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Luca Jesse Apel: Matka Las

Eastern Edge is very pleased to present Matka Las, a rOGUE Gallery exhibition by Luca Jesse Apel! Join us for an opening reception on Friday, March 29th from 6-8pm. We’ll have plenty of snacks and refreshments! Click here to RSVP to the event.

Matka Las (“Mother Woods”) is a brambled journey towards cultural reclamation, through the thickets of folklore, history, and fractured remnants of a mother tongue. As a trans child born to Polish immigrants, the artist grew up untethered, neither Polish, nor wholly Canadian, unable to reconcile joyous memories of Polish traditions with a country that considers his existence illegal. But once upon a time, Poland was pagan, ruled by anthropomorphic deities for whom gender may be fluid, unknown or irrelevant. In a series of wood carvings on pine slabs, Luca Jesse Apel reinterprets the mythic creatures of his childhood through a trans and queer lens, giving flesh to beings long without form, and reconnecting with a mother that may actually call him son.


Luca Jesse Apel is a mixed media installation artist, a lifelong nomad, and a kid from Missouri still catching crayfish. As an artist, Luca creates with acrylics, wood, and found objects to form upcycled, three-dimensional, and texturally engaging works. In 2022 he had his first solo show at the Britannia Art Gallery in Vancouver, and in 2023, he was short-listed for VANL-CARFAC’s Emerging Artist Award. Outside of art, Luca writes the occasional poem, hikes the occasional mountain, and takes frequent naps.

View the exhibition virtually!

Show Documentation

Photo Credit: Laura Sbrizzi