Burnaby art gallery hosts KPU fine arts graduate showcase

Due to its popularity, the exhibit timeline has been extended to Nov. 21

Krackelbaken by Kia Eriksson. (Abby Luciano)

Krackelbaken by Kia Eriksson. (Abby Luciano)


For Kwantlen Polytechnic University fine arts student Kia Eriksson, the Taking Flight exhibition was a way for her peers to display their work in person before graduating this semester. 

Eriksson curated the exhibition at the Deer Art Gallery, where six emerging artists from the KPU Bachelor of Fine Arts Class of 2021 showcased their creations. The exhibit explores the “relationship with our surroundings. Tying together nature, materials, urban landscape, and even our interpersonal relationships and their impact on everyday life,” reads the gallery’s website

“There was something missing a little bit. We didn’t get those interactions and that celebration and speaking to a lot of different people, so creating this exhibition was a way for us to really show our art live and be really proud of what we accomplished,” says Eriksson.  

While the KPU Fine Arts Grad Show was featured virtually earlier this year, Eriksson wanted to highlight some of the artists’ work shown in the exhibit and new additional pieces. 

Due to the limited space at the gallery, Eriksson says trying to include everyone’s work was a challenge.

“I don’t want people to feel bad that they couldn’t be in the exhibition, because there were so many amazing students this year,” she says. 

For her part, Eriksson decided to showcase a collection of orbs she created out of different materials such as metal wire and various fabrics. 

“I find a lot of inspiration from the thrift store. It’s almost like a treasure hunt, I love it so much,” she says. 

“I go there and see what objects or materials speak to me and then I either … have a vision from the beginning of what I want to do with the things, or go with the flow kind of sense what things go together.” 

Depending on the orb, she says creating them can take as little as a day to months.

“I like leaving this little hint so that when people take a closer look at the pieces, there’s something there for them, like a reward,” says Eriksson. 

“I think it’s important for artists to leave those hints so that when the viewer looks at pieces, they get something more out of it.” 

In addition to Eriksson’s artwork, Jude Campbell had Re[Collections] and Love, Mum displayed in the gallery, showcasing the theme of generational family roots. 

[Re]Collections is a multimedia installation that shows Campbell’s life through documents, newspapers, and photographs in a room, with a body cast in the center laying on bed springs with LED lights underneath. 

“It’s amazing to see how your life changes through decades, and it creates a sense that you pass through many things,” says Campbell. “I have a clearer sense of my values in the world relating to other people.” 

One of the challenges of assembling the piece was creating the body cast due to the pandemic, Campbell says. 

“Pre-COVID, I would just lay myself out on the sculpture table and get a number of people to work with me and do the cast in one piece,” says Campbell. But with this cast, she says she had help from both her daughter and her partner, and was able to do it in three sections. 

For her piece entitled Love, Mum, Campbell used wood and urban waste materials to represent her family’s DNA. The seven pieces of wood in her piece each represent her siblings. 

“I tend to work with low-tech materials. I like materials that I can get a lot of [for] free or very inexpensively, so that I feel free to chop it up and do things with it,” she says. 

In the meantime, Campbell is currently working on how to hang a different piece she created in the new Clayton Community Center. She says the piece is currently in the studio but will be in the lobby in the next three weeks. 

The exhibition will be running until Nov. 21. Gallery hours are from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm Tuesday to Sunday, and entry is by donation.