Exhibit at new B.C. art space showcases artist's portrayal of mental health
'These paintings are showing the inner distress of a person who's suffering,' says artist
Behind a nondescript door, sandwiched between a massage clinic and St. John's Ambulance in downtown Kamloops, the foyer of an office building has been transformed into a new open space art gallery.
Artist Darci Turnquist's work is being featured at Gallery 635, and she is using the opportunity to showcase pieces that take a deep dive into mental health.
"I think of my pieces as this is what mental health looks like, like I have pieces that are distorted, I have pieces that are hidden and meshed in with the background.
"I just want people to think that this is what someone's feeling on the inside," said Turnquist, 24, who completed the fine arts program at Thompson Rivers University in 2018.
"There is a stigma toward mental health that you can't show it, you can't you can't talk about it, but these paintings are showing the inner distress of a person who's suffering."
The artist describes most of her work as being "not photo realistic portraits" done in a renaissance-era style with a twist. She uses lots of expressionistic brush strokes and there are lots of eyeballs, she told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce.
"When I thought about making my pieces I thought about glitches like in computers," said Turnquist.
"If you've ever had your computer glitch out there's multiple images on the screen. So I thought, because mental health is considered a glitch, I use the eyes to represent that."
Throughout her career, Turnquist has focused on the "darker side of life," she said.
As she developed her style as a student at the university in the southern Interior city, she began to focus on mental health.
"I've known people who have suffered from mental health and some of my own experiences," said Turnquist.
While many of her paintings are based on herself, she tries to make her work androgynous so that others can relate to what the person in the painting is feeling.
"I'd love for my art to reach other people who are dealing with... mental health and don't know how to show it," said Turnquist.
"They can look at my paintings like, 'Oh that's really what's going on.'"
With files from Shelley Joyce, Jenifer Norwell and Daybreak Kamloops