professor (Hsingyung Tsao) to embrace and modernize the style of traditional Literati landscape painting. is felt like another opportunity to try. I was still energized from observing and working for Gordon Halloran in the building of the 1,000 sq. . Ice Gate 2010 for Richmond City Hall during the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. 5 Seasons I worked on this painting, indoors and out. I called it Peak Experience, because it drew on my new found love of life in the mountains. I added layer upon layer of brush stroke and texture. I always worked in phases, applying a treatment to the entire landscape (for example highlighting all of the rocks) before moving onto the next. I periodically installed the piece at various cafes and fairs around the area. I o ered chunks of it for sale, but there was no outstanding interest. No one could conceive of splitting it. In the summer of 2012 I met the artist Sue Clarahan when she was travelling through Nelson. I showed her my work and she had one thing to say: take it to the Ban Centre, I will help you get there.
Installations Kootenay-Boundary Region, B.C. Nelson Womens Centre, Dec. 2010 Cedar Creek Cafe, Apr. 2011 Frog Peak Cafe, May 2011 Fairview Community, Jul. 2011

Production at the Ban Centre

Winter 2013 Self-Directed Residency: Visual Arts, March 3-29th Prelude: I want to transform the work Peak Experience from its haggard outdoor state to something archival and desirable for sale. I plan a dismantling procedure that will adequately convey my feelings on humanitys conventional treatment of the landscape. I also plan to transition out of working with acrylic paint and other toxic or petroleumbased products. I extensively research and collect the supplies for traditional paint-making. March 3- New Studio I had never had a studio before. I didnt go to post-secondary art school. I just painted on my bedroom oor. Here I stand in the middle of a quiet, all-white room. It feels like a padded cell. My mind starts to race. Mar 5 - Workaholic Now the 30-foot painting-scroll is tacked up to the wall and Im browsing through a stack of art history books 2 feet high (Klimts Landscapes, David Hockneys water, Damien Hirsts birds, Turners skies, photographs of the seasons). I paint for 80 hours the rst 7 days, furiously detailing as much as I can. My arms and back are tired and the other artists are intimidated. I am taking this piece on as a whole for the last time. I am ready to install it during a sold-out event. Mar 13 - Installation I hang the painting on the outside of the Margaret Greenham eatre the night of Oliver Stones talk. I invite viewers to experience the work in its entirety before I dismantle it. Reporters show-up and I make it into the local paper. I am so high o of the press it feels like my feet arent touching the ground. Mar 14 - Destruction I photograph the painting in my studio, slowly and carefully. I sit down with a beer and mix up a big bucket of red paint. I dip my hands into it, grab the painting, and start digging my ngers into the holes. I tear it apart. A er, I mourn. I am unsure of the new work and shocked by how graphic it is. I go to the wood shop and start building braced panels. In the dye room I start cooking traditional hide-glue/marble-dust gesso and making gouache. Mar 18 - Birth With heavy sighs I piece the fragments back together. I work slowly in the cold basement, with more natural materials (more hide glue, chalk, methyl cellulose, etc.). I weave strips together, bloody some up more, sand and polish the gleaming gesso. I try to visualize my next step. I cant, I hit a wall. Mar 23 - Redemption I cry for 2 days. My husband arrives to celebrate our rst wedding anniversary. He gives me sound advise: the work is strong, it doesnt need much, embrace the negative space. I head his advise and accept what I have created. e gaps are works of art in their own right. I sand o one painting already gone too far and move the rest back up to my studio for the nishing touches. Mar 25 - Completion I nish each painting with a small, indian-red gouache detail. ey become organic extensions of the blood red. ey in ltrate the negative space without dominating it, commenting on the crisp and complex aspects of nature. Mar 28 - Exhibition I lay my paintbrush down and mount my works for exhibition during a studio-crawl. I devote myself to conservation and transportation logistics. I name the series Fractured Landscapes and photograph the nished works.

Fractured Landscapes I-XII

Medium: Acrylic on cotton, acrylic silk screen, braced panel, methyl cellulose size, marble gesso, hide glue, handmade gouache, casein xative Dimensions: horizontal: 5x 3x 2 vertical: 18x 3x 2 Dates: June 2010 - March 28, 2013 Panel I Text: Silk screened on vertically to evoke the Chinese Literati tradition of incorporating a philosophical poem onto a painted landscape. Text reads: Consume the Dream, Kill Creation By: Briana Lyon Sweet dreams my world Turn over your song As your enemies linger Give up your story Your life rests balanced On this little nger We are here Shaming all fear Forfeit your dignity To pillage this earth To our lost cause With a burning Spear Forget your indemnity For our species aws Consume the Dream Kill the Flower Sign o on your claim Feel no regrets To beauty and might As we relish this power For pro ts our motive To take it our right Consume the dream Kill creation Turn over your guts e earths blood spoiled Turn over your glory By our ignorant nations.

Lyons goal was to use up all of the acrylic paint she had le while at the Ban Centre; to clear the way for developing a practice making and working with renewable-resource based paints. Completion of the landscape Peak Experience did not manage to drain her 10-year collection of colours. So she experimented. Squeezing out full tubes of paint onto old canvases Lyon created Excess, a small, 6-canvas series. She dribbled colour onto the surfaces, manipulated formations with a palette knife and poured on crystal gloss medium. e result was this strikingly beautiful series of quick, abstract work, so counter to the Fractured Landscapes series in their vision and development it was almost asinine. ese paintings explore oblivion. ey represent the opposite reality that Fractured Landscapes investigates. Excesss vision of the potential result of humanitys collective treatment of landscape is one of back ring disregard and focus on the ultra-synthetic. A more descriptive name for this body of work could be: Detonation of Petroleum Dreams. e imagery was sourced from visions of death, waste and ostentation.

Excess I-VI: Acrylic on canvas, I: 8x10x1.5, II-V: 8x10x0.75, VI: 10x30x1.5, March 18-26, 2013

Unforeseen Direction
Fractured Landscapes and Excess together cover over 100 sq. . of surface area. ey evoke the integrity of ancient traditions and the complexity of the modern age. e installation is complimented by 9 minutes of raw video footage of the quiet dismantling of Peak Experience.

Unforeseen Direction navigates the complicated implications of the artists intensive studies in permaculture (the study and design of permanent cultures) and sustainability. Is our view of landscape candy-coloured dream or stark reality? What imagery could wake us up to a successful future? Utilizing motifs of violence, negative space and a highlighted exploration of petroleum versus natural mediums, the artist turns commonly accepted notions into visual problems that take time to digest. Developing an understanding of the completed pictures requires viewers to detect and piece together what happened in the rst place. e scattered fabric pieces, dark red paint and oating objects in glowing white space are at once at yet challenging to our spatial perceptions. Unforeseen Direction hopes to disturb the road to ignorance regularly paved by a society addicted to pure consumption. By o ering visual intelligence that both mimics and dispels the commonly accepted myth of popular media (that we are safe and happy if we just keep buying), the exhibition invites viewers to question both their perceptions and participation in the status quo. is series creates a powerful mirror of our worlds convoluted and corrupt perception of the resources of nature. While we are attracted to shine and gloss the natural world around us is deteriorating. e maintenance of our bright, happy, plastic dreams is literally ripping apart our landscape. Human beings, like the environment, seem to be dri ing further and further apart in the busy chaos of life. But in the empty spaces and gaps, from the remnants of the mess, clear organic pictures form, o ering us some kind of hope, that in all the plastic glitz and chaos, the unfathomable complexity of nature can give us something to hold onto.


2011 Design Certi cation, Verge Permaculture Design 2005-08 B.A. in Religion, Literature & the Arts: University of B.C. 2003-05 Studies in Film & Art history, Dodge School of Media Arts 2001-02 Saturday High, Art Center College of Design Selected Solo Exhibitions 9/1/11 Silent Auction, Fusion bistro, Nelson, B.C. 10/3/11-4/15/12 Installation Frog Peak Caf, Crescent Valley, B.C. 7/1/12-8/1/2 Cedar Creek Caf and Gallery, Winlaw, B.C. 9/22/08 Silent Auction, Walnut Canyon Gallery, Walnut, California 11/16/06 -11/24/06 Mother of All Sins, UBC Art Gallery, Vancouver

I grew up in the cultural mash-up of Los Angeles. I came to Canada alone as a curious student in 2005 and havent le since. Once a water polo captain, Disney employee and techie Hollywood hopeful, now I am a freelance writer, sustainable designer and back-country tourer; always a painter. I paint because there is no higher or more direct form of expression known to man and no greater outlet for a creative mind.

Selected Group Exhibitions 9/20/10 Sloppy Joe Art Show, Grid Art Gallery 2008 East Van Art Rocks, Caf Deux Soleil, Vancouver, B.C. 2007 Sacrilicious, J.E.M. Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. 2007 OCW Launch Party Beaumont Studios, Vancouver, B.C. 2005 Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, Pomona, California Residencies & Employment 2013 Ban Centre Artist in Residence Paintings Below Zero East Vancouver Artists Colony Commissions & Patronage : 2008 Matt Alber: custom detailing of restored 1967 Chevrolet Apache 10 2007 Ben Parsons: portrait of democratic politician in apocalyptic scene 2006-07 Patron: Patrick Bruskiewich, professor emeritus Emily Carr


Feature Article: Highline Online Magazine

Photo : Rocky Mountain Outlook, pg. March 23-29, 2013