Heather Kai Smith


CAAF Residency @4Five, July 2015

Heather Kai Smith is an artist, illustrator and animator from Calgary, AB. She received her B.F.A. in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2009, and will be attending Emily Carr University for her Master’s degree this fall. Over the past ten years Smith has actively contributed to her local arts community through artist-run centre directorial work and workshop facilitation, and has regularly exhibited her artwork locally and abroad. Using multiple mediums (ranging from animation, printmaking, projection and installation), the foundation of her work is rooted in the practice of drawing. Smith has attended residencies in Germany and New Mexico and has participated in workshops, festivals and exhibitions across Canada and the United States. Her practice is rooted in examining sincerity of self through the act of production, the culture of display and the desire to give the invisible a shape.  

While in residence, I will be working on a series of observational drawings which intend to document my life in July 2015. My intent is to capture the transitory by rendering sources which are temporarily present. The drawings act as portraits (both in form and function), often asking visitors to sit while I draw. I employ observational drawing techniques as a means of harnessing a certain nostalgia-yet-to-come for a time like any other – something seemingly formative while equally mundane. The subject of the drawing is there, in front of me, because I ask for stillness. The drawings therefore become like photographs that capture the light and features of a subject at a specific moment, while filtered through my objective hand and are inevitably imbued with a sense of witnessing. Atmospheric information is simultaneously composed on the same page as the portrait – creating a type of collage that is an act of gathering and a gesture of grasping at an inevitable passing of time.   

Please join Heather for her open studio date on Thursday July 30, 5:30-7:30pm.  Everyone is welcome.