Cara Purita

Biography

Cara’s art has been described as warm, nourishing, eclectic and very feminine. Textured, saturated and fluid, her paintings imbue the familiar with the vibrancy and weight of the magical. Her work is both whimsical and thought provoking, and always relates to the often ignored or erased gendered experience of being female.

 

Cara’s mother and paternal grandmother have both deeply influenced her life and her work. Her mother returned to school began a Law Degree as a single parent in 1985, and her grandmother ran and maintained a substantial hobby farm. Being an only child, Cara developed independence early. Even while she was visiting her grandmother’s farm during the summers she usually did not have other children to play with. There was freedom, but also a sense of not quite belonging, or of being out of place. Both mother and grandmother were extremely hard working in their very different disciplines; Cara spent much of her time lost in books, television and daydreams. When Cara was in her early teens her grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Cara continued to be amazed by how strong her grandmother was, and how hard she worked until her grandmother was hospitalized when Cara was 17. It was at that time that her grandmother told Cara that she regretted not telling others how angry she was that she always put her own needs last. This revelation of  inequality disturbed Cara’s “Leave it to Beaver” inspired fantasy and was a catalyst informing her growing feminist understanding.

 

At her Bachelor of Fine Arts graduation exhibition in 2000, Cara explored many aspects of being a woman and an artist, including the ambivalent pull of motherhood, home and domesticity. She then pursued a degree in Education, became an Early Primary educator, married, and had 3 daughters. It was during her pregnancy with her youngest daughter that she decided once and for all that teaching was not serving her soul. When her youngest daughter was  nearing her third birthday Cara finally began pursuing her art again by participating in Nancy Pratt’s “Celebrate Your Breasts” project as a painter. Soon after she began painting regularly. Cara’s first solo exhibition at the Terrace Art Gallery in 2016 was called “A Disparate Collection of Recurring Themes”. Her work can be found in private collections throughout BC as well as in places as far flung as Toronto, Ontario and Buenos Aires, Argentina.