Pattiann Withapea: Designs From My Abstract Mind
JULY 28 – AUGUST 29, 2020
Pattiann Withapea is a local International Award Winning Artist with a whimsical style who has been painting since August of 2015 and has quickly made a name for herself on a global level.
In 2016, her painting, “ Atom the Pug”, took first place in Art Vancouver’s International Online Competition. Her distinctive and instantly recognizable style has garnered plenty of attention and caught the eye of collectors the world over. To date, she has sold her works on six of the seven continents. Pattiann laughingly says that she is, “still holding out hope for Antarctica”.
In 2017 after painting mainly portraiture and representational works, Pattiann found her true voice as an artist when she discovered abstract painting. In February of 2018, she earned her designation as a juried member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and has truly benefitted from her association with the FCA.
In July of 2018 she took part in the FCA’s Art Pod and in September of 2018 she was chosen by the Federation to represent them for Canadas’ Arts & Culture Days. This culminated in a solo exhibition and a three-day event where Pattiann painted a large installation piece, “live” at the FCA Gallery in Vancouver.
In October of 2018, Pattiann learned that she had been selected to represent Canada at the Global Arts Festival in Gujarat, India. Twenty-nine artists from all over the world had this honour. In January of 2019 Pattiann travelled to India and took her place on the world’s stage to create a collection of paintings, in both Alcohol Ink and Resin, that remain in India as part of the Global Arts Festival collection and touring exhibition for the Ministry of Gujarat Tourism.
From there, she went on to teach a group of seven Architecture students at the International University of Parul as part of the university’s International Fine Arts & Sculpture Festival. Four pieces of her Resin Artworks are part of the University’s permanent art collection and will remain on display in the main administrative building in her name in perpetuity.
To her great surprise, she was honoured again when she was selected to take part in the prestigious Sanghi Global Art Fest in Kutch, India in mid-February of 2019. Ten Artists from ten different countries were fortunate enough to be invited. The two Resin artworks that she created there are now part of the permanent private collection of the esteemed art collectors, Chairman and Mrs. Sanghi.
In early 2020, Pattiann returned to India to once again, to represent Canada at the Global Arts Festival. This time, fifty Artists from all over the world came together for a month. Only three were part of the previous year’s group. Working alongside this group of esteemed Artists has had a profound impact on her artistry and her life.
After returning to Canada Pattiann focused her attention on completing the collection of ten paintings that she submitted to the prestigious, Society of Canadian Artists and in May she was delighted to learn that she had earned her designation as an Elected Member of the SCA. There are fewer than 350 Artists in all of Canada to earn this designation since the inception of the SCA in 1957 and Pattiann is the only Vancouver Island Artist to ever hold this honour.
Pattiann Withapea continues to strive for new levels of excellence with her artwork and competes on an international level. To date, 10 of her paintings have been juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists Exhibitions.
Until I began painting, I had no idea that I had so much to express, stored up inside me. All my life I had unwittingly been collecting and storing, a vast collection of colours, feelings, compositions, whimsical interpretations, and emotional connections to places, artifacts, stories, music, and imagery. This wasn’t intentional and I certainly had no way of knowing that one day, they would become the basis for expressing myself through art. Picking up a paintbrush has shown me just how vast and rich that collection had become. It is like a giant suitcase that I unpack, one painting at a time.
I work in Acrylic Paints and Inks, Alcohol Inks, and Resin with Pigments. I have a unique process that involves laying down base layers of paint or resin to define my composition and using a variety of syringes, I inject colours into the base. I use a variety of tools and palette knives to manipulate the paint and expose the colours to create the desired effects. I have produced a vast body of work in the nearly seven years that I have been painting. I have devoted significant effort to creating dimension in my Alcohol Ink Painting over the past year.
I see myself continuing to push the limits of every medium that I explore and finding new ways to go beyond the traditional boundaries of each medium. In 2018 I created paintings within paintings using a glow in the dark element that I add to my resin. This process results in a painting visible during the daylight, and another painting that is only visible when darkness falls. In 2019 I experimented with Holographic and Thermographic elements in my resin works. The pieces are impossible to capture in photos and are best seen in person. I hope that I will continue to be fortunate enough to have a loyal audience that supports my work as I continue to “unpack my suitcase”, one painting at a time.
“Art Connects People”. I say it often and I believe it with my whole heart.