'Eat Your Veggies' explores the natural world at Studio 126

“Vegetables spark discussion, whether it's a fight to get your child to eat her greens or a comment on the beauty or origin of the roots and leaves we eat.” Photo Titled: Artichoke Portrait 9 by Helena McMurdo.

Currently on display at Studio 126 in Vancouver’s Chinatown is a group exhibition exploring the world of vegetables in a variety of mediums; photography, watercolour, textiles, poetry, illustrations, and installations to name a few.

Perhaps an unconventional theme, yet it fits perfectly in the family run studio, operated by Ryan Quirico and Anna-Karolina Szul, who’s primary function to “make real furniture, for real people living real lives.”

When the studio is not open for regular business as a furniture retailer it hosts workshops in fibre art and other art related mediums, typically linked to the current exhibition on display.

Their studio space and furniture is inspired by the wilderness of British Columbia: functional art from them most basic elements – wood and steel.

There is an overwhelming calmness in the physical space - even on a packed opening night – which breeds creativity and undoubtedly why it attracts the caliber of artists choosing to exhibit and workshop their mediums in the space.

Storytelling is at the heart of their current exhibition: Eat Your Veggies. Each artist has an interpretation accompanying their work elaborating on their relationship with vegetables.

And like Goldilocks finding that perfect bowl of porridge, each write-up encapsulates both the eccentricity of the subject matter and how it relates to the outside world while still playing with the whimsical theme.

“The artichoke portraits exalt the beauty of this product of the natural world. Vegetables are prized not only for their nutrition but also for their beauty, which is reflected in the heroic composition. The dark tones and moody sensuality celebrate the mystery of this spiny vegetable as it reveals its soft interior,” said photographer Helena McMurdo.

Studio 126 has an unfiltered voice in a sea of white cube galleries, and provides a refreshing take on often overlooked elements to our daily lives. There is beauty in the mundane and humour in everything.

The next event at the studio is a Natural Dye workshop with Serah Hedin, where you can learn the basics of natural dyeing. You will discover commonly used dye plants and vegetables that are easily found at the grocery store or in your own kitchen.

Along with an instructional booklet, you will take home a naturally dyed cotton napkin, some merino yarn, and a sampler kit. The sampler kit includes everything you need to experiment further with natural dyeing at home.

Natural dyeing with plants by Sarah Hedin

Eat Your Veggies exhibit is on display until May 22nd. Visit Studio126 for more details on opening hours and other workshops available to the public.

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