CASI TANKO


  • Project 002

    Screen Shot from Video

  • Project 003


    Screen Shot from Video

The Light Reflects What Our Heart Holds

Oil painting of leaves, flowers, and crystals floating in a glowing spectral space. Soft amorphous colours blend together, brightly saturated, with a blanket of translucent light pink covering everything in a fine misty haze. At the centre is a 4-leaf clover, edged with luminous golden-orange, held within a glowing elliptic shape, a polished crystal. The clover's stem is serpentine in shape, and soft colourful gestures are reflected within and around it. Surrounding the clover are other crystals and botanical symbols that glow gradient spectral light, beginning with orange then eventually turning light aqua-blue. Tiny flecks of coloured light make their way outwards from the central crystal, dotting the canvas with a subtle starry pattern. The soft amorphous colours begin yellow at the centre, turning green then blue then indigo towards the outer edges of the canvas, following the natural order of a rainbow, with hints of orange and violet here and there. The organic symbols feel intentionally placed on the canvas, as if each stem, leaf, flower, and crystal suggests its very own purpose within the whole composition, drawing some kind of constellation around the central clover. Although the colours are vibrant, everything is soft, easy on the eyes, gentle and delicate in their given gestures.

Artist Bio

NAME: Casi Tankó

PREFERRED PRONOUNS: she/her

EMAIL: casi.tanko@gmail.com

HANDLE : www.casi-ta.com ~ @casi.ta on ig

I, casi tankó, recognize and observe the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation as the sovereign keepers of the lands and waters of the place I live, work from, and call home. The island called ‘Montréal’ is known as Tiohtià:ke in the language of the Kanien’kehá:ka, and was a gathering place for many First Nations including the Omàmiwininì, Algonquin people. I acknowledge that this island is unceded Indigenous land surrounded by unceded Indigenous water, and engage with the lands and waters with wholehearted respect for the stories they carry. I am incredibly thankful to be here, and encourage everyone to engage with the lands and waters with an informed approach, one of utmost respect and gratitude for them and their keepers.

casi tankó (she/her) is a Budapest-born Montréal-based Romanian-Canadian visual artist. Her practice is moved by magic realism, symbolism, nuance, flow, interconnection, energy, and contemplation, offering an aesthetic window into a spatial patterning of these. One could say her creative approach belongs to a world of visionary imagination and sibylline dream, weaving painterly spells of awestruck wonder in honour of light, the mysterious void, all that is celestial, as well as nature’s quintessential elements.



INTERVIEW:



ET: We're excited to have you here. To start off, we'd love to get to know you! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do!
CT: Thank you. I'm excited to be a part of this project's vision and dream team.

I'm casi tankó (she/her), a visual artist, a maker of drawings and paintings, a creator. Art has always been with me since childhood—drawing in bed before it was time for sleep was something I enjoyed, my nightly routine. Now at times I find myself enjoying the same, or journaling, stretching, making a pot of ginger tea, looking at the moon from my bedroom window. To me, these little moments spell out another work of art at hand. If art is life, then life is art—they go hand in hand. And so I often practice feeling into the outer edges of my subjective experiences, or simply observing what's there, and noticing how it all works upon my inner compass, and vice versa. It's a way of allowing the flow of life to flow through me. Maybe that's all we really have, to be moved by what moves us. I aim to bring this level of contemplation and consideration to my creative practice, be it my oil paintings, my daily rituals, my way of breathing. I like being an intentional person—it helps me create what I create, live the way I live, and understand the patterns belonging to interconnections between the two.

As of late, I am finding great healing in my art practice through the use of bright vivid colours and a healthy dose of whimsy. Grounding myself in experiences of joyousness is where my creations are taking me—naturally I follow their lead.



ET: When told about the theme for this exhibit, how did you begin the creative process?

CT: My creative process began by contemplating what calls to me as my magic item—after some consideration I landed upon the clear quartz crystal. I was drawn to quartz as it resonates deeply with my life's journey, the symbols I'm naturally drawn to, and my evergrowing interest in the magic of the spectrum. I love how the clear crystal brings to life the entire visible rainbow, and so I thought of making a piece illuminating the transformative quality of spectral energy. From there I got right to work, sketching a few ideas until I discovered a composition that struck a note with me (or perhaps the composition discovered me). Soon after I began the oil painting, building the vision of the artwork and its atmosphere layer by layer, until I was met with the final image.

I also wanted to highlight the importance of holding—what the act of holding does to open, activate, energize a being, space, body. A way of showing the ordinary become extraordinary through felt sensation and the sacred quality of intention. I believe we can hold with all of our senses, including our sight and at that our insight. With my final piece, I suggest to my audience the many notions of holding coexisting at once—the 4-leaf clover held by the quartz crystal; the quartz crystal held in space by the surrounding motifs of other crystals, leaves, and flowers; the entire composition held by the edges of the canvas; the artwork held in the virtual space that is Earth Tones Museum; and finally, the importance of all of art held within the hearts, bodies, souls, and minds of humankind.



ET: 3. Tell us your magic item.
CT: My magic item is the quartz crystal. It's a real crystal I have and cherish, that I have been holding, carrying, and using with significant focus and intention for most of this year. This year was a really special one for me—I saw the most rainbows in the sky I have ever in a single year, and found 17 magical clovers, fourteen 4-leafers and three 5-leaf ones, without much effort to it. One could say that the crystal, rainbows, and clovers found me. I wanted to create a piece in honour of such magic that begins as a planted seed and blooms all around, colouring everything with joyous, spirited light.

So that the quartz crystal may be held in space, as part of my consideration of the importance of holding, I cradle its being with the presence of other cherished objects / beings, ones that feel strongly connected to the magic of quartz. With these I create a constellation of a kind as a parallel to the composition of my painting. Part of this constellation is a moss agate crystal, a 4-leaf clover amulet I've had since childhood, a heart-shaped stone I found this year out on the borderlands, and a labradorite crystal.

ET: Who or what influences do you look to for inspiration?

CT: I am essentially influenced by botany, the cosmos, timeless symbols, and the natural world. I especially look to leaves, pressed flowers, stones, the sun and moon, Jupiter, abstract patterns, feelings, cherished friendships, the entire sky, earth-air-water-fire, what emotions certain colours evoke, clouds, transparencies, astrology, the glow of light, varying degrees of distance / closeness, shadows, and horizons.

ET: If you were a flavour of ice cream, what would it be and why?

CT: I enjoy classic ice cream flavours, especially gentle ones. I have a soft spot for cookie dough, it's a big favourite of mine—I think I'd be this flavour if I had to choose one.

ET: What are you reading right now?

CT: I'm cycling through a few books right now. Some titles are Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino, Planets in Transit: Life Cycles For Living by Robert Hand, and The Pocket Pema Chödrön.