Pyra Draculea is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and composer based on Canada’s West Coast.
Hailing from the suburbs of Vancouver, BC, some of Draculea’s earliest memories are going to the Richmond Cultural Centre (or whatever it was called in the 80s) for a wide range of classes from pottery to painting. She has continued to work in a variety of mediums ever since, and currently focuses on 2D mixed media works incorporating drawings, embroidery on paper and acrylic painting, as well as improvised and art quilting and other textile works.
She is partly self-taught along with having taken many workshops and classes in various Vancouver art hubs from Emily Carr’s continuing studies department to Langara and BCIT to the now-defunct Focal Point and even a Japanese woodblock printing workshop with the late Noboru Sawai back in the 90s during high school, held at the Richmond Art Gallery.
From 2008 to 2015, Draculea took a detour into experimental noise and industrial music, working under the moniker maQLu and releasing four official EPs and two albums along with assorted other improvisational electronic experimental releases. maQLu racked up numerous college radio chart positions across Canada starting in the summer of 2010. Fans have described her music as “a beautiful abomination” while reviewers have said maQLu’s music is “a breath of fresh air in the electro scene” (James Wright of Soundsphere Magazine) and “an orchestration of foreign, unsettling industrial rock” (Tom Harrison of The Province).
However, the business and the noise itself started getting to Draculea, along with the frustration of what is normally a fairly slow and drawn out recording, editing, and reworking process, and that, coupled with a near-death drowning experience in 2013, caused her to rethink her creative direction. This resulted in a detour through comedy open mics and a year or so working on The Dry Shave Show, a political comedy podcast with a couple of friends, along with relaunching the characters from her old webcomic about a megalomaniacal iguana, Zamo the Destroyer, as a comedy podcast “by an iguana for iguanas, talking about important iguana stuff and issues” narrated by Zamo igself complaining about the various “pet humans” and their misdeeds.
Along the way there have also been various forays back into the visual arts. Much like her experimental and noise music, she is primarily interested in textures, symbols and metonymy, but she does venture into more illustrative work such as Zamo the Destroyer and current projects exploring European folklore and pagan culture, which will hopefully start coming to light by the end of 2020.