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Yorke Graham has always loved fixing and building things.
One day, while combing the neighborhood beach, Yorke happened upon an old water tank washed up on shore. The buffeted metal with its rich patina finish captivated him; it conveyed something of the changeful sea he has loved since he was a kid. After hauling it home, he began to tinker. Today, that water tank is a huge, funky fish hanging in his foyer, the the first catch that lured him into metal sculpture.
With the collaboration of his wife Karen, Yorke has created a menagerie of robots, herons, whales, tables, and other works of art from recycled and vintage finds. He is a self-taught artist that recently left his career as a cable technician. Keenly interested in cultural and personal histories, he loves the challenge of bringing memory and fresh possibility to life in his work: “Using both cherished mementos and discarded objects destined to be destroyed or forgotten gives me a real sense of satisfaction.”
Karen’s involvement in each piece fluctuates. Sometimes the couple work side by side, from conception to completion, and other times, Yorke will call on her just for her (ever frank) aesthetic opinion. Together, they love discussing new ideas and searching for old gadgets and other unique items at antique shows, markets, scrap yards and garage sales.
“The physicality of what I do – from the hunt for interesting materials, to the process of designing, cutting, bending and fitting, to the final welding of each piece – suits my active nature so well.”
In his first show at KIMOTO GALLERY, Yorke has selected pieces that whimsically explore the way past and future, memory and inventiveness, trash and treasure, can come together in pleasing, often playful, ways.
“Convergence” truly defines this unique and thought-provoking collection.
Michael Soltis is an American/Canadian abstract visual artist who works out of his studio in Delta, BC. His work has been featured in national magazines and publications as well as many feature film and television productions. His work has been included in exhibitions in private and public galleries in Calgary, Palm Springs, Salt Lake City, Laguna Beach, Los Angeles and Vancouver and this year marks his fourth solo exhibition in Vancouver. The title of this current show is, “PLUS.” According to the dictionary the word “plus” essentially means “being in addition to what is anticipated.” The main theme running through each piece in this show (and why the name was chosen) hinges on the idea of “adding value.” Soltis’ last show, “Games People Play,” incorporated vintage board games and he wanted to continue to build on the theme of bringing new life to old items. His goal is to keep the stories held within the items alive for the viewer while simultaneously bringing something new. For this show he once again used game boards but has also included other antique and vintage items given to him by family or things he’s picked up throughout his life. Soltis continues to be fascinated by the idea that people attach stories to old items and he likes the challenge of finding interesting ways to “add” to what’s there and give the mind something additional to interact with. Typography continues to provide the structure and foundation of his work as he says, “it engages both logic and creativity for the viewer which is ultimately the reason I create art.”