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Pilar Mehlis

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
I am a Vancouver based painter and sculptor who explores narratives through anthropomorphic forms. The universal human experience of moving across lands, and for the most part, unknowingly crossing paths with animal migrations peaks my curiosity. My body of work explores these intersections; Forms such as the AntroFish figure (half human, half fish) and the Ornithrope (half human, half bird) are examples of vessels, in mixed media I use to metaphorically explore the transformative effects of immigration. I moved from summer in La Paz, Bolivia to Whitehorse, Yukon at the age of twelve, in the middle of winter. This transformative event along with cyclical migrations between Bolivia and Canada continue to expand my perception and ideas around self, place, memory and belonging. I spent much of my youth between the two countries. I pursued studies in fine art in both places double majoring in Visual Arts and History of Art. In the early 2000’s I moved to Vancouver, B.C. and have been living and working as a full-time artist since. I have had wonderful mentors who have influenced my work in Vancouver and Seattle, WA. A key element in my life is that I grew up Catholic. During the lonely years of separation from my family while still young; I found my faith to be the source of strength and consolation. Catholicism has also provided me with a rich resource of reading and visual materials that in one form or another have manifested in my work. I believe that my work is an extension of my life and faith experiences, however weak or strong the latter may be at one time or another. There is no separation between the two as to distinguish one would diminish the other.