Booooooom: How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
Priscilla Yu: Colourful dreamscapes in a geometric language.
What is your motivation for making things? Why do you create?
I love the feeling of not knowing and I’m motivated by the idea of being surprised by the work that comes out. I’m definitely motivated by pleasure, an opportunity to explore, and also a way of connecting with people. I think that art is a great filter and lens to live life by.
Can you share a little context or a story about this specific artwork?
‘Protecting a Small and Steady Flame’ is one of the more personal paintings that I’ve done. I often start off my work, meditatively putting down angular lines and layering textures and washes, until images start to form and I lean into the direction that the painting is going. This piece was definitely in that vein.
Eventually, the campfire in the center came, and I imagined a bird entity fanning it and keeping the spark alive (I often use birds as “messengers” in my symbology). Centering everything, I began to see a face and the painting became a self-portrait, reflecting my current state of keeping optimism and creative energy going during a dark time.
"I think that art is a great filter and lens to live life by."
How has living here in BC inspired you?
The nature in BC has definitely inspired me in a big way. I love observing patterns in nature. From rock structures, tidal pools, leaves, tree bark, to the pathways of rivers, there’s a lot of neat patterns to get lost in.
With everything that is happening virtually these days, how important is it for you to still be part of a local arts community?
It’s so important. When you see artwork online and on social media, you don’t really get to hear about the process or the challenges. I love it when the arts community gets together either through a show or annual open studio event (ie. Culture Crawl or when we used to have SWARM), and talk about what we’re working on, and nerd out on materials and art.
What’s one goal you have for this next year?
In the next year, I’d like to launch some soft goods that feature my surface design work. I’ve been dabbling in releasing my own product line for years but I’d like to take a deeper dive in 2022.
What about one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?
I’d like to learn contentment and to have more experiences in my life where I feel loved and I feel the people around feel loved by me also.