Local artist Rachel Yoder’s new body of work Memento Mori, was a feature at the land dedication of the Kalein Hospice Centre in late September.
The work is a series of paintings in a repeating format on life sized panels, each divided into four squares. Embedded in each square is a question about living, dying and death.
The canvases are then painted with many layers, the colours depending on whether Yoder’s answer to the question is a “yes” or a “no” and the original words are wholly or partially obscured.
The block, bands and layers of colour Yoder has been using in her work for many years, coupled with the embedded questions produce abstract forms compelling viewers to contemplate life’s fundamental dilemma, the relationship between living and dying. The resulting grid format creates a binary system to reduce and simplify the complexities of reflecting about life and death.
Yoder believes that by asking yes/no questions instead of open ended ones, an opportunity to relax the instinctive fear response is created and allows the viewer to consider one’s own responses to the questions without avoidance.
At the artist talk and reception on Saturday, November 3 from 5 to 7 p.m., Yoder will discuss her obsession with and terror of death and the process that led her to Memento Mori.
There will be an opportunity to view the work and create your own pattern based on your answers to the questions.
Memento Mori is partially funded by a grant from Columbia Basin Trust and Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.