Derek Gaw – Featured Artist


Derek Gaw is a new generation experimental artist living in Vancouver and exploring the intersection of technology and art installation. He proposed a unique art installation of a blow up bear made out of recycled plastic bags which will be on display, weather permitting, at the end of the alley between Harkness & Co. Butchers and Pizzeria Barbarella as part of the Broadway East Art Walk on Sep. 28th.


Burning ManHow would you describe your art?

DG- My art is interdisciplinary and experimental. I love working in different materials, across traditions, and in collaborations.

Where do you find inspiration?

DG- I draw inspiration from growing up playing video games, from going to Burning Man, and from walking around the city. I like to seek out immersive experiences, place myself in unconventional situations, and do unexpected things. I love moments that send shivers down my spine, and actively seek those out or try to recreate them.

TriforceHow did you begin your journey through the arts?

DG- I started my journey on the creative process on the computer. I found it to be a powerful tool for creativity; however, creating in a purely virtual manner felt incomplete, so I started learning how to make things using traditional processes and tools. Now, I find myself most interested in the intersection of the virtual and physical using computer-controlled tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.

The huntWhat is the story behind one of your pieces that you find particularly meaningful?

DG- I was reading an article on killer whales and the unexpected discovery of how they hunted dolphins. The place I was working at the time had an empty atrium space, so I created an installation spanning five floors where a pod of killer whales is hunting a pod of dolphins. The whales and dolphins were inflatable pool toys that contrasted the playful anthropomorphization of what are wild and unpredictable animals in reality. Coincidentally, in the gaming industry, the best patrons and customers are affectionately known as whales.

How would you describe your medium. What are its strengths and weaknesses?

DG- I’d have to settle on a medium before I could answer that.

Which mentor(s) do you admire the most and what have they taught you?

DG – Christopher Alexander for his work on Pattern Language; Edward Tufte for his visualizations; Maya Lin for her sculptural installations; John Maeda for his work at MIT Media Lab & RISD; George Hart and Buckminster Fuller for their love of geometry; and David Best for his sacred spaces.

LaserCutterCafe @ The Mini MakerFaire & Chinatown Night Market from Laser Cutter Cafe on Vimeo.

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