Artist’s statement:Empathetic by nature, it is difficult for me not to imagine what something feels like. This emotional impact fuels my creativity, flooding my dreams and subconscious with fanciful ideas about the world I surround myself with. My desire to portray the people influences in my life spill onto my canvas in a kaleidoscope of color and metaphoric storytelling. This body of works are my stories depicting my real life villains and heroes.
Bio: It was not uncommon for Tamara to be sitting on packed cardboard boxes awaiting a new school year. From the ages of four to fifteen, she had moved thirteen times with her free-spirited mother and her siblings. Her father relocated frequently, working for the airline industry. It was common, however, to find Tamara standing up to a schoolyard bully advocating for a new friend her first week in a new school, and all the while keeping a keen protective eye on her little sister and best friend. It was in these consequences of her youth that she discovered her world of pretend. Describing it as “choose-your-own-adventure”, she would spend countless hours layering the world around her in fantasy. It was entertaining to vilify the gatekeepers in her world and take on the role of heroin or hero along with any one who wished to join her. No doubt, all the stories her mother had read to her in childhood had impacted her thoughts and day dreams. Moving from place to place eliminated long-term connections, inhibiting the benefits of relationships with teachers and friends. It did, however, foster the ideology that everything is always changing and a new story is always just beginning. This has become one of Tamara’s core philosophies.
The self-taught artist never picked up a paintbrush until the age of thirty-two after a series of personal
experiences that included anguish, romance, heartbreak, and elation. The philosophy that conflict is a painful tool for self-discovery and growth was also a recurring thread in her perspective on life. Tamara discovered she had never outgrown her talent to story-tell and depict the world with a quixotic view. Each of her pieces are personal tributes; stories about the people and situations she has encountered. These experiences are told in first-person filtering secrets she has discovered and cleverly hides in plain view.
In 2012 Tamara was commissioned to paint a 1500 square foot ceiling mural with an intriguing deadline. This partnership continued and led to many commissioned art pieces whereby deadlines, freedom to interpret and self-discovery of content and technique were encouraged and embraced by her patron. She was able to explode into a newfound ability to paint on short time restraints, to exceed expectations, and to retain her passion and sense of self. She would describe her patron’s role as a catalyst. He would continue to create a necessity for her to paint, creating deadlines; in short, a reason to “paint, paint and paint some more”.
In 2014 Tamara completed commissioned art works for the main lobby of the Dauphin Medical Clinic. She had a successful art show hosted at ‘1908’ in
Dauphin during that same year. She continued to grow in experience by donating her time to paint some art pieces with school-age children for the Dauphin School Age Daycare and St. Aidan’s Christian School in Winnipeg.
” To paint is to be vulnerable, to feel passion and to have confidence that what I feel and see can be ultimately shared in shape, color and light. By exploring different techniques and embracing the fortitude that I feel within, I am discovering a process that helps me to interpret and present my imagined world. For me, it’s all about the journey.”
Tamara Toews Yury