Last year at Art! Vancouver, among all the exhibitors and people who came to visit, there was an ongoing conversation about the sofa chairs. It was one of those things that at first makes you laugh, and then you get to sit in one and go “oh wow this is great…”
Old sofa chairs. Comfy, recycled, and for a good cause. Also spattered with every possible color of paint. These chairs became the advertisements we placed outside to entice wandering tourists into the gallery; those who had been otherwise unaware of Art! Vancouver. It was spontaneous, and delightful because we could get people to sit in them and try it out – be part of the art. And they were comfortable, and technicolor, and allowed to play. It immediately created a new dynamic of what it was to go to an art show. People who had no idea what they were going to stumble into that sunny day in Vancouver, followed a breadcrumb trail of painted sofas into an art show.
-Skyla Wayrynen’s idea.
Her work is playful and inviting. The sofa chair thing is not definitive of her style, but it certainly captures the spirit of what she is as an artist. She grew up, elbow deep in paint, and I reckon that there’s still a paint-covered kid in there somewhere. She still paints, lots, and with excitement and variety. Art is as much about fun as it is about life experience, and you can see that in what she does and how she lives. I’d call Sky a holistic artist. The fact that she also works in fitness, personal training, coaching, and holistic nutrition is entirely coincidental. Or perhaps not, perhaps one has bled into the other.
Thinking about art in this way, as an interconnection between a person and their skills and experiences, shows us that everything we do can be done artistically. Finding the joy in things takes artistry. Allowing the steps we take and the places we go to be invitations to other people is artistry. When Skyla travels, she paints about the places she goes. When she’s not painting, she’s painting her life with the colors she wants to see in it or working to provide others with the right palette to do this for themselves. Life has a different dynamic when you reimagine yourself as something to be spattered with paint, and it’s charming and thoughtful, and holistic.
Rainbow-spattered chairs. I’ll never forget them. I think they were all purchased last year, but if any make it back to Art! Vancouver again this year, that’s where I’ll be. May 25th-28th.