CONSPICUOUS COLLAPSE CityScape community artspace

Biliana Velkova, Erika Mashig and Sunshine Frère explore the idea of breakdown in their exhibition, Conspicuous Collapse. Instability, constant change, renewal and destruction are investigated through a range of media: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and video.

This exhibition was proposed in February of 2020, portending our knowledge that 2020 would be one of the most conspicuous years of our lifetime. COVID 19 has accelerated the themes behind the exhibition and has given us an urgency to explore and investigate further. All works included address destruction as a necessary part of creation and growth. As artists, we are drawn to the notion of resilience, which there cannot be without loss and change. Living in an era where instability feels like the new normal, we seek to find strategies for working with and within change, which is truly the only constant. As artists, we are interlocuters between systems and signifiers, and cycles of renewal as well as paths of destruction. This exhibition presents the notion that there is no such thing as finality, but there are most definitely, beautiful breakdowns.

Statement from the participating artists.


Biliana Velkova’s drawings delve into construction and deconstruction from the perspective of development within the city. Public spaces are constantly shifting because of the frenzied rate of change within the greater Vancouver District. Velkova’s work captures this change, provoking us to consider how the shifting city is continually replacing and rewriting our memories of public space. Velkova’s large-scale drawings are displayed alongside her series of oil paintings. The traditionally ‘slow and smooth’ nature of oil painting provides a contrast to the instantaneous, abrupt and all-encompassing, high-volume painted ‘public’ spaces represented in each large-scale drawing.

Biliana Velkova’s practice incorporates painting, photography and drawing to explore the significance of consumerist culture, diaspora and social identity. She has an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan and a BFA from Concordia University. When she immigrated to Canada from Bulgaria, Velkova was transplanted from a Communist upbringing directly into Western culture. This experience created a deep impression on Velkova, both personally and as an artist, and has provided her with a unique perception and fascination with consumerism, in both its superficial and its more ingrained, socio-cultural impacts.

Biliana Velkova, Pink Desert l (cropped), 2021, Oil Pastel and Watercolour on Arches Paper, 32" x 54", $5,000

Installation View: Biliana Velkova, Pink Desert III (left), Pink Desert II (right), 2021, Oil Pastel and Watercolour on Arches Paper, 32" x 54", $5,000 each
Biliana Velkova, Pink Desert II, 2021, Oil Pastel and Watercolour on Arches Paper, 32" x 54", $5,000
Biliana Velkova, Blue Desert III, 2021, Oil Pastel and Graphite on Paper, 14" x 18", $750
Biliana Velkova, Blue Desert I, 2021, Oil Pastel and Graphite on Paper, 18" x 14", $750
Biliana Velkova, Oil Desert 1-17, 2021, Oil on Linen Panel, 15" x 7" each, $200 each

Connect with more of Biliana's artwork:


Erika Mashig’s medium of linocut is naturally destructive. She creates reduction prints, cutting and taking away, before adding layers, shapes and colours to create an image. Build up and breakdown are integral to her dynamic process. Each stage of carving is slow and methodical, constantly diminishing until the image is complete and there is hardly a memory of what was there before. Her print series reveals not only the construction of an image, but, at the same time, the deconstruction of the medium.

My work is both representational and abstract, typically drawing on inspirations from landscape. Ranging from highly complex, rich in colour and energy, to bolder and simpler shapes, my prints start planned with intention and then become more free flowing as the image evolves.

I love the process of printmaking, for me it is almost like a ritual or mediation. Although each print is unique, the challenge in finding balance between control and serendipity is repeated. From start to finish, reduction printmaking is the build-up of marks to paper that gradually translate to an image. Each time I nervously pull a print off the press, I am reminded to accept the results and embrace the unexpected.

Erika Mashig is a landscape architect and printmaker based in Vancouver, Canada. Originally from New York, Erika received a Bachelor of Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and spent the following three years assisting in dendrochronological research at Columbia University. She immigrated to Vancouver to complete her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia, including a semester abroad at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

With her science, ecology and design background, Erika effectively and intuitively applies her understanding of process in printmaking. Her ability to coordinate and distill complex content, combined with her enthusiasm to create depth and meaning is evident in her creative works.

Erika Mashig, Lonely Thicket (detail), 2020, Linocut on paper, Edition of 2, 6" x 6", $150.00 (unframed) and $220.00 (framed)

Installation View: Erika Mashig, Various works, 2020, Linocut on paper, Edition of 2, 6" x 6", $150.00 (unframed) and $220.00 (framed) each
Erika Mashig, Domed Bog, 2020, Linocut on paper, Edition of 2, 6" x 6", $150.00 (unframed) and $220.00 (framed)
Erika Mashig, Little Africa, 2020, Linocut on paper, Edition of 2, 6" x 6", $150.00 (unframed) and $220.00 (framed)
Installation View: Erika Mashig, January Crawls, 2020, Linocut on paper, Edition of 2, 6" x 6", $150.00 (unframed) and $220.00 (framed) and linocuts NFS


Working in video and photography Sunshine Frère prompts a little anxiety in the viewer. In her stop-motion poetry, each word constantly forms then, just as quickly, it disintegrates. Becoming legible and illegible at different points makes the projected poem difficult to read in its entirety. Her poem serves as an abstract reflection on the chaotic year of disruption that the whole world has witnessed.

Painting, found objects, video, sound, photography and printmaking; what the project calls for, is what I work with. With significant aesthetic range in my work, each series dovetails into the next, interconnected via the continuous use of devices that expose, obscure and transform. Repetition and Difference are close friends of mine, we work and play together often.

The various intensities and complexities of how we receive and perceive information and the hyper-speed at which this information flows; this is where my current research focus lies. I find that this rapid rate of change amplifies our anxieties, further fracturing the fragile state of humanity today. Uncertainty overtook stability ages ago, crashing waves of noise constantly overwhelm us. We desperately cling to the business of busyness, acquiring more and more stuff, more apps and more selfies as life-preservers. All the while, not realizing that they form the riptide that drowns us.

I am worried about the impending, gigantic, networked and all-encompassing mushroom cloud cloaking the 21st century, it goes by the name of isolation. This time tomorrow.... where will WE be?

Sunshine Frère is an interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver. She has an MA in Interactive Media from Goldsmiths, and a BFA in Studio Arts and Electroacoustic studies from Concordia University.

Frère’s artistic practice is interactive, and her work has been exhibited in Canada, Europe and the UK. She is also a writer and, curator. Frère works within local, national and international art communities. In addition to her writing practice and experience giving lectures and presentations, she has programmed artist talks, collection visits and exhibition tours on behalf of many Vancouver based organizations and artists. She is currently the General Manager for Other Sights for Artists' Projects and was Curatorial Programmer with New Media Gallery from 2017-2019.

Sunshine Frère, War, Famine, Pestilence, Death: Star, Flower, Ribbon, Sash, 2019, Resin, Porcelain, Hot Glue, 9" x 6" x 6", $600

Sunshine Frère, conspicuous collapse, 2021, Digital Collage Archival Print, Edition of , 7" x 49", $1,200
Installation View: Sunshine Frère, last (left), remaining (middle) bits (right), 2021, Digital Collage Archival Prin,
Sunshine Frère, last, 2021, Digital Collage Archival Print, Edition of 3, 10" x 14.5", $1,000
Sunshine Frère, Thirsty Hedonist, 2020, Animated Digital Collage Poem, Edition of 3, $3,500

Connect with more of Sunshine's artwork:

For sales enquiries or more information please contact Leigh-Anne, Exhibitions Manager at leighanne(at)northvanarts.ca

To learn more about North Van Arts and CityScape Community ArtSpace please follow the links below:

About North Van Arts

North Van Arts, founded in 1969 as The North Vancouver Community Arts Council, is a grassroots, social-profit, charitable, cultural organization dedicated to maximizing the arts' intrinsic value in all media. Our mandate is to enable emerging and professional artists in all disciplines, to bridge cultures, and to build strong and healthy communities through the arts