PROJECT

FEATURE ARTICLE

CARLA TAK

The View From Lookout Mountain

 

– ABOUT THE PROJECT

 Canadian abstract artist Carla Tak has extraordinary vision for seeing how paint, colour, line, form and (most key to the rest) emotion can all come together to create compelling works of art. In her series of prints called The View From Lookout Mountain, Tak is referencing a wild spirit but also presenting her own vision  of how she sees, and feels, her place in the order of things. Carla’s work is a web of intrigue that draws you in,

Tak’s intriguing collection of rough and raw monochromatic prints in Lookout Mountain are an epic journey into self exploration. The work is a window into Tak’s wondrous private world, an engrossing cosmology of shapes and markings and rhythmic passages that ripple and roam through each piece. The contrast between Tak’s rich black web of markings and the purity of the surrounding paper lends the images an air of zen spiritualism, as if a centering device to allow some deeper sense of presence. The series draws on Tak’s impressively coloured Mulholland canvases but the limited edition prints – purposefully stripped of colour – have a more intimate and meditative aspect. The work merits close attention and slow reading.

Barry Dumka 

EXCERPT

CARLA TAK

The View From Lookout Mountain

“Ask anyone where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you California. Ask anyone in California where the craziest people live and they’ll say Los Angeles. Ask anyone in Los Angeles where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you Hollywood. Ask anyone in Hollywood where the craziest people live and they’ll say Laurel Canyon. And ask anyone in Laurel Canyon where the craziest people live and they’ll say Lookout Mountain. So I bought a house on Lookout Mountain.”

  • Joni Mitchell

In 1969, Carla Tak, then 15, left Vancouver for Los Angeles, opting to live with a sculptor boyfriend 20 years her senior. The relationship, a tangle of precocious intelligence and competing wills, didn’t last. But Tak adopted LA and its 1970s-flavoured grit and glamour, its restless spirit, as her own. For the next 20 years plus, she lived in the city and while her art practice didn’t begin until she returned to Vancouver, LA got under her skin and stuck to her senses. Her memories of that period are a storehouse of her early psychological growth, the journey of self awareness that eventually led her to embrace abstract art as a tool for self reflection and personal growth.

 

For her new collection of limited edition prints titled The View From Lookout Mountain, Tak makes a deft metaphorical association to the geographical source of so much of the 1970s rebellious creative spirit. Joni Mitchell’s home on Lookout Mountain, and the whole of Laurel Canyon, was a creative arcadia of independent artists determined to break free of commercial expectations and tell a more personally expressive story. The art that emerged was strong-willed, moody and psychologically fraught. The thrilling emotional spirit of that place and period still resonates.

 

— (end of excerpt)

 

© Barry Dumka/BCREATIVE CONSULTING

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