The 2018 VIDF features photography by Louise Francis-Smith and Esther Rausenberg and paintings and prints by Richard Tetrault. All three artists have been living and working in Strathcona/Chinatown community for 35+ years and much of their work has been influenced by their immediate environment.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Louise Francis-Smith moved to Canada in the 70’s and made Strathcona her home. For over 30 years, she has had her heart opened by and lens focused on the people and architecture of the Downtown Eastside and Chinatown.
Louise Francis-Smith belongs to the decades old genre of street photography which reveals the human condition below the surface of things. Drawn to the juxtaposition of perceived beauty alongside the harsh reality of the often undervalued and the poor, this informs her work; the derelict and patina, old and new, ruin and renovation and the way these collide and merge in the heart and soul of the city.
Esther Rausenberg is a Vancouver photo-based artist whose work melds grittiness and realism with a poetic eye. Using cross-processed film, she often investigates the development of memory, history, and nature of a specific environment and/or locale.
Many of her themes delve into the layered, and shared histories of her native west-coast environment, and pose questions of place, presence and transience. Esther has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Croatia.
Richard Tetrault is a Canadian born artist based in Vancouver, Canada. His studio work including painting, mixed media work and relief prints, explore the shifting dynamics within the contemporary urban landscape. Tetrault’s works fuse his strong sense of form and gesture with a broad inquisitiveness into the physical properties of various media. He has been interpreting the city’s fast-changing Chinatown landscape for decades, and this recent series, including woodcuts, graphite drawings and acrylics, investigates the prevailing moods of this locale. His murals, paintings and prints are in public venues, museums, galleries, and private collections around the world.