Erika DeFreitas is a Scarborough-based artist whose practice includes the use of performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, works on paper, and writing. Placing an emphasis on process, gesture, the body, documentation, and paranormal phenomena, she works through attempts to understand concepts of loss, post-memory, inheritance, and objecthood. DeFreitas’s interdisciplinary practice draws on both personal and cultural histories to investigate these themes. What has evolved over the last decade is a playful obsession with finding ways to make the impermanent permanent, and to engage in ritualistic acts with hopes of regaining what has been lost. A key component of her practice involves embracing the unpredictability of loss while conceptually developing ways to highlight different aspects of loss in a contemporary context.
DeFreitas’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions at such galleries as Gallery TPW, Toronto; Gallery 44, Toronto; and Platform Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts, Winnipeg. Group exhibitions include the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Koffler Gallery, and Art Gallery of York University (all Toronto), among many others. She is the recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts 2016 Artist Prize and 2016 John Hartman Award and was longlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in British Columbia.