Carollyne Yardley

Yardley combines realism and surrealism in her signature “Squirrealism” style.

Flower Beard

The Dove Keeper

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse

Cupid and the Inner Psyche

Guerrilla Squirrel


Carollyne Yardley is an accomplished Victoria artist who has established herself in the art world through her incredible talent for realism. An alumni of the University of Victoria, Yardley has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a Double Major in Art History and Psychology. She has also attended the Ryder Studio School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Yardley is an accomplished scholar with hopes of pursuing further education through a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. Prior to her artistic career Yardley spent years as a Creative Director in the tech-industry where she co-founded the company Star Global Advanced IT Corp. Ltd (1997-2010) before deciding to return to her passion in painting. Yardley combines realism and surrealism in her signature style “Squirrealism.” She draws her inspiration from the inner psyche, French academic painting, and from personal experience. Yardley often uses the mask as a depiction of ambiguity in identity. Yardley has showcased her work at numerous art galleries across BC’s lower mainland. She works closely with other Victoria-area artists while creating a distinct style of her own and a name for herself. Her most recent collaboration was a project with Rande Cook at the Alcheringa Gallery, another show upcoming. Yardley has had many independent shows at galleries including Open Space Arts Society, The Massey Gallery (AGGV), Fazakas Gallery and Winchester Galleries. Her work will be shown by Fazakas Gallery at Art Toronto 2016. 

Selected Excerpts

Yardley on her Pop Surrealism meets Free Modernist movement style and her signature “Squirrealism”

by Carollyne Yardley

Yardley on pop culture and icons reinterpreted and weaved throughout her art as a recurring theme

by Carollyne Yardley

Yardley on creating through all mediums while always following her passion

by Carollyne Yardley

In Conversation with Carollyne Yardley

Full Interview Transcription

Edited and transcribed by Morgan Cosman in consultation with Carollyne Yardley.

Text in square brackets indicates additions or subtractions from original interview as recorded in the audio file above.

Morgan Cosman (MC): So, I’ve got some specific questions but could start out with something more general. Tell me a bit about your background and how it fed into Alien-Nation. Did you move around a lot growing up? Or is that feeling just part of the human experience that you’re trying to tap into?

Carollyne Yardley (CY): I’d say it’s more the human experience. Yeah, it’s more psychological. I think a lot of the work that I do from my background. How does it feed into that I guess? I did a psychology degree, so part of it was thinking about art in terms of more philosophy and psychology. My background started in tech and the role that I did at Star Global. I was a co-owner and a pioneer in the tech industry and created a tech company. We did web development and web applications. However, when people came to us to do front end work, which is what you would see, which is websites people were always wanting, how are you going to be represented? So part of what I mentioned before, we would do a joint design session and it would help get inside their minds of how they wanted their company represented and how they wanted to be perceived by potential clients or existing clients. When you’re starting to think about how somebody is perceived that really comes down to colours, hair, right? And people make perceptions… make their assumptions of what a either a company or a person is going to be based on the brand. The Alien-Nation part came into it when I was having the transition from being in the tech world.  I was really well known, people knew who I was. Then all of a sudden I was a novice in art and I didn’t know anybody. None of the people were the same. There was no real overlap between the tech community here in Victoria and the art community at the time, it was like starting fresh. So people were like, “Who are you? Where did you come from?” Well, I was in tech. And what are you doing? So there was a really big learning curve. It was an alien world to me. I think partly that was from the early days. It came from that, the big transition was a big life change for me. Like I say, going from being an expert at something to a complete novice and not even having read an art book for you know for 15 years! Yeah, that’s where I would say it came from.

MC: You spent a lot of crucial years here in Victoria. You got your BA at UVic [The University of Victoria], time spent in university is really impactful, so why did you choose Victoria as the city to pursue your artistic career?   

CY: When I first went to UVic it was 1989, so it was the M Huts and the visual arts program wasn’t even on campus! It was across ring road! I was a fairly young, I was 17 when I went to UVic and I think I would consider myself to be a fairly young 17 year old. I would say I was fairly nervous. I hadn’t traveled very extensively. My parents didn’t take us traveling. I hadn’t really been on an airplane at that point in time so I had a really small world here. I was waitressing to put myself through school so it was a cost efficient method. Back in 1989 it was before Telereg, so it wasn’t automatic. You had to actually be here to register and you had to go up there and you had to stand in line. My dad actually did it for me because I think I was waitressing that day. So that’s why I was here. It was really just a happenstance of the environment I’d grown up in. Economics and ease of being able to just go drive up the street to UVic. I was 5 or 8 minutes away from school so I could get up literally 15 minutes before! And because the web hadn’t been… Tim Berners Lee invented the web in 1989 ’90 rolled out. There wasn’t really unless you mailed away or you… my parents took me to Emily Carr, it just seemed so far away at the time, for me at that age and who I was. That’s really why UVic was the place that I went to school. I could waitress here, I could live at home with my mom and dad in the garage, and I could waitress to pay for it. It was default I guess. 

MC: You mentioned visual cues in recognizing people and finding your own identity. Have you ever considered fashion or other mediums? What made painting your primary?

CY: Like I say, going in the way back machine, when I graduated from school a lot of my girlfriends who are now lawyers and doctors and things like that thought, “Oh, that’s really cute you’re going to be in visual arts when you’re grown up?” When I was in second year visual arts. So I changed faculties. Went into psychology for four years and thought, “What if I got back into art?,” so I went and did  the double major with art history. At that point in time I got lost down technology because I got on a team putting BC Heritage online. Started the company and then, boom! I was off! So when I’m talking about what I do now it was really only five years ago. When I made the career change my business partner wanted to not be so wrapped up with staff and human resources. He’s a programmer and a hacker and he was also becoming a business owner. He wanted to get back to what he loved. When I looked at what I was going to do in Victoria -because my husband is here and I wasn’t moving at that stage- I wrote down all the things that I really liked. All the things I loved were fashion and pop culture. So I had a novel of all the things I liked and cared about! I loved thrills and I loved the detailing in clothing and patterns. By convenience again, seems I do a lot of things by convenience [laughter]. I had a downtown office but it didn’t have an arts studio. It was easy for me to go back to the materials to paint because you could have a smaller area and you can be in a more confined space. Rather than if you go into sculpture, you really need a little more of a workstation. Be a little more messy. For clothing I didn’t pull the sewing machine out. It was really easy to be able to translate my idea into painting. I actually took some evening courses, so while I was still working and operating Star Global I took some classes at the Bank Street School College [Victoria College of Art]. Started exploring colours and going back to the colour wheel again… I guess that would have been in 2008…2007? [That] was just the first thing I thought of was go take a painting class. That was just natural. I really loved how people put paintings together. 

MC: “The changing entity within and repetition to find renewal” [from Carollyne’s blog] so each squirrel is a different side of you then? Is it a genre you’ll always pursue or using it as a catapult into a new norm?

CY: I think the squirrels happened organically. Initially, I was really attracted to Pop-Surrealism, because of course you have to remember I was coming out of the tech, so it was initial exploring. I really liked the pre-modernist style of painting, kind of like a French Academy style of painting. A lot of it came out of the ’70s Pop-Surrealism. Pop-Surrealism started it, so I wasn’t the only person putting animal heads on a lot of costumed human beings! It’s been around for a while. We just happened to have squirrels in the yard.  I was really fascinated with how quickly you could build a brand and be recognized for something. How do you do that? You do that by using a repeating image over and over and over again. So really, it was an exercise in repeating image. Like you said earlier on, when you see a squirrel cross the road you see them dressed up. All these people online are constantly sending me squirrel imagery or memes over and over and over again. So it’s in people’s minds! It’s in people’s heads! So I feel like, “Okay, I’ve done it! I’ve reached that place where people see one thing, a squirrel, and they immediately think of my art!” So it was really a brand exercise in many ways. And will I go onto other things? I think for sure Squirrealism will always have its place and I’ll always knock out a squirrel somewhere but definitely my taste has changed. I’m really really attracted to abstract art now and enjoying the thick painting style. Frank Auerbach, saw his work in London just last fall so I find myself more attracted to that. It’s going to interesting to see what happens.

MC: Squirrealism is interesting in that you’re taking interpretation from old portraits and turning it upside-down into this very modern artwork. What is your thought process in the creation of this self-invented genre?

CY: Well, I don’t know if I invented the genre but I’ve definitely added to the dialogue. Like Travis Louis. So there’s a gallery down in Seattle which is the closest one here to Victoria, it’s called Roq La Rue and they host painters who are also taking inspiration from of old paintings or photographs, and then they’re putting animal heads on or they’re doing different kinds of variations. Each person, because your painting style is unique to you, I’d say that’s what’s making my painting style unique to me. A lot of them are taking things from pop culture so that’s got its own wry sense of humour. And taking from things we recognize from childhood, nostalgia and things like that. I would say as I’m going along I’m finding my own voice where as I’m using secrets and I’m using a lot of mask works of mine going into more a focus of the celebrity of being anonymous. It’s taking the pop culture, which is the Mickey Mouse hat. It’s taking the Occupy mask, or the Guy Fawkes mask seen in the Occupy Movement, and it’s taking the Escada jacket, which is all fancy with stars and everything like that. I’m kind of marrying that together because it’s a juxtaposition of two complete opposites. The high fashion, and the protest movement. But also, it’s talking about how there’s a lot of things that we don’t know. There’s a lot of the unseen. Let’s say the tech community there’s a lot of people like the hacktivist group Anonymous who are doing a lot of work behind the scenes. You never know who they are. I’m finding my voice in those kind of topics. And again, the horse head which in Japan is a symbol of anonymity and the squirrel itself is a sign of anonymity. It came from the Hanna Barbera cartoon, Secret Squirrel, one of the characters. It was a parody of the spy genre and one of the characters in it was a spy. So the squirrel mask itself actually came out of that. The secrets of the squirrel mask. That was the original purpose of the squirrel mask, the secrets that we keep. A lot of it is when you meet people as well. We first met but all we have to work with when we’re making our categories we put people in is hair or clothing. You make these associations and assumptions based on all the things you’ve learned, but that doesn’t really necessarily mean you’ve met the real person. So there’s a mask that we all wear. It can take many many years to find out who people really are and in some cases you never find out. So that’s kind of the psychology part and the Alien-Nation going back to your first question.

Skinner’s Horse

MC: When you approached Squirrealism did you have a goal in mind?

CY: Well no, it happened really organically. Outside of the wanting to be the brand, getting the branding done the actual term “Squirrealism” came from people asking me, “What do you call it?” I think it was Ellen Manning from the Apartment Gallery. She said it was Squirrelism and I’m like, “No, it’s SQUIRREALISM!” so that was 2012. I’d been painting the squirrels I guess the first painting I ever did with a squirrel is right there The Lady, The Princess and The Squirrel [Shakey and the Princess] I always forget the name of it. It was my remastering the masters! That’s of a Raphael painting which of course does not look anything like a Raphael painting [Laughter]. But I was teaching myself to paint at the time and so the first squirrel I put in was 2009, I think that painting was. And it’s a real squirrel! He’s got his tail and everything, then the whole Pop-Surrealism thing because you put the animal head on, so that’s how it morphed. So I would say to get the brand part was very driven of, “How do I do that? How do I get that repeating image?” But the term itself, “Squirrealism,” came organically after many people asking me about what I’d call it. So that was a bit of a community minded sort of evolution.

MC: Would you say that your work’s more aesthetic or political? It’s going to be both but where does your creative process kind of begin?

CY: Most recently? Its changed over time. Right, so some of the pieces that I did like Cupid and Psyche, that was very psychologically based. The Dove Keeper came from a dream I had where I dreamt of this woman. It was on the opening night of Never Dine Alone. That night I went asleep and I dreamt of this woman standing with long blue wings in a giant nest. And it was so vivid. And she was just kind of standing like this [demonstrates] so I guess that would be coming from dreams, your subconscious. So some of my paintings came from my subconscious. That Red Hat Squirrel, came when my grandmother came to me in a dream in that hat. She would be from the ’20s era, and the ’50s fashion-wise. She came to me in a dream and she actually had a squirrel face!  That was the weirdest thing about it, she had her necklace on and everything and I thought, “Oh my gosh!” So the Avenue Squirrels I call them, the Green Bun and Red Hat and Mushroom Hat, they were all partly inspired by my grandmothers fashion. That dream she came to me then I took off and did about five or six paintings! They were really more fashion based than The Dove Keeper and The Cupid in Psyche, those were dream-based. Cupid and Psyche came from our passions, going after them and being really focused about it. Then I was invited to do the show about diversity and feminism in Vancouver. I did those particular paintings which are The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse. The Geurilla-Squirrelwhich is inspired by the Geurilla Girls and Pussy Galore. Maura Reilly she’s a feminist writer and Linda Nochlin the writer who writes a lot of feminist dialogue in the arts talking about why there’ve been no great women painters. She wrote that essay in 1971. What If You Couldn’t Because You’re a Girl? is inspired by that piece. So those pieces are very specific to that show and very much related to more feminist politics and talking about gender. And then the most recent painting that I’m working on its in the concept development phase right now. I do a lot of research on a topic and I find current events or current articles to reference the work. Then I take from that the imagery that is derived from some of the articles or the topics. Then I go down another rabbit hole – not to use a pun a rodent pun- I go into another investigation of reading and research so that’s the variety of how I approach the work. Definitely a lot of up front research into the imagery and the symbolism behind the imagery before I even start drafting what something is going to look like.

Cupid and the Inner Psyche

MC: Which artist do you think that you’ve been most affected by? Or inspired you in your own artistic pursuit? The Banksy and Anna Banana squirrel come to mind. You said you were influenced by Thomas and Kusama? Very contemporary influences you’ve had.

CY: It’s an eclectic group of influence. So the Banksy painting was part of another set. They were Yayoi Kusama Squirrel, which is in the hall, Banksy Squirrel and Murakami Squirrel. Those three came out of very specifically talking about brand recognition. So all three of those artists used repeating imagery over and over and over again. Yayoi Kusama uses polkadots over and over and over again for the last about forty years. Banksy, he uses a repetitive, maybe not the same, image. You’ve seen the balloon of hope used a lot, but you recognize his piece outside. He does big rat I think as well, but the cheekiness and the commentary is his repetition. The [Takashi] Murakami does the big happy face flowers. A lot of his and Yayoi Kusama’s imagery has been on Louis Vuitton bags. Its gone to that level of commercialism and gain through fashion and things like that. I was really fascinated how. They’re also into fabrication. Same with Banksy. So they’re not doing a lot of their own work in many cases, they’re out sourcing it to fabricator and they’re getting made on a much higher level. Murakami has about 130 staff in about two different warehouses that are making his work, so it was also a statement about that and about the repeating image of the brand. Banksy himself has now got a crew that’s working on his pieces. When we were in London there was an area that was a huge city block that was cornered off, so he’s also got some kind of licensing with the city. It’s not just street art that’s done in his bandit style in my opinion. I was kind of fascinated again by the anonymity of Banksy. He’s working under an anonymous pseudonym nobody knows who he is so that tied into it so that’s how I was influenced by him, the curiosity of how you become the celebrity behind your anonymity, and I find that really fascinating as well. I was thinking there was a combination effect of why I was influenced by him. Anna Banana, it was a curated show here by Michelle Jacques at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and she is a correspondence artist, so Mail Art, and a lot of work was done down in San Francisco. Her performance, and of course the mail, goes all over the world. What I loved about that show. There was also a concurrent show at Open Space, at Open Space like how people send me squirrels. I have so many squirrel gifts and I’ve started documenting them in a database and so they’re gifts that are given to me sometimes I purchase them and that mask is a squirrel mask by Rande Cook so I have a lot of it’s all boxed up right now because I’m going through the whole process of photographing them and accessioning them, then putting them into a database. I’ll show you the box before you leave. Anna Banana, like the whole thing at Open Space. Did you go? You saw all of the Anna Banana paraphernalia. Holy cow! Right ? Well that’s what forty years of getting gifted bananas looks like! [Laughter] Back, I think it was two years ago, I started accessioning them. Then I got distracted and when I saw it I thought, “Okay, I’ve got to get back to documenting this stuff again!” Because what if forty years from now I have this much stuff and I want to do something similar to what she’s done? Give it all away and you’ve got to fill out all the forms. So did you get your three piece of Anna Banana pieces? Because at Open Space you’re allowed to choose your three pieces and take them. So you got your pieces? The pieces I got were the banana-glasses and this giant banana, he’s made out of porcelain. I don’t even know what he’s for.  I think he’s just for looking at. And I got a shirt. And so I thought I’ve been influenced by this because it really stuck in my mind so it’s a little bit of fun as well, just to marry the banana-ology which she’s branded and known for her banana and then take the Squirrealism, which is kind of a branded thing, and just… some point in time I was just influenced by that. I was just really marrying the ideas. I did that with the Yayoi Kusama and the Murakami . The branding they’ve done through repetitive imagery. It was just the marrying of two people who’d done repetitive imagery in a painting.

MC: What’s your experience been within the Victoria artistic community versus the rest of the world? You spent some time in the states and all that, how do they compare?

CY: Well, here it’s a really nice group of artists who are working all different kinds of mediums. I would say Efren Quiroz, he operates Exhibit V[ic], goes to all the different art shows and video tapes them all. He’s been diligent at it since October 2010 and it’s all for his blog channel so you can see every art show that’s ever existed in Victoria he’s been to. I’ve only been doing art since 2010 full time. So my experience in the art community really kind of paralleled his videotaping. He has since been curating shows, bringing all these artists together in collaboration projects. There was Differences and Repetition where we were riffing off of a Gerard Richter painting. There was The #selfie [art] show he did at Martin Batchelor. Then there was the one at the Side Room Gallery with Wendy Welsh and two artists had to work on the same painting. My experience here is really community based. It’s a pretty tight community and I know that there are artists outside of this particular grouping. I would say there is about fifty or sixty artists in this particular group that been brought together by Efren. Then of course tons of other groups out there. I’m sure that at the University of Victoria students had a group there, I don’t know I’m a little bit outside of that. I’m sure there is a whole host of other painters or artists in fabrication and sculpture and pottery and what not. I’d say these are primarily painters, this particular group that I’m talking about. For me it’s been really welcoming and really fantastic. So comparatively speaking to the rest of my experience out there in the world I would compare it to, let’s say, the art fairs and the traveling that I do to have a look at all the museum collections in Washington and New York and Seattle and London and Amsterdam and Paris and all that kind of stuff. All I can do is I can compare it to that. I would say most recently the art fairs, so the London Freize and the Freize Masters compared to the Seattle Art Fair and Toronto last year so that would be 2015 Art Toronto. London, The Freize everybody there. It’s on a big scale people are doing fabrication and really a lot of conceptual ideas and translating those into objects and materials. It’s a very academic based, a lot of people… it’s just big and huge, huge, huge pieces. The one that comes to mind, and the artist has completely slipped my mind [Yngve Holen], but a whole lot of washing machines that are all side by side with giant models of airplanes with dripping plastic on top and it’s a feast for the eyes. Then Art Toronto we’re back to paintings again. So, much smaller scale, pieces that are way less money to collect too if you’re looking at it from that perspective, from a commercial perspective. And then again back to more painting so, the pieces are being collected by the National Gallery or the Four Banks verses London you’re looking at if you’re storing that from a institution perspective you have to have such a vast amount of space to be collecting the pieces that are being done over there and the London Freeze that had representation from Berlin and from Asia. It’s much more of Europe and that side of the world, where as Art Toronto did have galleries from London and whatnot. Then Art Seattle was a combination of the two, that’s in the States. So here, I see a lot more paintings. Much smaller scale. And then my experience out there, to compare it to the rest of the world, is really big installations and fabrication and often artists who aren’t actually making their own work. They’re outsourcing it to factories or other fabricators.

MC: Have you ever dealt with any backlash or conflicts being a woman in the art world? Are you very conflicted by gender-based segregation?

CY: I personally haven’t but I’ve only been on the ground now for five years. My experience with anything that would have to do with being gender-based would have been in the tech industry. I guess were not really talking about my time of in tech, that would have been early days, 1997 when there weren’t really a lot of women in tech in Victoria. I could tell you a few stories about that, but they are few and far between. Now 2016 and I’ve only been at it for five years. For me? No. I haven’t experienced that yet, and I’m not sure when and if I will. I would say the segregation, what I’ve experienced, more so than gender-based would be MFA based. I’m a painter, so I would say their more segregation that I currently don’t have an MFA. And I’m a little bit older, so that means that I’m excluded from the RBC painting competition and the Sobey Awards because you have to be under thirty-five for that and under forty for the Sobey Award. So I would say maybe a tiny little bit in that direction, and also being a painter. A lot more of the academic world I think.. and the kind of painter I am because I’m more in the realism, so I’m not in the modernist sort of abstract. So I would say more based on that. Then my potential thoughts to that are that I need to expand. Actually, I’m looking at doing an MFA and I’m exploring that. Looking at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, they do a low-residency program there. so that where more of my thoughts go to being included in that particular academy, the academic realm more than anything else.

MC: Do you find your work to be identifiably feminine?

CY: I don’t know. I don’t think I thought about it before until the question came up so I guess I actually I have a question back, what that means. [Laughter]

MC: How do you perceive work that female versus male artists do and whether you think it reflects society’s notion of what masculine work and feminine work looks like? Or any part of you in the work that reflects your feminine [or masculine] side? Just wanted to know more about your approach to gender in your art.

CY: I would say my painting style… If you and I and four other people painted the exact same piece and we were all trying to paint a lamp, none of them are going to be the same. So you get to see a person’s unique style in a piece through their brushstrokes, so I would say I have a very fine brushstroke because I’ve been able to compared my work to other peoples. Tony Rider, Santa Fe and so you get to see the same portrait different angles. You know? And I can see my own brushstrokes. They’re very delicate. I don’t know if that means it would be associated with being feminine. The work itself is collected both equally by men and women. A lot of people actually will look at one piece and swear that it is a female character then someone else will swear it is a male character. So that’s part of putting the squirrel mask on, it removes a few of the identifying features that people then make associations with body-type and facial features. And so I think that by removing that I don’t know how other people perceive it but I do know that people have asked me, “Oh, that’s a boy!” and I say, “Well, if you think it is.” [Laughter] I’ve had the person who collected Steam Punk Squirrel she has named her painting Cornelius, which I guess for her identifies with the male name. And then I did a couple prints of Steam Punk Squirrel and the first person who collected one of the prints, she calls her print Victoria. So I don’t know if that helps answer the question. I don’t set about thinking about… I haven’t thought about it until you asked the question. So maybe a year from now I’ll have a more detailed answer than that. I don’t personally identify, I don’t look at the work and say, “Oh yeah Carollyne ‘the girl’ did that.” Cause in the inside in behind Carolynne’s face I’m kind of an angry old guy so… [Laughter]

MC: Tell me about your relationships or encounters with other women in your field. Mentors, students or just relationships in general.

CY: With other women in my field? Other women. So a lot of my relationships have actually been with writers. Women writers who are writing about the work, and curators and gallery owners. So Mary-Ellen Threadkell, who was from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, she was a really big supporter of my work in the early days. Originally Renee Leighann [Crawford], but then Sherry Willing I had a show in the non-curatorial side at the art gallery. Ellen Manning, who gave me a solo show at the Apartment Gallery, has been very supportive. And then LaTiesha Fazakas, she has a gallery in Vancouver, who put me into a group show over there and now actually she’s taking my work to Art Toronto and I’m going to be in the Seattle Art Fair because of her. She’s curating a two person show with myself and Rande Cook invited me to do another show with him. So a lot of my experience has actually been with women in the curatorial side or in the gallery owning and that end of things, which I found really fascinating when I really put my mind to it. Woman artists here in town, I have a really great relationship with many of the painters that I was telling you about where we’re sort of sharing information around like, “Do you do prints? Do you not do? Do you do a little bit more on the commercial side of things?” Because a lot of people who I talk to are actually selling their work as opposed to not yet have I really got a lot of relationships with people who are from a curatorial in public institutions. Showing in public institutions, so I haven’t had a lot of experience yet in that area.

MC: How has your art and you as an artist changed from what it was in the early years to what it has become now?

CY: The early years, like five years ago? [Laughter] If you went back to when I was in art school, ’89, all the work was all subconscious based painting. So those three pieces that you pointed out around the hall, they’re all subconscious based painting and literally get your paint brushes out and just go for it. Just paint what comes out, what the flow is. Five years ago, 2009/2010, when I was returning to do plan A, to art, it was much more thought out, purpose based. I wanted to teach myself how to paint in the realist style so that I could then, when I leave it one day, I could say I knew how to do it. So I would say that I’m coming into this place of where I’m accomplishing the goal of learning how to paint a painting that looks like a photograph. A lot of people, that’s not their goal. It was my goal. So now that I’ve done it I can say I know what it’s like to leave it. So I think that how its changed its gotten more real looking. So if you look at that piece from 2009/2008 then you look at this piece here, The Skinners Horse, just even comparing the two side by side you can see the volume and the realism has really evolved. The topics that I’m choosing are evolving as well.

MC: Does your art encapsulate your past or present self and ideas? Are your beginnings as an artist still reflected in the art that you create?

CY: Yeah, I think my past for sure because of my work as a creative director and a business owner and a pioneer of the tech industry. So definitely all that. I talked about the branding exercises and how you build a brand and how could you do it in art, so I think definitely that’s been part of it. Then I’m definitely looking at news and events as a contemporary aspect and how it relates to technology. The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse is a direct discussion to the hacktivist group Anonymous. They do a lot of work world wide. They recently hacked the Canadian Government then locally they hacked a database in the Shawnigan Lake oil dumping dispute. So taking from the past and then contemporary news of the day definitely effects the work.

The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse

MC: If you weren’t an artist what do you think you’d be doing instead?

CY: Well I’ve never done anything other than conceptualize, build, and make stuff. I’ve only ever worked either with my mind in creating things and being paid for it professionally as a creative director. The only reason that I ended up in tech was because the web all of a sudden was a new platform for creative design professionals and it was a way to make money back then. And really this is a return to plan A, I went to school to be an artist. It was really just because I didn’t know, how do you make money being an artist? That’s why I ended up going in to a different genre of art. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually done anything different. It’s just the medium has changed, right? So all the creative work I did I’m sure one day all of my website designs, because we used to do it was all hand, very different than how it’s made now things are made now with templates, existing templates you use to have to design everything all laid out in photoshop to begin with and then it got compressed. It was all chopped up to tiny little itty bitty puzzle pieces and then it was all coded. And it had to be able to expand, had to contract, be responsive, even before responsive was a thing and all that kind of stuff. So no, I don’t think so. I haven’t to date and I’m half way there if one was to live a full life the life expectancy so… [Laughter]

MC: What direction do you see your art going in do you think you kind of found your niche with Squirrealism or do you think it’s going to change?

CY: Oh gosh, I’m not even the same person I was five years ago. A whole reinvention! People see me as an artist now, and nobody saw me as an artist five years ago because people didn’t see being a creative director working in photoshop or designing web development. People didn’t see that as “creative” which was a big surprise to me. Especially with all the designs. There was no design that was the same, right? So just by my nature of constantly changing as a person I would think that in another five years from now my expectation would be that it’s going to be different. But time will tell.

MC: Do you have any idea what it might turn into? Have you got any sort of direction planed out?

CY: Well I can tell you the next show that I’m doing is with Rande Cook. We’re doing a collaboration for a show in Vancouver. So just an early discussions what we’re taking a lot of his origin stories from his culture and my pop culture influences and we’re sort of marrying these two kind of styles and being influenced from each other. So he’s a Kwakwaka’wakw hereditary chief from the Alert Bay area. So he’s working a lot of traditional styles. But also putting traditional form line into a contemporary genre and style. So, I’m going to be interested to see what comes from this. We did a collaboration a year and a half ago that was at the Alcheringa Gallery, so I’m interested in seeing what will happen next because Rande’s really been influenced by fashion and beautiful dresses and apliques and taking from the story of the trickster raven and all these kinds of things. So I’m really just, see what happens this year. And then what will come next.

Chief Rande Cook Squirrel

MC: How do you know when a piece is finished?

CY: Ah, yes. Sometimes the light comes on in the eyes because I do a lot of masks even though they’re masks and not actually people faces all the time there is a light that comes on in the pieces and they all of a sudden come alive. And it flashes! It’s almost like a weird psychic-energy that happens to an inanimate object. The spirit is still there, because in everything we have atoms. There is energy in a cup. There is atoms at work there! So even though it doesn’t have a soul, there is still a spirit to it. And so really, there’s this magic that happens in some point in time, once all the paint particles have been cohesive they’ve all of a sudden glued together and something happens in that and it happened with that painting there all of a sudden. I’ll just look and something flashes! I can see it come alive, I know I’m getting close at that point in time. And a deadline always helps. [Laughter].

MC: At what point in time did you know you wanted to be an artist? That it really clicked? Sounds like it’s been a journey. You’ve tried some different things. Is there any moment that it just really became the thing you had to do?

CY: I was never not an artist. I always thought that’s what…if I self identified as a kid. That’s what I did, that’s who I was. So I was always with an imaginary friend or making my own clothes for dolls or characters. I could spend hours and hours by myself. I was an only child for the first 6 years. And then, even after that, my parents were really busy so I can spend endless hours by myself in a room and make things, whatever it is, so I never really saw myself as anything different. What got in the way of me being perceived as an artist was me working in tech, even though I was a creative director doing creative work. All the front end work that you see. So I’ve never not identified with that, I was just surprised other people didn’t see that in me based on a title.

MC: It’s empowering that you were a business woman for a long time in the tech world! You were very successful with that and then you decided to go over to art, do you still feel like you’re kind of running your own business and taking things in your own direction? You promote yourself and you are the business mind behind the creative process as well you’re kind of in charge of everything.

CY: Totally! Completely! When I approached it, my business partner was like, “Okay, I want to go off and do something else.” And he’s doing what he wanted to do, that’s kind of cool. He wanted to get rid of all the responsibilities of having staff and all that because you can be much faster and quicker in technology if you’re not having to train other people in what you’re learning. So the first thing I did was get a simple accounting program and save all my receipts from all the art supplies that I bought. Then got the website up and running and the bio written and the business cards out. I actually originally had business cards that were double sided. One side was Star Global which was the name of my company Star Global on one side, then on the other side. That was part of the transition I had. I’d hand out both. This is what I do, but this is who I’m going to be. Then I phased out the Star Global cards. Then the cards were a painting on the back and the contact information on the front.

MC: That’s kind of cute, that like you’re incorporating this artistic idea, this artistic concept, into something as simple as your business card! Do you find that a lot? That transition between reality and your art? That you’re often morphing the two?

CY: Well, the identity has certainly been a big change, because when I would walk into a room and I’d meet you I’d be like, “Hi, I’m Carollyne Yardley, I’m a co-owner, founder and creative director of Star Global Advanced IT Corp [Ltd.]” People would be like, “Oh..” and then the experience of going to a business lunch and saying, “What do you do?” and I’m like, “Oh, I’m an artist.” and they’re like, “Oh, your parents must be depressed.” [Laughter] That’s the tone! And to actually experience that feeling of… I could be lying. It’s just a title, right? That whole experience of being tied into your identity of what you do for a living was really… I was actually blown away at how some people in some industries really don’t think being an artist for a living is very significant contribution to the world.

MC: I think it’s good because, you mentioned on your website and you said before, you have the changing identity within which is closer to who someone is. It’s the identity inside you and you can always express that and that progression better as an artist as opposed to something else. You’ve (all of you) got your label. You stuck with that. Were as an artist, your style’s always changing, developing. I feel like it enables you to grow and reflect that.

CY: Totally! And talk about it. I’ve just been stunned and some of the relationships that I’ve built with the art community and the artists…  some people if they’re older they had a previous life. They went to art school, they wanted to be an artist, and then financially they just couldn’t figure out how to do it. They didn’t end up in a teaching role or at a university or all the ways people make money from being in art, right? And then there are people who I know who have been in art the whole time, like Noah Becker I was telling you about. He’s never done anything different but be fully in the art community. And I would talk to him sometimes and I would be like “Wow. Is this normal that some people in certain industries they think what they do is all that?” That was eyeopening. 

MC: Yeah, and you’re obviously completely at ease talking about your life and your work. As you’ve said, you’ve always sort of seen yourself as a story teller. Do you find that reflects in your art? Your art is often portraits and the subconscious, as you say, but do they also tell a story?

CY: I think they do, I think every piece is telling a story, for sure. Each one has a story that’s maybe my story. Then for the person who collects it or covets the piece; it’s got their story in there too.

MC: That’s nice, that it changes from person to person.

CY: Totally! It’s transferable. Which I think all art really is. The artist that made it, you may never ever meet them. So it becomes your own telling. [Phone rings]

MC: I like your ring tone.  

CY: [Laughter] It was the only one that didn’t irritate me, the sounds of the harp! Yeah, then people have their own stories of what they think people will ask me. “Tell me why you did it like that?” like The Madonna and the Birth of Ideas because I don’t have children, so a lot of people who inquire if that has something meaningful to me. That would be mine, my story. However you perceive that story is your interpretation. 

MC: Are their any artworks that really stand out to you? Any ones you’re particularly emotionally connected to that you could just never ever part with?

CY: Yeah, The Dove Keeper is a piece that I’m keeping for myself. That was interesting because I had it at a show and I brought her home -I identify with it being female, and When I brought her home and I unwrapped her I thought, “Oh, I’m so sorry I had you out at an art show! How tacky of me! That will never happen to you ever again being out there for sale like that!” The Dove Keeper for me, I really love that painting. I’m keeping it for myself. And Green Bun Squirrel. While I was very happy for the lady who collected, her [Green Bun Squirrel] I have deep regret. I want her back. And I also identified with her. 


The Dove Keeper

MC: It’s kind of like your art as your children you have all these little ones you send them away and so attached to them and my little creations they’re all a part of me! 

CY: Well that’s the Birth of Ideas! So The Madonna and the Birth of Ideas, funnily enough, as well as the paintings I’ve mentioned so far all identify with being a feminine identity. Going back to that question, so the “Madonna and the Birth of Ideas,” the “Dove Keeper” and “Green Bun Squirrel”, those three pieces, I really love those pieces a lot, and I actually had the Madonna and the Birth of Ideas in my own collection for awhile. It’s now down at Winchester Galleries, but if I get that one back, and it doesn’t sell, I might perma-move it into my personal collection. Then those three pieces. The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse I just like that as a really strong powerful image. It talks about the anonymity and The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse and social media, how everybody’s posting their whole lives online! And one day, it’s my belief, that there is going to be certain jobs like how when I came out of university and there were no jobs in web-development, you created your own company and you created the jobs for people. So there’s going to be jobs now that are going to be in 10 years that don’t exist yet. And for those jobs, for you to get that job, you’re going to have to have no online presence. So all these people who are posting their baby photos, they’re removing those opportunities for their children to have the jobs of the future in some cases. So I would say, The Celebrity of Being Anonymouse speaks to that a little bit too. For some jobs of the future you’re going to have to be just completely anonymous and have no footprint and that’s going to be very difficult. I’d say that painting is very important to me and I really liked going back to the aesthetic. Remember you asked that question about what’s more important aesthetically speaking? I’d say aesthetically speaking Skinner’s Horse for me being the most recent painting. I really feel like I found what I was trying to do in learning that realism I would say feel like I was alright, you just nailed it. So Skinner’s Horse while it has it’s own political and its own statement and has all that I’d say painterly-wise, aesthetically speaking that one for me was something that was significant.

MC: Yeah, it gorgeous. And it’s nice that you have The Celebrity as well as Skinners Horse because while the horse is referring to Japan and what they associate as being an “anonymous” I feel it will be for a vendetta mask really stand out to people and really get the point across. I think that’s a really cool piece.

CY: It’s very contemporary. Again, just what’s happening today with Anonymous the hacktivist group and all that kind of stuff.

MC: So then female artist working in Victoria, your work strikes me personally as being very feminine because you’ve got the cutesy little squirrel and he’s all dressed up so to me it’s strikingly feminine but at the same time you’ve got a lot of purpose behind your art there is a lot more to it and a lot of them have kind of funky surreal kind of scenes that you place them in and so I’d identify them as feminine but you see them as a little bit of both and I feel like gender is something we should elaborate on in the art community.

CY: Well maybe something to do with angry old guy on the inside [Laughter]. I think people have lots of different parts to themselves on the outside and on the inside. My husband Laurence, he sometimes calls me JD. So he’ll be like, “Do you want a cigar with the whiskey, JD.” So he knows the angry old guy. [Laughter].

MC: Tell me about some of the shows that you’ve been in. Is it always exclusively your Squirrealism? You do practice some other mediums too, you’ve got some variety there. What do you usually show? What are some big galleries openings you’ve been in that you’ve really enjoyed?

CY: Yeah, the two shows that come to mind are the one with Rande Cook at Alcheringa Gallery and the show at the Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver with LaTiesha Fazakas. It was diversity and feminism called “She.” Those two particular shows really stand out. One of the pieces that I did, I actually contacted the Guerrilla Squ- The Guerrilla Girls [laughter] I renamed them… The Guerrilla Girls who are based out of New York. They’re an anonymous feminist group who are speaking to the inequality in the art world and they do it through humour and posters. So in 1985 they did the Report Card and it was a gallery tally of how many of the top galleries in New York represented women and also museums. How many [museums] had women. Think it was about 94% of all women represented in museums and art galleries in New York at the time were women naked, right?! [Laughter] 5 %, so a very very small number of actual women artists were being represented in commercial galleries and in public institutions. So that’s what they did it’s called the Report Card and they did an actual tally. Then in 2015 a group called Pussy Galore, they did another gallery tally of the same galleries, if they were still in business, and to show the increase and they did a percentage. So on average it improved a little bit, but there is still a long way to go. So New York, it was 33% of the people represented in galleries are women. There was another woman who I wrote her name down to remember Micol Hebron she did something called the gallery tally which you can do in your city and you can make an application you get the questionnaire then you can go and poll the galleries in your town and you can send the results back to be compiled.

MC: Has anyone done that recently here? I accept that mission! Oh no, now I’ve said it and we’ve got that recording.

CY: [Laughter] That would be awesome! I’ve thought about it, but there is no time and somebody needs to take it on!

MC: Didn’t the Guerilla Girls do something more recently as well?

CY: It was their thirtieth year anniversary. I didn’t realize it was their thirtieth year anniversary. So anyways, I got an invite to do this group show in Vancouver and it had Rosa Quintana Lillo and Trace Yeomens and we each did our take on it. I went and contacted the Guerrilla Girls and asked them if I could use the Report Card in my piece

MC: You can just do that? You can just contact the Guerrilla Girls? I thought they were anonymous and that was their whole thing! That you can’t really reach them.

CY: Oh they reply with their pseudonyms!

MC: I need to get in contact with these Guerilla Girls.

CY: And I contacted Maura Reilly who is a member of the Feminist Art Collective, and she replied to me directly on behalf of Pussy Galore and she said, “I can’t speak for the group, but will I please send a message to the group email.” So I sent a message to the group email message and I hear back from Frida Khalo. Was it Freda that I head back from? They use pseudonyms of passed-on female artists.


Guerrilla Squirrel

MC: That’s good, kind of making a community of it, like were all together. I’m going to her name! We’re all supporting each other. I love that.

CY: Totally! And that way they’re not speaking on work from living artists, they don’t want to make a statement about their work. I asked if I could use both of their Report Cards for Guerilla Squirrel. I asked to use both of their report cards side by side and then I said, “Okay, go down the rabbit hole so, I went down the rabbit hole.” I bought my Gloria Steinem book online.  The Guerilla Girls talked about being anonymous behind their gorilla masks. They talk about being like Wonder Woman fighting for the cause and all that kind of stuff. Like modern day Robin Hoods! And all that kind of thing! I was like, “Oh, they mentioned Wonder Woman” and pull out a book that I found at a garage sale on the street. It had Wonder Woman on the cover but I’d never flipped through it. It turns out it’s a Ms. Magazine, Ms. Woman book and the introduction of each chapter is written by Gloria Steinem. How unbelievable is that? So it’s a really cool pop-contemporary colour of blue and yellow. So, I took all of these pieces and I put them together in a painting so that show was really good for me because I got myself caught up on all that information about  Linda Nochlin. Reading her essay on why there have been no great female artists. And then that painting,  that What if You Couldn’t because You’re a Woman, the nude with the mask on. I did that because I didn’t even know this myself when I was in art class at U Vic.

MC: That squirrel is definitely a boy…

Male Figure Drawing: What If You Couldn’t ‘Cause You’re a Girl?

CY: [Laughter] And it’s 17th century [inspired]. When I was in art class in 1989 at the University of Victoria I didn’t realize the privilege that it was to draw the male nude. We have lots of male nude models and they were strolling around as well as female nudes. I didn’t really realize what a privilege it was I had no idea. I didn’t even realize when I went back to take some evening art classes at the Bank Street School. I had no idea that women were not allowed to see the naked body in a class up until the turn of the 1900s you were banned. In order to be a great artist you had to paint the male nude or draw the male nude wonderfully. Well if you had no access how could you ever be considered to be a great artist if you had no access to the very thing that was, apparently, a measure as to whether you were great or not? Well that kind of excludes you right away. I was really, really quite surprised at my lack of knowledge in this so that’s why that show for me was important, it really got me into more of a serious look at what I wanted to say with my work in the future. So, you talked about the cute fuzzy squirrel, where was the moment thigns started getting more serious? Then Rande Cook also invited me to do a show with him, which I mentioned several times before, and it was the first time according to him and to Elaine [Monds], the owner of Alcheringa, a native and none native artist had come together to do a show like that really since the pot latch ban of the 1920s. Pre potlatch ban there was a lot of influence from native and non-native artists taking from each others’ inspirations and work and really working with different imagery. Then the 1920s potlatch ban and all the [claps] unfortunate bad relationships and horrible things that happened during that period of time really sort of made it that it was looked at differently [collaboration of native and non-native artists] the being influenced and working together in that kind of way. When Rande was explaining to me what we were doing I wondered and asked him myself about appropriation because I was using his imagery in my paintings. Rande said that this is the way you’re supposed to do it, that I was not picking up his tools learning to carve in his style then selling pieces in my own name. He was said, “You’re doing portraits of me.” So I’m doing portraits of him with items that belong to him and pieces of his art work but I’m doing it in my style of painting and he said that that’s the way you’re supposed to do collaborations. Traditionally portrait painting was not a traditional form of art in his culture either, so even the act doing a portrait is not traditional or taking away from many of the spiritual traditional things that are done. I think was a really big. That came first, then the “She” show came second. I’d say that those two shows really added some weight to the work and to me, they added weight to how I approached it and what I wanted to think about.

MC: You’ve done a lot of other kinds of unusual things. Like your Anus Bun  and I just want to ask… why?

CY: No! You’ve gotta ask the question how you wrote it! [Laughter]

MC: I had a written question about it too. Some people might find your Anus Bun juvenile  and how would you respond to that?

CY: In my bio I say I work with repetitive imagery, memes, and absurdity. I would say that I nailed it! [Laughter] But what is it about? It started off before people were taking selfies and all that kind of stuff. Back in 2008/2009 not even with iPhones  just regular cameras.  I’ve had this hair-style for a really, really, really, really long time. Like a really long time. It’s consistent. It’s the one main thing that’s been consistent in my life. Except its gotten bigger. [Laughter] In the ’90s I had the things that went down here, the front part has changed. If there’s no body aroufd to take a Bun Anus phot I have to do the front bump. It pre-dates taking selfies in museums. There was a giant rutebega and taking with different kinds of fruit was how I started. I just ended up with an enormous amount of pictures of the bun because people I know would take photographs of it in different scenarios then email them to me. Then there was a period of time where you couldn’t take photographs of yourself in museums in Europe in institutions or collections because you weren’t allowed to take photographs at all. Period. So I’d say to Lawrence, “Just take a photo of me! Just do it on the QT!!” but if you’re going like this and smiling, it’s really obvious you’re getting a photograph taken. So if you’re just kind of looking at the work and someone comes up quickly behind you and just kind of takes a photograph well, then it’s the bun in with the painting. That’s how it grew. The other reason I do it now is because someday when you’re traveling it’s vanity-based [Laughter] I look like crap and it’s kind of boring to have your face in a photograph that you want to immortalise yourself in with a great work of art! It’s like, okay, so here’s my face and here’s this amazing work of art. And I find if you take it from behind you’re actually not so focused on the person in the photograph, you’re actually really looking at the wok of art. It keeps it the focus and then it became a thing and people started doing it online, taking selfies of themselves with paintings.

MC: The inventor of the selfie right here [Laughter].

CY: No. And then there was a guy there was an artist he actually started painting the backs of people’s heads looking at art and his name is…  

MC: I thought maybe it [the Anus Bun] tied into your whole anonymous thing?

CY: It did! I know a lot of people who have a funny sense of humour. So that’s a fun bar trick. You’re right it does tie into that too.

MC: It’s fun. I like it. The intellectual property dispute you had a little while ago with branding?

CY: Oh yeah, sure.  I started the company Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia. For Star Global we have a registered trademark, Star Global, so part of any organization it’s good to trademark your business name. That way you’re protected from other companies popping up with the same business name doing the same work. It creates confusion in the market place. So, just because of my business background the next obvious thing to do is to get a registered trademark for your business name. So I registered the word “Carollyne” cause that’s my business name. I hired a trademark lawyer and registered it with the Government of Canada back in 2009. And it’s a process. All of a sudden one day in the mail I get a piece of mail that is addressed to the trademark lawyer that I had file it and it says there is a section 45 that has been applied to my registered trade mark. I had no idea what that was and I didn’t know who it was. Speaking of anonymous. This company, who it turns out is American Girl which is a subsidiary of Mattel, have a doll called the Caroline that comes with books and postcards and bookmarks and things like that. They were wanting to get the trade mark for “Caroline” registered in Canada and they couldn’t get their application processed because my existing trade mark was sited as already existing. So the Canadian intellectual property office said to American Girl, “No you cannot get your trade mark approved because this person already exists.” It was too similar according to the Government of Canada to have both of them existing because I have similar wares and services listed under my registered trade mark. So the only way in Canada is a use it or loose it law. So they asked the registrar to give me a section 45 notice, which meant that I had to prove I was actually using it for the wares and services that I had registered. If I didn’t have the money to defend that I am using it I would have just had it expunged. I had to hire a lawyer and I had to put all my evidence together and it’s cost me over 30 thousand dollars since 2013. It’s a ridiculous amount of money and it has impacted my business greatly. You don’t figure out that you’re going to spend that much money until all of a sudden… it creeps up. I was quoted three-thousand dollars to defend the trademark and I thought that sounds fine to me. I can do that. So I got all my evidence together. I filed it with the lawyer who filed it on my behalf with the Government of Canada. Then there is a waiting period. Then, unbeknownst to me, at the time I didn’t know that there are all these particular parts to it. There is an oral hearing, there is their response to my evidence, then I would have the opportunity to respond to their response to the evidence, then the oral hearing and blah blah blah. Each time you have one of those little opportunities it can actually cost you six-thousand dollars. So I declined to do a whole lot of the middle parts, because it was just financially impossible. The Government of Canada, the registrar, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in September I believe it was 2015, October 2015 said in her report that I had proven the right to continue to use and maintain my registered trade mark in Canada. So, happy days for about a month because then part of the process they can then appeal the registrars decision in federal court. And they have done that. I didn’t have the financial means to then go to federal court so it is basically a closed off room in the dark in my life because if you don’t say you’re going to be part of the federal court proceedings, they don’t actually inform you of any dates or what’s happening or anything. So there’s this proceeding happening in federal court related to my registered trade mark which the government said I had shown that I was using. Now there is a judge who may or may not be a trademark expert and there is going to be one lawyer arguing one side arguing the registrar’s decision. I don’t know when or how long it takes. You’re getting the most up to date information in February 2016. I’m hoping for the best, that the registrars report is there with no holes in [her case]. She was very thorough in her review of the evidence. I just have to wait and see what happens.

MC: Branding’s important, and intellectual property as an artist. A lot of this you’re drawing on different aspects of culture. What other people have done and putting all these ideas together. You have a lot of pop culture influence in your work. Tell me more about what you’ve taken from other works or really admired in other people’s art and kind of made your own?

CY: I would say it weaves through all of it. Fashion trends of the 1950s. Weaves through the Avenue Squirrels, as I call them, the Green Bun and the Space Hat. The Space Hat itself is of Patrick Kelly a designer from 1980’s and he was really famous for doing buttons on everything and then the Mary Quant hat, that’s the Mushroom Hat Squirrel. And then the Guerrilla Girls, their iconic works are in Guerrilla-Squirrel, the Micky Mouse ears. I definitely borrow and reinterpret from popular culture. I would say that theme definitely weaves through pretty much all of my work to date. I find it interesting that we’re in an era of the repeating imagery of memes and also appropriation art. Richard Prince comes to mind, some people are like Shepard Fairey, [who designed] the Obama Hope poster, we’re really an era where because of the web imagery millions and millions and millions of images are available.

Red Hat Squirrel

MC: I feel like it’s not just the artist but the audience that they’re targeting now too. There seems to be more ways in which society is mirrored, you watch TV or film. When in art when you borrow these things it’s more mirroring society, but in the way that you see it. So I think that it’s good [reinterpreting and using existing imagery in pop culture] and very modern to be reinterpreting reality. Is there anything else that you’d want to say about your art or your experience that I haven’t been over? Something that might be really surprising?

CY: No I think it was really thorough. No you saw the squirrels outside, you met them in person! You saw the deer. [Laughter]. So you saw the models. I don’t know I think they were really good questions that you asked! I think it was really thorough. So thank you.




Yardley, Carollyne. Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia Online. Accessed Feb 5, 2016.

CBC News. “Carollyne Yardley Fights Matttel’s America Girl For Her Name.” Posted April 28, 2014. Accessed Feb 8, 2016. (Case recently settled. Congratulations Carollyne, justice is served!)


Yardley, Carollyne. Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia Online. Accessed Feb 9, 2016.

Yardley, Carollyne. Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia Online. Accessed Feb 9, 2016

Yardley, Carollyne. Carollyne Yardley Omnimedia online. Accessed Feb 9, 2016


Yardley, Carollyne. “Squirrealism: Art in an Era of Nostalgia, Appropriation, and Memes.” Carollyne Online. Posted April 13, 2013.

Yardley, Carollyne. Selfies vs Self-Portraits: Expanding the Genre. Self Portrait: X-ray Analysis of My Hair Bun. Posted Nov 4, 2016.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria:

Facebook exhibition: Yardley Carollyne, “Comments Off on Painting of Lord Rocco the Pug.” Carollyne Online. Posted March 2, 2016.


Laurie White. “Anony-mouse.” Analogue Magazine. Dec/Jan 2016. John Thomson. “Canadian Artist Goes Squirrely.” DZine Trip Magazine, June 11, 2015.

Shows and Exhibits

Yardley, Carollyne. Imaginary Friends. Victoria, BC: Open Space Art Society. March 11-April 9, 2016.

Yardley, Carollyne. Winchester Galleries Winter Exhibition. Victoria, BC: Wincher Galleries. November 26-January 4, 2016.

Yardley, Carollyne. Union Club Art Fair. Victoria, BC: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Oct 17, 2015.

Yardley, Carollyne. ArtBeat. Vancouver, BC: Art Beat. July 25, 2015 (festival and charity event. Banksy Squirrel).

Yardley, Carollyne. SHE. Vancouver, BC. Fazakas Gallery. June 18- June 20, 2015 (Feminist exhibit with Guerilla Squirrel).

Yardley, Carollyne. Ravenous. Victoria, BC. Alcheringa Gallery. June 23-July 19 2014. (In collaboration with Rande Cook).


Heilbrun, Carolyn G., 1926-2003. Writing a Woman’s Life. New York;London: Norton, 1988. Print.

DeBlasio, Donna Marie. Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History. Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2009. Print.

Sandino, Linda, and Matthew Partington. Oral History in the Visual Arts. New York;London: Bloomsbury, 2013. Print.