Artworks and Artists
Gathie Falk
Born in Alexander, Manitoba, 31 January 1928

Gathie Falk

"I feel that unless you know your own sidewalk really intimately, you're never going to look at the pyramids and find out what they're about. You're never going to see things in detail unless you can look at your kitchen table, see it and find significance in it - or the shadow that is cast by a cup or your toothbrush. Seeing the detail around you makes you able to see the large things better. "

Gathie Falk spent her early years in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario before settling in Vancouver in 1947. While working as a teacher in the 1950s, she attended summer courses and night classes in painting, drawing, and design. She began exhibiting her paintings in 1960, and in 1965 left teaching to become a full time artist. It was through her ceramic sculptures and her performance work that Falk initially gained prominence, in the late 1960s. Since then she has worked in a variety of media, from performance art to sculpture, ceramics, painting and drawing.

Falk's visual language reflects the influence of Pop art and, more significantly, the California Funk movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which began as a regional rebellion against the "high" art of the American East Coast. Members of the group used motifs taken from their own everyday life and immediate environment. It was around this time that Falk created some of her first ceramic sculptures depicting ordinary objects such as shoes and various types of round fruits. These ceramic objects were noted for their painterliness.

In 1977, following a trip to Padua where she was inspired by the naturalistic colours of Giotto's fourteenth century frescoes, Falk returned to Vancouver and began to paint again.