Marita Michaelis is a young artist, worker and musician living on unceded Coast Salish territories. During her residency she created works relating to the issues that surround her, from the Vancouver housing crisis, gentrification and affordability to working against various systems of oppression. Her musings around capitalist appropriations and questions regarding the constitution of radical aesthetics have led her to experiment with feminization and cartoon line work of punk slogans, motifs and tropes, she considers the power of iconic characters and our personal connections to them.
Drawing on the work of her friends, community and the ideas circulating in her larger cultural sphere, Marita’s residency project could be considered somewhere between friendly fan-art, a conversational piece between peers, or as feminist propaganda. Wondering what our influences are in a time when images and artworks flood our online landscapes and confront the status of physical artifacts, she chose to focus her printing on paper and fabric. Through textile based pattern making and poster production. She chose surfaces such as articles of clothing and household tea-towels that could simultaneously exist as pragmatic objects and art.
Marita came to Malaspina Printmakers without any formal training or experience in fine art academia. Her opportunity as an artist in residence in light of this history raised questions surrounding the roles, statuses and voices of artists and the demographics they might represent and speak about. The scholarship residency was a time for her to reflect on the value of artistic production and the spaces that types of spaces that facilitate it such as artist-run centres.