December 30, 2016
Immersive abstract art, and two new exclusive paintings for Kabuni – Skai Fowler
We’re thrilled to be showcasing two of her new pieces, exclusively painted for Kabuni, at our Spotlight Social on January 5, 2017. In her new series inspired by Joshua Tree National Park in California, Skai delves deep into the desert landscape, one of her favourite environments. The sounds, smells and sensations are all reflected in the essence of these paintings as she captures the desert’s silence and stillness, a sharp contrast to the ocean which also features heavily in her work.
Skai’s immersive abstract art speaks a different kind of language; one not bound by real life representations, but one of visual expression. She relies on colours and how they dance on the canvas, embodying their own energy and life force – the intensity and vibrancy of colours so essential in her work. Colours become her storytelling mode; how they combine together, and how they work next to one another, sparking emotion and mood. Taking risks and leaps, she uses painting as a medium to process her own feelings – the canvas expresses her inner journey and exploration. While by shifting our perspective to favour colour, line and form, she aims to unlock new ways of thinking, for her and the viewer, bringing the unconscious and our instinctive natural responses to the fore.
Skai often produces prints as part of a series. Her artistic journey generally involves working on 3-4 paintings simultaneously where she begins by applying washes for backgrounds (a technique which results in a semi-transparent layer). She then continues to layer washes and glazes until reaching the required colour saturation point. With the canvases prepared, she then adds detail to each painting, one at time. Lastly, she considers the series of prints as a whole, stepping back to see how they work together, before making changes and additions as necessary. Skai describes this creative process as a continuing and evolving translation of emotion onto the canvas.
West Coast living plays a fundamental role in her artwork; the ocean and mountains a constant source of inspiration, as well as urban landscapes. In her abstract piece, 'River meets Ocean', she looks at the effect on water on our daily lives. Through the merging together and swirling movement of ocean blues and golden hues, she recreates the soothing ebb and flow of water, and the meandering of our own subconscious thoughts.
Skai graduated in photography and interdisciplinary studies from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1985. Her love for arts led her to starting her career in arts admin for small arts and theatre companies, before assuming a role developing the Community Public Art program for the city of Vancouver. She has previously worked as an arts mentor with young emerging artists producing artwork in public places, and as Head Scenic Painter at Great Northern Way Scene Shop for 10 years. She continues to teach digital photography and is also adjunct professor of Scenic Painting at the Theatre and Film department at UBC, and artist at Studio 13 Fine Arts which she shares with two others. Her work is in private collections worldwide, and in institutions such as Canada Council Art Bank and Export Development Canada.
By Clare Langrishe