The 1979 revolution (Islamic revolution) was a series of protests that concluded with the overthrow of the Pahlavi Dynasty. Sensitive issues like romance, marriage and the hijab worsened after the revolution. Arson on the prostitute district Shahr-e No was acknowledged differently by two well-known revolutionary figures. Moreover, women’s protests during the revolution and their absence following the revolution became yet another contradiction in the revolution’s attitude. To reflect this with art, I juxtaposed photos, using a collage technique of newspaper collections with women’s photographs reflecting the anti-ethical beliefs, perspectives and expectations of 1979 Iran. These collages and paintings feature several figures, symbols, and incidents from the revolution. They present evidence of the incompatible beliefs, as they appeared in newspapers and hint at the revolution’s underlying issues. Patriotic stories were repeatedly told throughout mainstream songs. Flowers were also perpetually used, symbolizing martyrdom, springtime, chastity, and decency. The collage technique embodied a society that I came to know in my early years shattered into pieces.
Carolyn Laidley Arn
Drawing from her design background, Carolyn uses a curated selection of colours, introducing layers, mark-making, blind contour drawing, mixed media, spray paint and a faux encaustic technique to create texture, depth and mystery. The ‘Tumblescapes’ collection appears playful and whimsical with big bold shapes juxtaposed against tiny intricate details. Klimpt-like whimsical shapes are tucked to the edges of unbalanced compositions, that are pleasing yet a little uncomfortable. The work contains collage of newsworthy print articles and the dotted path through the work is reminiscent of pinball game navigating through pandemic challenges and the obstacles of life.
Robyn is an artist working across traditional media, including oil paint, graphite, and charcoal. The aim of her work is to create emotionally direct images, focusing on the human form as a central subject, while capturing a sense of the subject’s psychology. She seeks to combine the technique and refinement of European Masters with contemporary feminist perspectives and subjects. Robyn holds a M.S. in Design and Management from Parsons The New School of Design and a B.A.A. in Illustration from Sheridan College. Since 2019, she has been studying classical drawing and painting at The Academy of Realist Art. Prior to working as an artist, Robyn worked as an art director and designer for international agencies and publications including Elle Canada, Flare, Muse, and More Magazine.
I believe any art form should convey a message or a feeling. Not meaning to disparage, but this is what I believe distinguishes art from craft. As such, while I understand the necessity of freedom in a viewer’s interpretation, I believe any artwork should have a title. If desired, the viewer is free to read the title after a personal interpretation. I believe critical elements of successful sculpture are movement, not literal, and use of all three dimensions. Some sculpture has thickness but essentially flat, only uses two dimensions. My sculpture is usually inspired by an event where I have been emotionally moved. I then spend months mulling over ways to portray that experience. I begin with back-of-the-envelope-sketches to solidify and portray a concept. While maintaining the concept, the final product usually only bears a resemblance to my sketches.
I am currently working on a series of paintings based on family heirloom photos taken during the mid 20th century, capturing images of people and places from the time before and after my parents immigrated to Canada.
When a piece of art first presents itself as an impulse, thought or symbol, I receive it as an invitation to enter into a dialogue with a more essential layer of life. As in any conversation part of the subject is known, part unknown; and it is in the sitting, listening and responding, stroke by stroke, that the elements needed for that piece of art to be fully articulated are revealed.
J. Lynn Campbell- Honourable Mention
With this diptych, my thoughts circled around time and how to envision an indefinite process of actuality. Time, space and patterns became the areas of investigation. The words canon and canonical situate meaning(s) in different areas of interest. They conform to orthodox or well-established rules, patterns and procedures related to religion, literature, music, mathematics and physics. For myself, phenomenology is a form of qualitative enquiry that seeks to unite philosophy, science, and the lived experience at the time it occurs. Language as spoken sound sets in motion a process of thought and visualization. We live in time. We have a beginning and an end, at least as far as we understand and accept the reality of human consciousness. Time is our paradoxical gift and gives us our existential premise for which we will, hopefully with confidence, come to terms with.
We should talk. Advertisements tell women they are heroic, so long as they know their place. Bending over a stove, gazing lovingly at household cleaning products, perpetually managing their appearance in the hopes of landing a husband. Men are simply told that they are heroes. In every ad they are given a hero’s welcome in the form of cars, tools and a bevy of female admirers. The menfolk are required to wear the uniform and bring home the bacon. The series, “We should talk” are collages, handmade from original advertisements and ephemera from the 1920’s-1970’s. The work combines emblematic imagery and humour to invite the viewer to consider the rigid constraints of gender norms. As modern men and women move together into this brave new world of gender equality and fluid identity, there is still the struggle of household chores and parental obligations and who gets to be on top. “We should talk” explores the way in which men and women are gently declining to say the lines and wear the costumes that go with their prescribed roles.
This series of assemblages, titled Keeping Time, is my response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Beautiful mantle clocks, broken and now unable to tell time, seemed to echo the odd state of limbo that so many of us had entered. Responding to the different styles and decorative elements of each box, I used bits of old prints, found images, and natural elements to create small scenes of contentment that would allow escape. When closed, the clock faces on the etched doors refer to the original purpose of the boxes as well as the hazy nature of memory itself. Opening the doors immediately takes us to a different time and place. Keeping Time #2 opens into a spring forest with its promise of new life.
Christine De Vuono
Christine De Vuono is a multimedia artist working with drawing, sculpture, collage, installation, and photography. The materials of each project are chosen specifically to engage viewers in new ways to examine societal norms and values. Her work utilizes antiquated practices and mindful labour, emphasizing the disparity between past traditions and present efficiencies. Often focusing on the transitions we face in life, her work celebrates the needs of the psyche for beloved care and lived beauty.
In analyzing the treatment of women as abject and uncanny beings, Donoghue-Stanford’s practice revolves around womanhood and femininity as inherently Gothic on the basis of subjugation under patriarchal trauma. Horror and desire morph into beautiful obscurity and ugly clarity to utilize the Gothic as a catalyst to the reclamation of power and control over the self.
These paintings are from my series ‘Unbroken Circle’. They examine the attempt to cope with processes of adaptation in a changing world. The works depict a trail of images which reflects the realities of the human experience of transition: a narrative of movement, and a way of thinking and seeing based on temporariness, breaking of sequences, and the blurring of borders and symbols. The contrast between light and darkness represents the cyclical nature of time and a unity of opposites. This visual exploration expresses the constant interaction between universal elements and personal symbols, allowing a reflective look at their complicated co-existence.
In reference to Drawing on the Figure: 10 contemporary ceramists approach the human form, former Clay and Glass Gallery director Glenn Allison wrote: … her commitment to the human figure in art has been … permanent. While other fashionable art movements have emerged and faded, Fletcher’s deployment of the figure as an expressive vehicle has persisted. Initially, that persistence might seem to position her squarely in a traditional camp. But that would be inaccurate. Her radical independence, coupled with the evolving exploratory nature of her research, has kept her work at the forefront. Karen’s work contributes to critical contemporary dialogues on carnality, gender, identity and sexuality, while affirming the value of our visual heritage. Though not my words, this statement says it best. The human form compels me and has been the focus of my practice since the late 70’s. Looking Forward/Looking Back is a personal reflection on a life lived.
Tori Foster- Juror’s Award
Unlike traditional videos, which capture the three-dimensional volume of space in front of the camera lens, “Downtown” is a composite of slit-scan images of Toronto’s subway platforms, which capture action only as it crosses a two-dimensional plane of space. As a result, time is represented from the left to right. Static elements are repeated in thin vertical slivers causing a horizontal streaking affect. Moving elements, such as commuters and trains, are rendered as recognizable figures. The figures appear distorted because we are accustomed to seeing the world in three-dimensions, though they are ultimately an equally accurate representation of space and time. This piece privileges time over space, exploring the ways in which we navigate our environment. The shift in representational hierarchy allows us to consider how time impacts engagement patterns within the spaces we navigate.
Victoria is a Toronto-based artist who primarily works either with pastel, charcoal or oil. Specializing in figurative narrative art, Victoria renders scenes (often tongue-in-cheek) which depict the more intimate, private moments of our lives. (You can also find her exploring different eras from the past as well as landscapes. Her work has been exhibited extensively internationally, and is in private collections globally. You can find Victoria’s work on Instagram at victoria.general.
My art practice includes observational drawing, printmaking, photography and recently, digital manipulation. The thematic content has shifted over time, along with my political and personal understandings. It is presently nature-focused, examining the movement and transience of wind and water. My internal work is attending to what I am watching with care, seeking to bring that movement and transience to the page. In the two Wind in the Willows drawings created from my balcony during our first lockdown it seemed as though the branches were drawing the wind and I was drawing both the branches and the wind. The collage Moonlight at Johnson Lake began with a drawing of movement on water that evolved into a relief print. I scanned the print and digitally enhanced its colour, printing the image numerous times on sheets of mailing labels. In collaging the labels I was helping water’s endless complexity to appear.
I work primarily in watercolour or glass– fused, stained and mosaic, frequently combining mixed media and photo-transfer elements. In both mediums, light and transparency are key. I am fascinated by the way these mediums can carry literal and metaphoric weight in their ability to be transparent, translucent or opaque, allowing us to consider what we can see through, see beyond to, or not see/what is obscured. More recently, I have been exploring collage, particularly delicate painted tissue paper landscapes, animals and flowers. During COVID, I have been focussing on the beauty of nature, as well as the peace that my dogs, the visiting birds and my garden give me while painting now.
Libby Hague- Honourable Mention
I was introduced to AR (augmented reality) last fall *- a 3D world where solids move through one another with the ease of imagination. The profound strangeness of AR echoes throughout this series of watercolours. Watercolour is more agile than the woodcuts I usually work with. I paint with a fast brush trying to keep pace with the small dancers, blending the naive and the erotic. If something gets too slow, too muddy, I cut it out and use collage to bring in strangeness and freshness once again. It feels like liberation.
Alex Hernandez- First Place
As soon as I read “Capturing and layering of fleeting moments in time as they unfold in our response to changing rhythms of the urban and natural world” I was instantly captivated by it. Layering, fleeting moments, changing rhythms, urban and natural world are common themes, moods and vibes I try to use in my artwork everyday. I believe that these themes are important for any work of art and are the key ingredients to teach us that you don’t have to be scared of the past to move bravely into the future, redefining what it is to be human in the new millennium. My work, I hope, represents these fleeting moments in time as they unfold and inspires by using surreal imagery that aims to create new worlds and explore dreamlike themes.
I’ve named this mannequin Napoleon after I learned of this quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte ”Where flowers degenerate, man cannot live”Human beings are nature’s biggest dilemma. We are connected to nature by being her progeny. She gave us life. Our curiosity has inspired creativity and our human-centric march has evolved to a point where we are now making extraordinary, unsustainable demands on her. Our technological advancements have dramatically altered our connection to nature and even to each other. Physical connections are becoming abbreviated and giving way to electronic ones, isolating the individual. The banquet of information at our fingertips although overwhelming and unsettling, is unstoppable and inevitable. In the end, our existence will likely be determined by how much we value our relationship with nature. The mannequin ‘Napoleon’ personifies this struggle between nature and human’s technology.
Poonam Khanna is an emerging Toronto-based artist working primarily in acrylic. She likes to paint scenes of everyday life, but from a new perspective and is fascinated by the effect rain can have on a landscape, especially when seen through glass. When it rains, Poonam often heads out to take pictures through glass car windows, bus shelters and even a piece of glass from an old frame. The rain blurs the lines between objects, and many things start melting into one another. Poonam adds a further layer of abstraction through her painting style, which relies on soft edges and a vibrant colour ground shining through. She has exhibited her work in several juried group shows.
Win Keenan Kuplowsky
In recent times when hours moved slowly and weeks swallowed up days, inspiration was garnered still, echoed in the seasons, memory, and in healing.
When we look at something are we really seeing? Are we are using our whole being, our senses, our minds and our emotions. Can we let go of trying to figure out what we are; go beyond the labels society puts on things; relax and stop, so that we can truly see. Things, events, people and everything around us are put into categories with labels so they can be identified and defined in words but that does not allow for feelings. Your vision of what you see is unique, yours alone and that is very special. You bring in everything that you have experienced. Ten people can look at the same picture and see it differently. The difference between looking and seeing is in how involved you are in the action. You look at a flower that has been named a tulip or a rose but can you go beyond that and feel the colour, the softness, the strength, the gentleness? Do you experience what the flower is trying to share with you? Look around and experience the every day things around you, for this moment in time is short lived. Don’t let the life in the world around you go by without being involved in it. Stop, see, experience.
My artwork explores the intersection and interdependence of three core themes. First, that my body is my primary mode of experiencing the world. That is, I perceive the world through my bodily experience, through sensation, sight, hearing, touch, taste, and feeling. Second, that my mind attempts to impose structure, using linguistic and mental concepts, to give the world a permanence and reality that do not exist. Third, how openings, or passageways, reflect the fluid and changing nature of experience and, in particular, the movement through the unconscious and dream world. I represent the body not as a fixed or contained entity, but as something constantly changing and fusing, interconnected with its environment, an environment that is also constantly changing. My art represents my experience, the way dreams, images, subconscious, memories and thoughts arise and fall; the way there is nothing concrete or contained in this corporeal experience.
The past ten years or so I have been developing a new way of painting, or ‘picture-making’, wherein I treat paint as skin, which can be manipulated, cut up or carved into. Each painting becomes ground for experimentation, and begins with a leap off a cliff. Some survive. As a toddler in post-war Europe, My mother began a story with the words:…and then came a powerful wind….The story never progressed further than delivering our family the gates of a strange city. That wind, for me, has become the metaphor for the tendency for things to fall apart, whether through war, or climate change. ‘All that is Solid’ tries to express that force.
When I was a child, our family moved frequently, never quite finding the one true place to put down roots. My parents never owned a house. We boomeranged between rented bungalows and high-rise apartments, our closets filled with some boxes that never got unpacked. This likely explains my obsession with houses, especially old ones that have seen the passage of time and neighbourhood changes. Walking my dog at all hours and in all weather, I started noticing things: how shadows lined a laneway, the glint of sunlight on a chimney stack, the details of dated architecture. I felt compelled to capture these images as so many original dwellings are disappearing. A tiny 1930’s cottage can be demolished in hours, replaced several weeks later by a modern box. My work documents familiar architecture but also examines the notion of place, the sense of belonging, what makes us feel home. These paintings reflect an urban landscape but one that is still, without the complication of people, finding beauty in the everyday things around me.
Our relationship to nature shapes our sense of place and sense of self. It reflects us as a society and individuals. Watersheds are living entities with richly layered histories, narratives and morphologies. Like our climate, watersheds are experiencing change. Development has created fragmented ecologies, loss of connectivity and marginalized habitat, which threatens our environment. I’m drawn to Toronto’s richly layered histories, narratives and morphologies and moments in time that present themselves as I wander and explore Toronto?s urban and natural environments. Protecting habitat, preserving ecosystems and sustaining biodiversity is critical. There is much to lose. I remain cautiously optimistic, as so far nature has proven resilient.
My art-based research relies on treating life experience as multiple, new knowledge creation and the importance of storytelling through the acknowledgement of ancestral knowledges. Through my interdisciplinary art practice I attempt to tell stories about ritual, hair braiding, symmetry, pattern and discipline. Stories about mothers and grandmothers, about monsters, about memory, about loss and longing. By othering the viewer, my work is a play on expectations and translations of racialized and migrant bodies. It recognizes the effects of assimilation and loss of culture within an immigrant experience and centres the body as a fragmented and hybrid archive of dualities. It calls for safe spaces of communal healing while creating avenues for new narratives and excluded voices to be realized. It makes note of oppressive structures and attempts to undo colonial damage. A cliché, is a performative film work where I perform with a diary that belonged to my grandmother while recalling a visceral yet fragmented memory of hair braiding that I shared with my mother during my childhood. It is a meditation on intimacy as well as estrangement that migrant experiences hold. Through research that utilizes decolonial methods I wish to investigate melancholy in diaspora by preforming with cherished objects
I studied at the Toronto School of Art where I focused on abstract painting and received my Fine Arts Diploma in 2001, and then years later I specialized in Digital Media. Having learned both painting and graphics , I’m able to bring my skill for colour and focus on blending all the pictures together as one. I love designing illusion images and letting people decide on what the actual outcome is in each piece.
In a culture that glorifies youth and beauty, time-ravaged bodies are hidden, denied. Yet the process of aging, the process of change, and my internal insistent demand to be my most authentic self, stands at the core of my artistic practice. My work confronts the dominant negative perception of aging – particularly in women – questioning gender and political values. As an aging female artist, an expansion of this area of interest is my sense of identity as a physical and sexual being, confronting my body and mortality, scrutinizing and exploring what effect this unflinching gaze has on my artistic practice. I will be seventy years old this fall. It’s a remarkable age – one that has been reached with a full measure of lived experiences – loves, losses, achievements, disappointments. I feel very compelled to document my story and that of other aging women through the work I create.
Born in Italy, Toronto based, Frances Patella’s work explores transformation over time. She has exhibited in solo, juried, group exhibitions and art fairs, including Art Toronto. Frances has received Mid-Career grants from the Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils. Frances holds a BFA from York University, a B.ED. from the University of Toronto and studied Visual Arts at the University of Western with painter Paterson Ewen. Frances apprenticed with Noel Harding and was Joyce Wieland’s arts administrator. She is a member of the OSA, and member of Propeller Gallery and former Chair. She was a Member of the Board and Chair of Jury and Judges for the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Frances has taught visual arts and photography in the TDSB, conducted Cyanotype workshops for the Photo Educators Forum and the National Gallery of Photography.
Falling down a rabbit hole is a metaphor for something that transports someone into a wonderfully (or troubling) surreal state or situation. It came to be a poignant expression during Covid. From Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: ‘I could tell you my adventures— beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” Ch 6. “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” Ch 12. These two quotes give pause to think about the pandemic’s effects on 1) individuals and 2) the pace of contemporary life.
Born an artist, I have taken the scenic route! With degrees in both Visual Fine Arts and Interior Design, I owned Toronto’s prominent Petroff Gallery for over 20 years, coached countless artists, juried art shows, taught art, served on several boards and advisory committees in the arts, all the while dreaming it should be my artwork up on those gallery walls! In 2013 I sold the gallery to establish Petroff Design, a thriving Interior Design and Art Consulting practice, and to create art. Drawn to working with old papers, I rescue traces of time, reinterpreting and repurposing these markers of our memories into mixed media sculptural works, reinvesting their meaning, narratives, relevance and interest. Often in the form of clothing, my work is never intended to be regarded as historical costume, but rather to serve as an intimate and relatable canvas onto which the viewer projects their memories.
Janet F Potter
My art work in ‘Echoes’ reflects my emotional response to the disastrous climate changes causing a tremendous decrease in the production in natural fibres such as cotton and silk. New diseases and erratic weather changes due to climate crisis are increasingly reducing fields in cotton and silk. Whisperings of Echoes are saying Wake Up! I have used traditional hand sewn and embroidery techniques on recyclable fabric to create a story with my series from vintage sewing machines and irons from our grandmothers. It tells a story about my longing for the old, reflecting rhythms from old to new.
Janet Read is a painter, musician, and poet, who grew up near the shores of Lake Simcoe. The artist has sought the water’s edge ever since. Read was born and educated in Toronto. Her roots go back to the Ottawa Valley Irish, Belfast and county Wexford in Ireland. Perhaps this explains a fondness for fiddle music, poetry and the sea. Residencies in Newfoundland and Ireland and travels in Norway, Iceland, and Scotland have allowed her continued access to the sea, leading to a lifetime investigation of water, as a metaphor for strength and fragility. My work stems from a deep sense of place. Travels in the high Arctic of the Canadian North and Greenland prompted a series of works dealing with the horizon and light. Charcoal on paper, oil and graphite on duralar, acrylic on panel, and oil on linen media are used my current body of work to explore ephemeral light over water and austere, almost desert landscapes in the north. The gap between water and sky where the light blooms, sparks my imagination. Distance slips over the infinite horizon and Arctic radiance invites contemplation of the infinite. Weather and wind are invoked by paint moved by spatulas and large brushes. Charcoal delineates the flat horizon with a curved arc of cloud poised above, a fleeting weight, a breath of vapour. The environmental vulnerability of this region, its beauty and fragility are echoed in my work, an investigation of high Arctic light.
Heather Roy- Second Place
I paint in oils and encaustics, and have exhibited in the Northumberland area for about twenty years. I trained at Dawson College and Toronto School of Art, and studied Philosophy at Trent University. My studio is located steps away from Lake Ontario, and water, in its many aspects, figures in many of my works. I am inspired by the human experience of awe, the feeling that we don’t know enough to understand our situation, and are lost in an unfamiliar landscape. I create disconcerting or ambiguous scenes where figures appear, and invite the viewer to create their own sense of meaning from their life experiences.
Leslie Crabtree Savage- People’s Choice Award Winner
“Oceanis” is a diptych of Mermaid and The Moving Sea honouring the feminine landscape and echoing the oceanic origins of life on our planet Earth, our Blue Marble, where the oceans are the generative environment in which life began. Cyanotype process captures the changing qualities of seashore life, real and imagined. Sea flotsam, the sun, and a human model echo the changing nature of life itself, as sun, wind and the translucency of beach materials suggest our fleeting knowledge of the world as well as the ongoing evolution of life. Mermaid honours the mythical creature first known as a goddess of fertility, the iconic embodiment of generativity through water, echoing again the essential femininity of the natural environment. The Moving Sea captures the ephemeral qualities of sea life, echoing the pull of the moon into tidal movement of the oceans. Organic forms of sea flotsam reflect the fusion of living sea things with life ongoing, its reality and its imaginative essence.
I strive, always, to make beautiful images. Photography allows me to preserve beauty so that I can enjoy that otherwise-fleeting quality whenever I please. Other than documenting beauty I hope to create it.
Many of my pictures are, deliberately, somewhat ambiguous. Some images are isolated, then extracted in various ways from ordinary scenes, and the identity of the original subject may be lost in that translation from scene to print, from three dimensions to two dimensions.
Sometimes, in making a photograph, the highest levels of technique are invaluable; at other times they are irrelevant. In a few cases, the image is created by movement, or layer by layer, on film or digitally, one exposure after another, one fragment after another, so that the final image is not documentary but an accumulation of selected pieces, a re-assembly, giving birth to an entirely new image.
I hope viewer imagination and life-experience will create a personal interpretations of my images.
Lifesize sculptures of different frog species glow in darkness, shedding light on the way wildlife is affected by changing environmental conditions on earth. They are quietly letting us know that our beautiful planet is in serious trouble. The frog species represented in these sculptures are of those that have become extinct, critically endangered or have declining numbers. I invite you to sit with them and meditate on what they are trying to tell us and take action before it’s too late. These sculptures were part of a solo exhibition at Propeller Art Gallery titled, Luminous. Each frog was poured in resin mixed with pigments and incorporate different types of LED lighting. The results are very lifelike versions of frogs, each hand painted that glow in the darkness.
Like so many romantic, nostalgic tales, this one begins as a young woman leaves her cramped family home on an orange grove in the Mediterranean and heads off to New York City to study nursing. Along the way she meets a handsome young man in Puerto Rico. Fast forward 60 years with flashes of beach vacations, children, station wagons, suburbia, changes in landscape and design. The narrator of this nostalgic tale is her youngest daughter, borrowing these memories by interpreting old, faded photographs. In doing so, the canvases unfold as chapters of a story, with repeated, layered images for the viewer to read in, on and through. As such, colours, patterns, and objects become a visual language to represent the passage of time. The viewer may recognize a chair, a wallpaper pattern or a beach scene and share in the echoes of nostalgia and longing.
With the force of its tide, the Corona virus spilled over the globe bringing it to a halt. I found myself in an uncanny new world, oscillating between the silent alone-ness of the neighbouring woods and the echoes of my former life, rebounding off of screens in the form of virtual backgrounds, avatars and other pseudo-reality simulations. In the past my art explored how the world of archetypes, beliefs, myths, symbols and associations, along with the mechanics of consciousness gives meaning to our existence through interpretation. This new series however juxtaposes our urban and natural experience duding the era of Covid-19. Capturing moments of isolation, restriction and introspection through photography, and later overlapped digitally to encapsulate the changing blend of natural and virtual worlds, shifting our perception of our ever-evolving, multi-layered world.
In my art, I try to capture the occasions when I feel the world open. Usually, the depth around me doesn’t seem real, as though there is a screen separating me from the open spaces. Believing in depth involves breaking this screen to forge a connection between myself and the other. I create worlds where self and other are opposite sides of one fabric. By visualizing two-sided folds, my art identifies a closeness that has been lost. I also visualize double surroundings. My mind extends to surround the space that surrounds me. But I also know that my body is small. My influences include philosophy and mental health. I am interested in the relationship of Buddhist ideas of Oneness, Gilles Deleuze’s theory of ‘Folds’, and solutions to anxiety and depression. I want to help other people expand their own mental spaces in order to be kinder to themselves and others.
Emulating the changeability of weather, both external and internal, my recent paintings capture fragments of the emotional landscape. Season and mood have a strong influence on palette – my practice increasingly involves the observation of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena. These pieces are an exercise in freedom, reflective of an inherent wanderlust (a quality that exists in tension with my current reality). They are at once expressive memories, and souvenirs of places I have only visited through television, literature and imagination. Childlike anticipation of each brewing season has spurred a closer connection with my true surroundings as well as a renewed urgency in paint application. Fleeting combinations of feeling become expansive skies dotted by sparks of colour. A body of water complements the activity above, pointing to a bright haze on the horizon. Landscapes provide the space to move between reality and romance, and a place on which to project desire.
As a collage artist what inspires me the most is not the images contained on the paper but the properties of the paper itself; the weight, the translucency, the texture, the colour variations… I strive to honour the beauty that is found in this simple, ancient material. These properties are balanced with the artistic elements (line, shapes, colour value or intensity, rhythm, unity, harmony, dissonance, pattern, repetition and/or transition) when I work. My collages are made of many small parts but the viewer sees the whole image first. Moving closer the uniqueness of each small piece is revealed. My work speaks to the beauty left in the things that we discard.