Where we work is as important as how we work. This year has certainly shaken things up for everyone. As we continue to evolve as a business, we have taken that perspective as an opportunity to reimagine a beautiful space for our clients when we re-enter the workplace full-time. In one short month, we will be unveiling our brand new HQ office space on the 7th and 8th floors of our building, Cathedral Place, in downtown Vancouver and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you!
This project has been a labour of love for our team – full of thoughtful extras and mindfully chosen elements aimed to create a well-crafted space for all of our litigation proceedings and client services. Not only is the new office decked out with leading edge technology in every boardroom, we have also given profound consideration to our design choices. We are building a place that is more than just walls and boardrooms and we are cultivating as much dimension in the space as we do with our carefully selected team and with our excellent services.
As you step off the elevator you will be greeted by a striking mural, created by our artist-in-residence, Shari Pratt. Shari has been commissioned to create unique art for each of our boardrooms and common areas to aid in designing a warm, welcome, stylish space that will be full of colour and life – just like us.
Here is a conversation that our Business Development Coordinator Kiran Deol had with Shari about her art, her approach to this project and the work you will find when you visit us after April 1st.
We see you find a lot of inspiration from your surroundings. What inspires your art the most?
Anything old, decaying, chipping, cracking — my travel photos are full of these types of images that I use to inspire texture in my art. There is a quote I like to refer to often:
“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
This makes me consider that anything can be manipulated or can undergo change and come out the other side with great beauty, curiosity and wonder.
What makes the work you have created for Reportex unique from the other work you have done?
My current art practice identifies the relationship between art and my environment. Growing up in the Lower Mainland, I spent hours discovering the uniqueness of the BC forests, creeks, rivers and inlets. I found comfort spending most of my days outside in the wet climate collecting rocks from any shore I visited. In my current series for Reportex I have collected sands from the beaches of British Columbia: Crescent Beach in White Rock, Britannia Beach in Squamish and Chesterman Beach in Tofino are just a few of the beaches I use minerals from in my work. My process is to grind the sands into a fine powder and disperse the pigment into an acrylic binder. I use this paint to create the neutral colours for my paintings. Each piece incorporates a circular form symbolizing the rocks found along the shores. Rocks represent the steadiness, permanence and strength found in the people we surround ourselves with.
Other than creating your unique pieces, you also teach via in-person and online workshops. What is your best advice for any rookie artists out there?
Don’t sit around and question everything you do. Just get into the studio and create daily. Great ideas come from doing the work, not from waiting for inspiration to strike.
What is your most memorable work you have done as an artist?
Many of the series I paint become the catalyst for the succeeding series. I often write an artist statement for the subsequent series as I am creating the current one.
My most memorable work was a series called Lost and Found, inspired by the notion that companionship and a sense of belonging are vital to human happiness. In these paintings I addressed themes of aloneness and finding meaning and truth beneath the surface. I believe that what lies beneath the surface of the canvas is often the true story of self. My work explored the nature of my personal life within the context of my exposure to photos, material items and the architectural heritage of the early 1900s. I began by building up the surface of the canvas with a portrait; then I found objects and peeled back the layers through physical deconstruction by sanding, carving and detaching.
Your new studio is located at Reportex and overlooks the Vancouver Art Gallery. What are you most excited about with your new space?
In 1793 the Louvre Museum opened its doors to the public, and days were set aside for artists to study and learn the methods of the masters. Artists such as Degas, Picasso and Singer Sargent found inspiration by emulating the works of others to improve and discover new ways to approach their work. For me, being able to see the Vancouver Art Gallery from my studio at Reportex will be incredibly inspirational and hopefully provoke some exciting transformative concepts.