People

Sheri Bakes

‘Listen to the Earth,’ a Sheri Bakes painting tells us. You’d think we stubborn humans would have gotten the message by now, but …

Talented artist Sheri Bakes trains her eye on all manner of natural phenomenon to create luminous rivers, lakes, storms, clouds, forest scenes. All of the work she does is informed by the new way of seeing she developed after suffering a stroke at the age of 29. The resulting aphantasia prevents her from being able to visualize images and memories mentally.

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Listen to the Earth

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“The best way to describe it,” Bakes told Canadian Art Magazine, “is that when most people pack a suitcase, they still know what is in there even when it’s closed. They can see the items in their heads. I have no idea what is in that suitcase unless the lid is open.”

Before the stroke, Bakes explains, her paintings were “more narrative, more literal, more photo real…and not very good.” After, it was a different style of painting that came to her before she could even speak, read, or write. Over time, she has come to appreciate her new way of seeing. As she told Canadian Art: “The paintings have become my brain. The paintings have become the picture inside that I can’t see. I can feel those stars in my chest when I look at them on my wall, and while I am painting them. I can feel them crackling and sparkling. I might not be able to see it in my brain, but at least now I can feel it.”

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Filmmaker Daniel Lins da Silva created a feature on Bakes for CBC Arts.

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This Fall – from October 3rd to 17th – Bakes is mounting a solo exhibition at Vancouver’s Bau-Xi Gallery. The exhibit is entitled Breathe and ‘explores the vulnerability of respiration within the context of recent events, in dialogue with the lush vistas and atmospheric movement of her abstract landscape paintings.’ Here’s a sneak peek at some of the works that will be included.

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Morning Rain

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Storm in Moonlight

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Ether Equinox

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Breathe

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Sheri Bakes @ Bau-Xi

www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header: Mammatus Dangerous

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