In the alleys and backyards of Edmonton’s Post-War Canadian neighborhoods, Alberta based artist Kari Duke captures a world infused with a sense of familiarity and comfort. Duke’s painterly canvases burst with warmth that generates a feeling of returning home, regardless of where that may be. At the same time she is surely documenting a slowly decaying sense of community, rapidly giving way to pristine landscaping behind the isolating walls of urban development.
Duke explores a landscape that is as familiar to people as their own backyards but is nonetheless surprising in its ability to show us the beauty of what we take for granted. In her work Duke’s nature and civilization exist in gentle opposition to one another, as our local communities give way to the inevitable change that takes place.
Getting her start as an amateur artist, Kari Duke did not begin painting professionally until she was already an adult. Since then she has become a long established landscapist in the Canadian Art scene, and is well known for her urban landscapes and mission to preserve the disappearing neighborhoods and charm of an earlier Edmonton, Alberta. The Canadian art icon’s work speaks not only to her hometown, but also to the experience that many people witness in the fast-moving modernization of cities across the world.