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Get to Know Tess Paul, Ian Tan Gallery’s Feature Artist for the Month of June

A Safe Place to Rest (2023), Acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 72″ (diptych)

The Goods from Ian Tan Gallery

Vancouver, BC | In this monthly series, the Ian Tan Gallery highlights one exhibiting artist or artist they represent, by asking them to answer a short four-question interview designed to introduce them to Scout readers.

Meet Tess Paul, Ian Tan Gallery’s feature artist for the month of June. Paul’s latest series of paintings, High Fantasy will be showing in the gallery from June 3-30, with an opening reception on Saturday, June 3rd from 2-4pm, where the artist will be in attendance.

Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where do you live, and what is your medium?

My name is Tess Paul. I live in Vancouver BC, and I’m an acrylic painter.

We know it’s hard to pick a favourite, but if you had to choose one piece from the works you have at Ian Tan Gallery to best represent your style and practice overall, which would it be and why?

“A Safe Place To Rest”: This was actually the last piece I made for the show, and the first diptych I’ve ever done. My goal is always to make soothing portraits of landscapes that I would want to live in or rest at. The best I’ve seen are usually in Ghibli movies or high fantasy games like Elden Ring or Bloodborne. While my pieces are all inspired by real waterfalls in Western Canada, I think this painting evokes that feeling quite successfully.

If you could display your art in any building, establishment, or other place in Vancouver (not a gallery), where would you choose?

I think I’d like it to be somewhere public, but kind of hidden. I always feel most comfortable in these little wombs of the city; by train tracks under the sky train, or on the cement steps that overlook the industrial area by my studio. It’d be a cool little surprise as a mural or some kind of installation.

Art is a visual experience, but I’d like to challenge you to describe yours using the less obvious senses: sound, taste, smell and feeling.

I heard Jeremy Strong quote Glenn Gould by saying, “The purpose of art is not a momentary ejection of adrenaline, but rather the lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity,” and I don’t think I could describe it any better.

View more of Tess Paul’s artwork online here.

Neighbourhood: South Granville
2655 Granville St.

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