“A Day in the Life” with visual artist Cat Mudryk

Cat Mudryk has gone down many visual arts avenues. It began when she obtained a BFA in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta. Her penchant for the sculpture was evident almost immediately, even if she didn’t consciously know it at the time and her stage designs reflected a strong sculptural element. In 2003 she began working in the film industry and for a while balanced both film and theatre design, though after a few years shifted to work solely in film. Her current day job is as an on-set customer, which she claims sounds a lot more glamorous than it actually is. But inspiration can also come from many sources, and she’s been witness to a lot of sunrises and sunsets, seldom-seen locations, made actors’ clothing bloody, muddy, soggy, and snowy, stitched rips, ripped stitches, dressed A-listers, wannabes, kids and dogs – and has even had a few of them buy her art.

For years the primary focus of that art has been stone carving until the “opportunity” to sit at home for six months for the good of the community came about in March of 2020, and she used that time to try encaustic wax and photo transfer. At last her life-long obsession with photographing trees, rocks and textures found a purpose outside her own amusement and became the basis for this new work. Cat is always looking to learn new skills and avoid sitting in an office at all costs, so her work is sure to continue to evolve.

Cat Mudryk
Completed sculpture, “Alabaster”, Alabaster on Slate, 7.5” x 7” x 29
Cat Mudryk
Prepping boards for encaustic work in my studio, with another piece on the go nearby. Waiting for wax layers to set means I’m often working on multiple pieces at the same time, all at various stages
Cat Mudryk
Working on “Form One” in my studio
Work in progress on a sculpture, with sketches for the layout of the spiral shell ‘tail’
Sometimes you have to look down at work for inspiration, the texture at your toes can be amazing
Some tools of trade – I do all my carving by hand, with a mallet, chisels, some rasps and files, and sandpaper
Encaustic piece, “Smithers II”. I was in Smithers last November for work and was struck by the morning light on the trees rushing past us as we drove up a mountain road
Cat Mudryk
Detail of an encaustic piece, “Winter View, Northern Alberta”, based on my memories of the woods around where I grew up, as twilight settles in and the snow starts to fall

Which ’hood are you in?

My studio is in East Vancouver, at the corner of William St and Clark Dr. Formerly known as William Clark Studios, the building now goes by Eastside Atelier and houses about 40 other artists working in all manner of mediums. I’ve been here for over two and a half years.

What do you do?

With my sculptures, I carve in a variety of stones including alabasters, limestones and soapstones. My work is abstract in form and I’m interested in exploring negative space and building harmony between movement and stillness in the stone. As the completed sculpture presents itself for contemplation in its stilled state, it also represents motion, as it could not exist without all the moments needed in its creation.

Can the viewer see in it the memory of the making, the movement?

Further exploring themes on memory and how it relates to a specific time and place, I also work with encaustic wax and photo transfer, building up layers to create scenic landscapes, focusing on how memories converge and transpose, and bridging the gaps between the emotions of a place and its physical reality.

What are you currently working on?

I have multiple encaustic pieces in varying sizes on the go, trying to get ready for the upcoming Eastside Culture Crawl, and two 100 lbs pieces of Italian Alabaster that are just waiting for the table space to begin work on. I like being able to hop back and forth between the mediums and exercise different creative muscles, but my studio is small and I can’t work on both mediums at the same time – so, each in turn.

Where can we find your work?

On my website, on Instagram, and in person at my studio which is at 1310 William St, Studio 8A-2. My studio is open during the Eastside Culture Crawl in November, and often during First Saturdays as well.



About Demian Vernieri 508 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.