Hi, I’m Complicated

Amy J. Dyck

This exhibition, entitled “Hi, I’m Complicated,” embarks on a journey into the wild and zany psychological experiences that define the essence of individuality.

After anchoring her work in moments of realism through painting, sculpture, and photography, Dyck relinquishes the need for literal representation to delve into the realm of the unseen yet profoundly felt truths of her existence. It’s in this domain that Dyck explores the forces shaping identities and relationships, the confusion and turmoil entangling emotions, haunting memories, driving instincts and urges, the innocence of youth carried into the present, and deeply buried rage.

Adopting an intuitive, playful, and curiosity-driven approach, Dyck employs art as a means of self-expression and understanding at a profound level, navigating and rediscovering strength and resilience amidst life’s challenges.

Working with the hard truth of her complex chronic illness, Dyck’s portrayal of figures is informed by the tension and grief she feels living in a body with a disabling condition and references the strategy of dissociation or compartmentalising as a coping mechanism.

The creative process begins with the artist seated amidst photographs, paint, paper, and mixed media supplies, engaging in cutting, connecting, disconnecting, smearing, and experimenting until a figure emerges, marked by honest complexity and a palpable presence.

Symbols recurrent throughout the collection carry significant meanings: wings symbolize the desire to escape adversity; wheels, the mobility aids Dyck relies on for movement; monsters, the feared or deemed unlovable aspects of the self. Incorporations of scorpion tails, horns, and spikes reimagine ferocity and power, representing a fantasized retaliation. Each element signifies a profound truth, visible beyond mere sight.

This exhibit stands as an open invitation for individuals to engage with their complex selves with curiosity, to approach self-perception with levity, and to envision themselves in previously unconsidered or newly imagined ways.

MEDIUM

collage, oil paint and sculpture

ARTIST BIO

​Based in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada, Amy J. Dyck’s work is a unique mix of representational and playful expressionism and strives to express something deeper in the human experience than can be observed by the eye.

Using collage, oil paints, and (more recently) sculpture, and pulling from anatomical studies and visual experimentation, her work is strongly autobiographical in nature. It references her struggles with a body that does not do as it should and her journey toward acceptance, resistance, and resilience in the midst of suffering.

Amy has a certificate in design studies from KPU, has spent a decade practicing human anatomy and the techniques of the Old Masters and is always pushing her practice into new directions.

Interviewed for CBC Art Minute, she has also had her work featured in a handful of art magazines and has won awards and cash prizes in several international art exhibitions and contests. She teaches and demonstrates painting and drawing for all ages in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and has her work in collections around North America and Internationally.

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THIS Gallery acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

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