Picnic with Birthday Cake and Blue SkyEnlarge image

Picnic with Birthday Cake and Blue Sky, 1976

Gathie Falk
Canadian, 1928
glazed ceramic with acrylic and varnish in painted plywood case
63.6 x 63.4 x 59.7 cm
Purchased 1977
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18772)

Like the Dadaists and Surrealists before her, Falk makes the ordinary extraordinary. The artist bases her work on close observations of everyday life and objects. These observations are transformed into dreamlike scenes by her use of vibrant colours and lustrous glazed or textured surfaces. "Picnic with Birthday Cake and Blue Sky" is from a series of sculptures that were inspired by Falk’s performance piece from 1970 titled "Picnics", in which two people appear at different locations around Vancouver, bringing with them a roll of vinyl grass and a picnic basket. The pair performs the same ritual at each picnic, leaving an unexpected still life arrangement at each site. The impulse to depict fire in this manner came to Falk through a story recounting an accident where a birthday cake caught on fire, the candles burning down the cake in seconds.




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