Kelsie Grazier is a contemporary visual artist based in Ladner, British Columbia. She explores the concept of identity and self through her paintings. Kelsie works primarily with the traditional medium of oil paint on translucent mylar paper. Her art is created through an intuitive process that blends painterly aspects with fluid lines. She studied painting at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She went on to receive her teaching degree in Secondary Art Education and her Masters in Deaf Education at the University of British Columbia. Kelsie was born with a mild-moderate hearing loss but suddenly became deaf at the age of twenty four. Currently, her paintings depict her life experiences becoming Deaf.
My work comes from my need to simplify and investigate my recent sudden deafness. Along with being deaf, I experience a particular sound every day in the form of tinnitus; a persistent, loud and unrelenting radio static. The paintings I create are the opposite of the feelings that tinnitus evokes, a contrast of beautiful and displeasing.
I simplify movement: a gesture across the paper, my experience being deaf, and my relationship to sound. I manipulate the paint, both adding and omitting translucent brushstrokes complimented by drawn elements on layers of Mylar, a thin polyester film substrate. The resulting paintings are calm, with muted colours and minimal lines. Repetitive fine white lines demonstrate sound waves or lack thereof. Titles like you don’t look deaf give light to different situations that a deaf person encounters throughout their experience of navigating a hearing world.
My search for simplification draws inspiration from history, consciously and unconsciously. I am inspired by the Bauhaus movement- an institution of thought influential to modernist design. Departing from rigidity, the designs are fairly minimalist; fluid shapes with clean simple lines are used across the substrate. From these philosophies, my process intends to blend soft painterly aspects with the structure of line making. Movement, colour, and visual space create a vocabulary of marks. In a search for essential forms, I analyze the realities of being a deaf person in a world that is indeed not visual, but aural.
2017- PIENAARxGRAZIER, Vancouver
2012- Emily Carr Graduation Exhibition, Vancouver
2010- Langara Graduation Exhibition, Vancouver
2010- Bust Art Social Auction, Vancouver
2009- Langara Buffalo Lounge Student Collective, Vancouver
2006- Linda Jones Student Collective, Ladner