"So much of my creative practice is rooted around exploring urban environments - small spaces in big cities."
- Zandra Stratford
Zandra Stratford is a Canadian West Coast abstract painter known for bold, semiotic works. Her pieces lay a foundation of elemental earth tones; clay and cement greys and soil blacks, laying strata after strata of contrasting and ambitious colour as a counterpoint to industrial textures, and this overlaid with confident horizontal structures.
Preferring large canvases and panoramic birch panels, her work stands as an exploration of urban forms and our experience with the material of cities. Each interaction, point of surface contact or scuff, whether by design or by circumstance, is at once something removed, something revealed, and something left behind.
Stratford is an autodidact, briefly studied printmaking at the Victoria College of Art, after more than a decade’s experience as an advertising Art Director. This informs her work’s cadence, graphic sensibility and declarative confidence.
Her piece “Gorgeous Filth #01” (2017) was selected for the prestigious RoyalAcademy Summer Exhibition in London, the only Canadian to be selected for that show’s 249th year. Her proposal for a 40ft installation was recently 1 of 5 finalists for consideration by the Victoria International Airport.
Her studio, in former colonial capital of Victoria, British Columbia, off the coast of Vancouver, is filled with the debris of signal - swatches and typographical elements, vintage textbooks and advertisements, spray- bombs and stencils and the ghosts of what someone, at some point, was trying to convey, like decades-old stray radio signals bouncing off the ionosphere to be captured serendipitously by a car radio at night.