Kyla Mallett: How to See and Read the Aura
These works began as a tangent to Mallett’s Self-Help work. In collecting second-hand self-help materials, she encountered a book entitled How to See and Read the Aura which fell under the category of parapsychology and new-age healing. This text became a key element to her research in self-help, which Mallett expanded on in this body of work centred around this book.
Mallett employs the use of UV-sensitive screenprinting inks in these multicoloured works, which fluctuate with UV exposure, causing the viewer to see more or less of the text depending on the lighting conditions, mimicking the practice of aura-reading. Here the artist explores ideas of belief, and metaphorically alludes to the practice of reading and interpreting works of art.
Kyla Mallett completed her MFA at UBC in 2004, and her BFA at Emily Carr in 2000. Working primarily in photography, text and print media, her practice engages with the intersection of culture and language, using archival and statistical research to examine transgressive activities in such cultural arenas such as adolescence, feminism, academia and art. Past works have examined schoolgirls' notes, girl bullying, gossip, marginalia in library books, hauntings and aura reading. Current projects involving parapsychology and self-help materials focus on marginal and devalued forms of language and communication. Mallett’s work has been exhibited widely, including the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Modern Fuel (Kingston), Canadian Cultural Centre (Paris), and The Power Plant (Toronto), with solo exhibitions at Artspeak (Vancouver), Catriona Jeffries (Vancouver), Access (Vancouver), ThreeWalls (Chicago), Mount St. Vincent University Gallery (Halifax), and The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge). Mallett is Assistant Professor in Visual Art (Photography) and Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University.