Erik Volet: Somnambulists
Opening Reception: Friday, September 11, 7 pm – 12 am

Gam Gallery is pleased to present a selection of painting by Erik Volet in the studio exhibition space in conjunction with Swarm, the annual festival of artist-run culture

In his latest body of work, Victoria-based artist Erik Volet combines figuration and theatrical space to create imaginative scenes that recall the urban environment while evoking a sense of spontaneity through the use of vivid colour and abstract forms. These paintings depart from his previous monochromatic, photo-based work in the turn to a more improvisational mode of painting that blends and confuses the relationship between figure and ground.

“Yes, there is a structure … but it is a structure made of silences, of hanging threads, of cut scenes, where everything occurs in a simultaneous time which is a no-time.” (Juan Rulfo, 1983)

The paintings’ content reflects this ambiguity of form: the figures are both personal and archetypal, representing dramatic relationships that are at once familiar to us through fictional conventions yet at the same time surreal. The characters drift through the paintings, as does the presence of the artist, as sleepwalkers, allowing elements to materialize, come into relation with one another and then to shift into other forms or states of being.

Erik Volet (b. 1980) holds a BA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and has also studied at Concordia in Montreal. He is a Victoria based artist who has been active in the local arts scene for the last decade as well as having shown elsewhere in Canada and the United States. His primary focus is an ongoing studio based engagement with figurative painting. He has also produced art books, made zines, illustrated books in collaboration with other authors, and maintains an involvement with street art and mural painting. Influences, which continue to be important to his process of art making are early twentieth century art movements, comic book art, street art, and surrealist theory and practice.