Jackie Tahara had a lengthy period of study and travel that nurtured her fascination with other cultures, introduced her to their artistic traditions and helped to develop her own personal aesthetic.
She attended Queen’s University in Kingston, studied French and culture in France, travelled throughout Europe, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and Australia, studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, received a degree in South Asian Studies from UBC, studied South Asian mythology, religion and folklore at the University of California at Berkeley, and completed a diploma in textile design from Capilano College in Vancouver.
In 2004, she moved to Nelson where she continues to indulge her creative side and is thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Jackie is drawn to the graphic nature of black and white. Her pieces begin with designs, often inspired by natural forms, in black India ink on a ground of white paper.
She next adds saturated hues in surprising colour combinations: lime green and magenta apples against a scarlet ground, yellow-orange petals against a dusty pink sky, or deep violet plums and emerald leaves against palest blue.
Her use of colour is perhaps the most recognizable element of her pieces and is influenced by the indigenous artistic traditions that she has experienced during her international travels and studies.
In her recent work, Tahara painstakingly cuts out her original designs and collages them to painted wood panels. She often layers several cut-outs, lending an almost 3D quality to the completed work and allowing her to construct each piece.
Tahara’s work can be seen at Grounded during ArtWalk, from July 6 to August 31.