Artist Statement

In a world where we’re taught to fear difference (our own and that of others), I create opportunities to experience the transformation inherent in the act of regard. My work is a practice of regard — for the heaven on earth that becomes possible every time a human being relates to (instead of othering) all that makes up the heterogenous world we cohabitate.

To regard is an act of aligning with reality and our creativity (since reality is something we both perceive and create). It’s at once grounding, yet completely disruptive to the stories in our heads. Through the decision to regard, we can locate our true selves, connect more honestly with others, and put aside bias in favour of curiosity.

To regard is an act of power, particularly in the face of disregard, contempt, or power-over. I believe that if you really look, what you see changes. And more importantly, the decision to see will change you. My work is an exploration of this theme through painting, photography, and live participatory experiences. 

Through my work, the interiority of each subject viscerally spills out through both my portraits and abstract works unconstrained by human form. I invite my subjects (both self and other) to engage a shift in perception and responsibility through this provocation: Heaven on Earth is here, if you want it.

About the Artist

Alyssa Burtt is an emerging multi-disciplinary artist from Vancouver, Canada. She learned her technique “Acrílico Modificado” or “Modified Acrylic” at the Center for Residences and Artistic Research ( CRIA ) in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico during an informal artist residency in 2013. She has a BFA from the University of British Columbia in painting, photography, and digital arts, and she has been drawing and painting portraits and figures since she was in grade school.

In 2019 she participated in Vancouver’s East Side Culture Crawl, and in 2022, she did another art residency at Canopy in Austin, Texas where she created her series called Spectrum on gender sovereignty in light of hostile trans politics in Texas.

Alyssa invites sovereign regard as a commitment and practice through all her work. She believes in the power of human sovereignty and regard for difference in a culture that fears it.