Painter and sculptor Gathie Falk is busy in her studio creating a new piece – a papier-mâché bridal veil held up by two rocks at the bottom. Like many of her works, it is an everyday object that, through her witty treatment, is transformed into something extraordinary.
At 83, Gathie, who is considered one of BC’s leading artists, still spends a good part of her day creating the visually stunning, surrealist artwork for which she is known: a cabinet of red boots, a birthday cake in flames, body-less dresses that balance delicately on their hems.
Gathie finds inspiration for her art all around her. “The idea for a piece can just burst out in my brain, as a thing, or it can be a tiny burst and it grows,” she says. She works at a single piece at a time, often for months, until it is finished.
Her art may be her passion, but Gathie also takes pleasure in everyday life, just like anyone else. Time with family and friends, church, her reading and singing groups, letter-writing, daily walks around her East Vancouver neighbourhood. And in the evening, a bit of television – for the most part, tuned to Knowledge Network.
Gathie, who has been a Knowledge Partner for many years, really enjoys the programming on Knowledge – both the quality and the fact that you can’t get it anywhere else. She adds: “Knowledge Network helps people increase their awareness of what’s happened in the past, and what’s happening now. It’s for entertainment, for acquiring knowledge, and for pure enjoyment as well.”
Among her favourite programs are history series such as A History of Britain and When the Moors Ruled in Europe, classical music concerts, British dramas and mysteries, and of course, programs that focus on the arts. Gathie herself was one of the BC artists profiled in the Knowledge documentary A Window Looking In.
Gathie sums up the importance of Knowledge this way: “The people who love hockey, get it covered very well. The people who love popular music, get it covered very well. But the people who love classical music, they get a teeny little bit now and then. We need something for those people who don’t like the standard fare on television and radio. And I think Knowledge Network does it extremely well.”