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Feature Artist

Our October feature artists - Vancouver figurative arts collective Phantoms in the Front Yard bring us 'little things'.

In their first exhibition since 2019, the figurative collective Phantoms in the Front Yard returns with Little Things. The group was originally formed upon the distinct belief that regardless of how big a unit of organization, it is the individuals comprising the group which are responsible for its strength. After over 10 years of exhibiting together, the collective seems to have proven its own hypothesis.

Little Things gives visible manifestation to this working theory. Single, large pieces stand as representations for the original and continuing permanent members of the collective. Contrasted with this is a cluster of smaller pieces, varying in scale and subject, from many different exhibitions and years, some old and some new. Their heterogeneity seems to lend strength to the working principle of the group: together we stand, divided we…well…you know the rest.

To further this ethos, members of Phantoms in the Front Yard have always believed that art and society are inextricably interlinked. What benefits one, benefits the other. A healthy cultural sphere leads to a healthy society in general, and vice versa. In that regard, the collective has never been a cloistered one, and has never been protective of its membership. It was founded on the principle that the more people involved in the promotion, creation and communication of a message, the better that message was likely to be received. In order to further that ideology, the collective has always invited guest artists to its exhibitions in order to foster diversity, and to grow over time. This exhibition is no different, and the collective is thrilled to have the work of Caroline Weaver, Jane Hennessy, Ben Tour, Bon Roberts and Lee Roberts represented in this show.

Little Things represents a reinstantiation of the philosophy behind Phantoms in the Front Yard. It also constitutes a recognition that the continuing involvement of artists outside the collective are as integral to its strength as the permanent members that have contributed to and continued its existence over the years. It is also, in no small way, representative of what everyone has experienced over the last two years: the recognition that little things, seemingly insignificant until they are absent, constitute a significant part of all of our lives. They are our strength, individually and societally.