Cara Bain’s exhibition ‘Surroundings’ illustrates how comforts can provide us with a sense of safety, but may also cause us to withdraw from the world around us.
In this series, paintings of the human figure at rest are surrounded by bedding. While giving us needed comfort, protection, and escape from our daily lives, these surroundings can also act as soft walls, barriers that protect us from the outside world but also separate us from it at a cost.
The cloth in this series is an active second character in each piece – it encases, envelopes, and protects these figures from the outside world. Teal textures intermingled with the copper leaf are created in these pieces by applying chemicals that produce an array of coloured patina effects. The smooth portions of uncorroded metal leaf accentuate a pure and uncomplicated ideal of what falling asleep means. In actuality, it is a much more complex and mysterious process of letting go, often disrupted by invasive thoughts.
The series of paintings on found tools explores the relationship between creators and their tools. What do we hold, carry, push through, and receive during the act of making something new? We are containers for multitudes of tools both creative, destructive and everything in between. Do our tools hold memories? Are they in some small way, symbols of us?
A saw, for instance, is a constructive tool of creation, but also jagged, forceful, and full of friction. A passive hand gently lifts a slack thread – stored potential energy waiting to be unleashed. Can it incorporate friction to build something new, or will it remain in a state of rest?
Cara Bain is a visual artist and art educator born and raised in Vancouver, BC. She creates oil paintings that combine traditional techniques with a flair for contemporary creativity. She’s known for both her figurative and landscape paintings, combining natural expressiveness with unique textures and copper leaf patinas.
An art instructor since 2016, Cara has taught adults, teens, and children how to build a solid foundation of skill and express their creative ideas. Cara holds a bachelor’s degree in visual communication and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout her 20 years of experience as an artist.
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.