Bev Pike is known for her monumentally-scaled, performative landform paintings. Painted with gouache on paper, Pike’s works stretch from floor to ceiling and are no less than eighteen feet in length, enveloping the viewer. Pike’s most recent series, Underground Living, depicts strange underground grottos and caves, lush with baroque detailing. Evocative titles like Cavernous Sun Parlour, Buried Dancing Pavilion, and Subterranean Day Spa suggest that these spaces comprise the leisure sites of a new underground civilization. They invite the viewer to psychically and performatively inhabit while imagining the circumstances that may necessitated a move underground. In neoclassical fashion, these science-fictional spaces reference architectural forms of the past, particularly English gardens, castles, and concert halls, but instead of soaring upward, evoke the interiority of the body.
Since graduating from the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, Winnipeg artist Bev Pike has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada. She has received senior arts grants from the Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Her work is in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Manitoba Arts Council Art Bank, Winnipeg Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery as well as artist-book collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Modern and special collections across North America and England.
Bev Pike, Buried Dancing Pavilion, 2015, gouache on paper. Photo: Robert Barrow, courtesy of the artist.