Cara Guri

Empty City: Outside In

April 2021 - July 2021



Cara is a visual artist based in Vancouver, B.C. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and in New York, most recently at the Reach Gallery Museum and the Burrard Arts Foundation.

Through her painting practice, Cara explores the relationship between identity construction and portraiture. Her work examines the transactional nature of portraiture: information that is given to the viewer and that which is withheld. Through her paintings, she re-examines conventions and symbols found in historical portraiture by translating them into her current reality, in a way that disrupts their original intent.

Artist statement

Exploring the theme of ‘Empty Cities’ I will be using print outs of paintings from the canon of Western art history that depict images of people in the city to create a series of still life arrangements. I will cut out the represented figures from their environment, play with folding, crumpling, layering and activating the negative space left by their absence.

Painting detail of people silhouettes and church tower by Cara Guri. Painting detail of man's face and silhouette by Cara Guri. Cara Guri painting her final piece.

Objects and aspects of my own environment will be allowed to enter and transform the composition. This still life we will become the reference material for a subsequent painting and the result will be both literal and surreal.

The purpose of this project is to consider and play with the perceived stability of iconic structures and aesthetics and to explore how meaning is not fixed, but instead constantly evolving based on how an object is encountered and what one chooses to see.

For more information, and a behind-the-scenes of Cara’s residency click here.

Previous artists in residence