may 13 2016

The Illusionist: An Interview with Carolina de la Cajiga

by Alyssa Laube

Annitya (9710) - CarolinaDelaCajiga

“Annitya” will be up for auction at the Art World Expo. Proceeds support Make and Break Arts Foundation.

Carolina de la Cajiga doesn’t call herself an artist but an “illusionist and interpreter”. To describe what she does in photography, sculpture, and painting, she explains “I create illusions by transforming my ideas into something tangible”.

Her vision is different than reality, she “adds or removes from what is there” in order to feel satisfied with the finished product. In her Portraits of Canada and Canadian Divas series, she replaced hair with flowers. In Post-Modern Glyphs, she removed the backgrounds surrounding her subject: cable knots. What used to be behind – buildings, clouds, trees – was digitally cleared away in order to obtain a clean image with only the knots visible. “My goal is simple: to represent what I see in my mind. “It’s all aesthetics, beauty,” said de la Cajiga.

Over the past few years, her work has been focused mostly on photography but, as anything she does, it is her own kind of photography. Her most recent series is “shooting dynamic light that lasts atto seconds (the smallest unit to measure the speed of light).” De la Cajiga takes hundreds of shots and carefully picks the ones she believes have the most potential. What follows is a multi hour-long process that turns those photos into de la Cajiga’s vision for the piece through the use of various methods and computer programs. “The result is a photograph that asks the audience to question whether [parts of] it ever existed -what you see is not what is, but what your mind sees… “The more of these shots I process, the more complex and intricate the images are turning out to be.” Not finding a term to describe her technique, she coined the word “Katharosgraphy” from the Greek Katharos = to scratch, to clean, to purify, and Graphy = process. Coincidentally, Katharos also means oak tree which is what Cajiga, her last name, means.  At the Art World Expo, she will be exhibiting this series of work.

Many of her other works also play with altering reality. The series, City In Flux, is based on illusion and “bend[ing] architectural protocols”. Here, she twists and morphs Vancouver buildings. In What If ? she places Las Soldaderas (“civilian women who made significant contributions to both the federal and rebel armies during the Mexican Revolution of 1910”) into other important events throughout history. Even in her photography of everyday life, such as Construction – Workers, Lifting of Backhoe, Invisible in Neon, and Rain City, she added or deleted components that are unidentifiable to the public eye. Only de la Cajiga knows what did and did not exist in the moment when the photo was captured. The audience is left to wonder.

Carolina will be part of the “Love in Any Language” exhibition at the Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver, 1414 Argyle Avenue, West Vancouver, February 2 – 21, 2016. The opening reception will be February 2, 6 – 8 pm, and Meet the Artists is on February 6, 2 -3 pm.

You will also be able to see her work and catch up with De la Cajiga at her new studio at the 195 Pemberton Studios bustling artist community in North Vancouver.

Take a look at Carolina de la Cajiga’s collections yourself on her website. Better still, see them in person at this year’s Vancouver Art World Expo. She is in the process of finalizing a new website,, to display the Katharosgraphy artwork. Stay tuned!


The Art World Expo’s “Intuitive Coach”, Christine Johel


By Alyssa Laube


Christine Johel “received [her] first card deck from [her] life coach and mentor” and “was re-connected to a gift and talent: the ability to read tarot and oracle cards.” As a result of honing in on that talent, Christine started practicing as an “intuitive coach”. To elaborate on what that title entails, Johel offers the following services: Reiki, Akashic records reading, tarot and/or oracle card reading, hypnotherapy, and mediumship.

She “began [her] training in Reiki to reconnect with universal energy” and now uses it “to prepare the space for [her] clients’ session, so that they can feel like it is a safe place to express what he or she is going through.” Tarot and oracle card readings are likely a more familiar practice; Johel “reads or translates the symbols or pictures in the cards” in order to “assist [her clients] in their life’s path”. As is hypnotherapy (“used for pain management, phobias, past life regressions”) and mediumship (“used to connect clients’ [to their] love ones who have passed away into the spiritual world”). Akashic Records Reading, on the other hand, is more complicated.

Before our soul comes to Earth, we create a contract with our source, God, or universe to learn,” says Johel. “Many people lately are questioning their life purpose and what it means to have freedom of choice. The Akashic Records have all of that information. It allows one to heal and release blockages. I use Akashic Records with my clients when they are indeed needing guidance, a change of direction, or understanding in their life.”

Christine will be offering her card readings at this year’s Vancouver Art World Expo “for three reasons”.

“First, I can offer them to a new audience,” she says. “Second, I will be able to meet, connect, and build new relationships with people who are passionate and talented in art. And last, card reading is a form of art; it is reading art on cards and relating that information to the client.”

Attendees of the Expo who visit Christine’s booth can expect the following from her card readings:

“Step 1: I invite my client to choose a card deck that has caught their eye, by colour or name. During the conversation, I will ask my client whether they want three or five card readings.

Step 2: I’ll take the cards out of the box and hold them in my hand for approximately ten seconds. Then I pass the cards to the client to hold for ten seconds, or longer if needed.

Step 3: Once the client has held the cards, they will then return them to me and I’ll begin shuffling them. I’ll invite to the client to tell me when to stop shuffling the cards.

Step 4: Once I have stopped shuffling the cards, I’ll ask the client to pick the cards, either by spreading them out or breaking the deck. If the client breaks the deck, I’ll invite them to pick cards from the top/middle/bottom.

Step 5: I will lay each card the client chooses upside down. Once all the cards are chosen, I turn them up and have them facing the client.

Step 6: I begin to read the cards by pointing to the symbols and how they relate to my client. From there, I will begin to share deeper information.”

Visit Christine and get a reading of your own by purchasing tickets for this years Vancouver Art World Expo!