See a review of Jessica Bell's Fits & Starts exhibited at Ottawa's Central Art Garage in Canadian Art online HERE

Jessica Bell, Fits and Starts, Central Art Garage May 2017, photo by Julia Martin

Jessica Bell, Fits and Starts, Central Art Garage May 2017, photo by Julia Martin

JULIA MARTIN, MFA '15, Solo Exhibition

PDA Projects, Collector's Space
704 Somerset St., Ottawa ON
May 12 - June 14, 2017
Opening May 12


Oversharing saves lives:
I inherited a hoarder tendency. I’ve redirected this impulse from objects to digital photographs and text messages. Instead amassing the fleeting and intangible—it really keeps the clutter down.

I meticulously document atmosphere and conversations like my mother collects Windstone Fantasy Figurines. She’s all dragons, wizards and winged cats and I’m the light at certain times of day shimmering on the dust in Bunny’s fur.

My phone has become my studio. In an attempt to hold on to time, slippery and amorphous, I rely on this ever-present and ubiquitous archive. I have an unhealthy attachment to my phone, for months I had recurring dreams of cracking its glass. My phone had taken the place of teeth in subconscious fears of bodily decline.

I do what everyone with a camera phone does, I take pictures with a regularity unmatched by any generation before. Mundane, weird, meaningless, pornographic, ridiculous, significant, pretty pictures.

Plants and cats, clouds and sunsets, friends and not friends anymore, never friends again.
And in their vast number, and scope, they begin to form a portrait, an outline of a life.
A trace of time.

It was in following them backward that I saw something I hadn’t seen while living these moments.
I’ve been sick.
I’ve been sick for a while.
I took photos of my illness, harmless nights and days in bed with Netflix. Piles of tissues, captions complaining about “kitten hands” (this is not when your hands are full of kittens, that would be adorable, rather it’s when you find yourself overturning a hot mug of cider over yourself because you could not hold its weight). I saw my mother in her nursing home bed, her skin grey, saline being dropped in her eyes, juice through a straw. It’s not the same thing. We aren’t the same, but somehow there was me. My fingers blistered and raw, my tongue swollen, mounds of my hair pulled from the drain.

I don’t dream anymore of the glass cracking.
I dream of my hair on the floor.

I made these moments physical objects, made them multiples, I gave myself something solid and never-ending to hold on to as I slowly dissolve.

Fuck those dragons. They don’t do shit.


I think I’m developing carpal tunnel from holding my phone.
My phone is running out of memory and I drop it constantly.
Why do we always hurt the ones we love?

I’m not glib, I’m irreverent, and I would appreciate it if you note the difference.
It’s not that I don’t take my work seriously, it’s that I can’t take myself seriously. The doctors say I’m supposed to avoid stress, and so I guess I’m taking the Patch Adams approach to my own life. Laugh until it stops hurting.

When I did my MFA I missed only two classes. In contrast, I was chronically absent during undergrad, high school, and elementary school.
I am known more for my absence than presence.
I believe this is thematic of my practice.

I have shown in Toronto, Ottawa, and Guelph. I completed a month-long artist residency in Finland in November 2015 which explains all the dark photos of birch trees. I’ve made books that sold out and are now out of print and will stay that way. I’m working on others. I am included in the Karsh Masson exhibition of emerging photographers coming in September 2017.


JESSICA BELL MFA '15, Solo Exhibition @ Central Art Garage

Peacemaker, 2017 (detail) Laundered and quilted painting on muslin 60 x 36 inches (152 x 91 cm)

Peacemaker, 2017 (detail) Laundered and quilted painting on muslin 60 x 36 inches (152 x 91 cm)

Jessica Bell
Fits and Starts
April 7 - May 31st.

"Because my heart is a muscle that rarely gets sore.”1

Central Art Garage is pleased to present Fits and Starts, Jessica Bell's second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Bell wades through expansive perspectives and approaches to formal abstraction as well as her personal history to domestic craft, engaging questions of privilege, permanence and visibility.
Joining mindful moments between her objects and the spaces they inhabit, Fits and Starts revels in repetition and care as Bell's means toward outward resolve and subsequent affection.

1Jan Verwoert, "A Prayer to Protest" in Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want , ed. Vanessa Ohlraun (Berlin: Piet Zwart Institute and Sternberg Press, 2010), 252.

STANZIE TOOTH, MFA '15: The Distance of the Moon, Solo Exhibition @ General Hardware

Stanzie Tooth, 2017, Shadow Self, 19.5 x 16", oil on canvas

Stanzie Tooth, 2017, Shadow Self, 19.5 x 16", oil on canvas

The Distance of the Moon

March 9 – April 8, 2017
Opening: Thursday March 9 from 6 - 9 pm
1520 Queen Street West, Toronto, M6R 1A4
Wednesday - Saturday 12 - 6

Exhibition Text: Jessica Bell

If you want to know what has become of the work of Stanzie Tooth, the answer can be found in blue.

In blue, you see, there is room. Room for gentle leanings toward green, or purple, or grey; room for the smallest piece of presence or a cascade of inky depth. In blue there is room for the simultaneous advancing and retreat of the colour’s own will and within it the weight of the world. In blue the sky meets the sea and there they come close enough to touch. Blue separates day from night and delineates the earth as a place to stand. In blue there is room for the firmament beneath our feet and “the mind in borrow of the body”.1

The works Stanzie Tooth has created for The Distance of the Moon are embodiments in and of blue. If you think when looking upon these things that this landscape painter’s feet might rest more lightly upon the earth than they once did, you would be right. Based out of Berlin since early 2016, and the beneficiary of numerous recent international residencies including the 2015 Joseph Plaskett Award, Tooth has been playing the part of a painting nomad. As a result, she has evidently thought a great deal about how paint is collected and carried. This may have begun as an issue in practicality, but practicality—like colour—is an excellent breeding ground for intention. Travel has given Stanzie Tooth’s paintings consciousness of the space within their grasp and movement has increased the span of this painter’s arms. Resolute in their blueness and the room it provides, the paintings in The Distance of the Moon are the orbit of earthly and extraterrestrial. Stanzie Tooth’s year of migration has loosened her ties to a practice of landscape painting that grounded itself in knowing and from within it she has gathered to herself the pleasure of the unknown.

The Distance of the Moon is a title shared with a short story by Italo Calvino. In it, the moon and the earth are so close to one another that trips to the lunar surface are made by boat, providing that travellers can accomplish a choreographed leap from sea to sky at just the right moment. The gesture requires a certain grace and a willingness to abandon attachments in pursuit of what the moon could yield. Successful jumpers harvest the richness of the moon’s surface and enjoy an altered perspective on the earth below, but are subject to the complexities inherent in leaving home. The turn in Stanzie Tooth’s new paintings exemplifies the rewards of a well-timed leap. Her works on canvas are subject to a quiet gravitational pull toward solid ground while those in plaster explore new worlds. “This should give you an idea of how the influences of Earth and Moon, practically equal, fought over the space between them,” Calvino writes.2  Stanzie Tooth is traversing the room between them. She is doing it in blue.

Stanzie Tooth is a Canadian artist who works primarily in painting, though her practice also diverges into sculpture, collage and installation. Her recent work illustrates feelings of familiarity and/or alienation from place. Tooth holds a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design (2007) and an MFA from the University of Ottawa (2015), where she was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Stanzie was the 2015 recipient of the Joseph Plaskett Award for Painting, through which she spent 2016 traveling and creating a new body of work, completing residencies in Berlin and Iceland, as well as self-directed research in Greece and Italy. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including solo exhibitions at General Hardware Contemporary, Galerie Karsh Masson and the Howard Park Institute. Tooth currently divides her time between Ontario and Berlin. 

1 William Gass, On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry (Boston: David R. Godine, 1976), 57.

2 Italo Calvino, “The Distance of the Moon” in The Complete Cosmicomics, trans. M.L. McLaughlin, Tim Parks and William Weaver (London and New York: Penguin Classics, 2009), 10.

JESSICA BELL, MFA '15: Solo Exhibition @ Unit 17

Jessica Bell, Seed Work, 2017 (detail) fabric remnant on quilted and stretched muslin, 56 x 72"

Jessica Bell, Seed Work, 2017 (detail)
fabric remnant on quilted and stretched muslin, 56 x 72"

25 February - 16 April 2017
opening reception: Friday, 24 February, 6-8pm

Unit 17 is pleased to present a solo exhibition with recent works by Jessica Bell

These women in my family would seem to have been pragmatic and in their deepest instincts clinically radical, given to breaking clean with everyone and everything they knew. (...) They tended to accommodate any means in pursuit of an uncertain end. They tended to avoid dwelling on just what that end might imply. When they could not think what else to do they moved another thousand miles, set out another garden: beans and squash and sweet peas from seeds carried from the last place. The past could be jettisoned, children buried and parents left behind, but seeds got carried. They were women, these women in my family, without much time for second thoughts, without inclination toward equivocation, and later, when there was time or inclination, there developed a tendency, which I came to see as endemic, toward slight and major derangements, apparently eccentric pronouncements, opaque bewilderment and moves to places not quite on schedule.

[Joan Didion, "Where I Was From" in We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: The Collected Nonfiction (Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2006), 955-956.]

Jessica Bell (b.1977, Canada) has twice been a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and has exhibited in such venues as the Ottawa Art Gallery, Idea Exchange and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. A recent artist-in-residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, she will present Fits and Starts, a solo exhibition at Ottawa’s Central Art Garage later in 2017. Bell lives in Vancouver. 

17-2414 Main Street
Vancouver, BCV5T 3H9
+1 604 379 8596

SHARON KATZ, MFA '14: Time/Frame @ Studio Sixty-Six

Sharon Katz, Unsalted Butter (left), Sharon Katz, Birdhouse (right)

Sharon Katz, Unsalted Butter (left), Sharon Katz, Birdhouse (right)

FEBRUARY 23 - MARCH 25 2017

Please join us for the opening reception: 
Thursday, February 23, 6-9PM
202-66 Muriel Street, Ottawa, ON  K1S4E1

“Staging in the sense we are talking about is a kind of framing; in theatre, the stage is the frame that allows us to make sense of what is to follow – that the execution wasn’t really an execution, that the newlyweds aren’t really married. While not a part of the performance itself, the frame is what allows us to see it as a performance” (Chris Fleming & John O’Carroll, The Art of the Hoax, 47).

Sharon Katz and Véronique Sunatori, two artists at disparate points in their lives and careers, explore the themes of temporality and materiality through their contrastive but complementary works.

An accomplished animator and filmmaker, Sharon Katz brings her mixed media work incorporating pages of encyclopedias, ink, paint and found objects to the exhibition. Katz’s works depict movement and action, merging the stasis of her painted frames with the vitality in her work, notable in String Theory, where the tennis player yearns to engage below the glass with the ball, finding itself in a “perpetual state of suspended animation.” Katz has only recently begun working with paint and its role in her work varies within each piece - from background to foreground, from heavy touches to light. Also recently designing sets for theatrical production, Katz is cognizant of the ways in which each work becomes a storyboard, a natural extension from animation.

Véronique Sunatori, currently working towards her MFA at York University, creates work that offers alternative perspectives, as can easily be seen in her series of severed and modified frames, effectively reintroducing the “stage” as the art itself, albeit disjointed from its original purpose and appearance. Sunatori also incorporates her identity, born to a Japanese father and Québécoise mother, to her Portraits series, wherein she has drawn over the glass covering photographic portraits of the artist, and her Skillfully series, which references traditional Japanese wood and paper screens. For Sunatori, invoking sculptural forms allows for her work to breathe conceptually and both asks for and offers up alternative points of view.

Staged together in the juxtaposed space of the gallery, the performativity accomplished through the two artists’ works is present, provoking debate on the functionality of staging and framing and, indeed, of a suspension of disbelief.

Text by Rose Ekins, Curator

Fleming, Chris, and John O'Carroll. "The Art of the Hoax." Parallax 16, No. 4 (2010): 45-59.

ANDREW MORROW, MFA '09: Ten Small Paintings, Solo Exhibition @ Patrick Mikhail Gallery

Andrew Morrow,  Oaring Boughs, Oil on prepared cotton paper, 23 X 30 inches, 2017

Andrew Morrow,  Oaring Boughs, Oil on prepared cotton paper, 23 X 30 inches, 2017

February 18 – March 25, 2017


PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY in Montréal is pleased to present an installation of new works by Québec artist ANDREW MORROW. The exhibition, entitled TEN PAINTINGS SMALL, incorporates new paintings on paper and furthers Morrow’s exploration of a fragmented and expanded language of history painting after Modernism.

Referencing a wide range of history painting and early photography, Morrow’s current paintings present a deconstruction of pictorial strategies from realist painting and narrative histories. Painted as a counterpoint to an ongoing large-scale public art project, TEN PAINTINGS SMALL features ten small oil paintings on paper. In contrast to the incumbencies and constraints associated with public art, these paintings are straightforward and inward-looking, concerned primarily with painterly issues, almost willfully blind to the sociopolitical complexities underlying their source material. Developed from fragments of history painting and 19th century photography, these new works maintain a conscious detachment from originating contexts and meanings, subsuming source materials to formalist painting concerns, such as scale, composition, and space. Additionally, through the reduction of source material to familiar archetypes from history and genre painting—the nude, the worker, the land, the soldier, the artist—figures are apprehended from photographic history and re-assigned to the service of painting. In this exhibition, Morrow re-states the belief that in all things painting, painting comes first.

Morrow’s professional practice is characterized by a desire to both inhabit and extend historical, narrative painting. His work fluctuates between narrative and self-reference, lucidity and indeterminacy, ambition and constraint. Extending from personal, actual, and invented histories, the paintings engage broad, historical themes such as war, eroticism, beauty, the apocalypse, and death, complicating these through a resistance to narrative closure and spatial coherence. In the artist’s work, fragmented and archetypal figures populate shifting, uncertain landscapes—approaching, but never quite attaining, the sublime. Morrow redresses our historical landscape, inviting us to re-evaluate our own cultural self-image.

Morrow holds a BFA from Queen’s University and an MFA from the University of Ottawa where he was awarded the 2009 Michel Goulet Prize for outstanding thesis presentation. He was a finalist in the 2004 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and the 2007 Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist Award. He is the recipient of the 2011 RBC Emerging Artist Award.  He was awarded the 2010 W.B. Bruce European Travel Award, the 2013 DAÏMÔN Residency, and the 2015 Can Serrat Residency Support Stipend. Morrow’s work can be found in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, City of Ottawa Art Collection, Kingston City Hall, Desjardins Group in Montréal, Herjavec Group in Toronto, and St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, in addition to numerous private international collections. Morrow has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions at: Art Toronto; Papier Art Fair; Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa); Saw Gallery (Ottawa); Mississauga Art Gallery; Sudbury Art Gallery; New Brunswick Museum; Edmonton Art Gallery; Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto). Morrow is on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Arts Council, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa.  The artist lives and works in Chelsea, Québec. 


Anne Marie Dumouchel, Curtain E, 2017, 53.5 x 43.5 Inches

Anne Marie Dumouchel, Curtain E, 2017, 53.5 x 43.5 Inches

Anne Marie Dumouchel, MFA alumna & Marc Knowles at PDA Projects, Ottawa (Owner/Curator Brendan DeMontigny MFA '13), opening Feb 10th. Anne Marie Dumouchel hybridizes analog and digital photographic processes, injecting the colourful and psychedelic qualities of glitch into the tradtional.


The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa is pleased to present PAUL WALDE, as part of the 2016-2017 Visiting Artist Program.

Wednesday, February 8th from 12 to 1pm
Department of Visual Arts,
100 Laurier Ave. East, room 114

Paul Walde is an intermedia artist, composer, and curator. Walde’s body of work suggests unexpected interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology. Recent exhibitions of his work include: The View from Up Here at the Anchorage Museum (2016), Nature’s Handmade at Museum London (2015) and All Together Now at the University of Toronto Art Centre (2014).

In 2013, he completed Requiem for a Glacier, a site-specific sound performance featuring a fifty-five-piece choir and orchestra live on the Farnham Glacier in the Purcell Mountains. Requiem for a Glacier was subsequently developed into a multichannel sound and video installation which has been the basis of solo exhibitions at L’ Université Laval Art Gallery in Quebec City, QC; Art Gallery at Evergreen, Coquitlam, BC; Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson, BC, (2014) and The Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, BC (2013).

Walde is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (BFA) and New York University (MA). He is the winner of The Prescott Fund Award from the National Arts Club in New York City, and has recently received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council. In addition to his studio practice, Walde is an active lecturer, curator, teacher and writer and has attended residencies at Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and the Banff Centre for the Arts. From 2007 to 2010 he was the Artistic Director and Visual Arts curator of LOLA, the London Ontario Live Arts Festival during which time he presented projects by such international artists as Brian Eno (UK), blackhole factory (DE), Yoko Ono (US) and Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky (US). Often blurring the lines between producer and curator he has also presented the work of such Canadian artists as: Michael Snow, Kelly Mark, Dave Dyment, Gordon Monahan, and Michelle Gay.

In 2012 he relocated to Victoria, British Columbia, where he is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Department Chair at the University of Victoria. Walde is a founding member of Audio Lodge, a Canadian sound artcollective and EMU Experimental Music Unit a Victoria-based sound ensemble.

AMY SCHISSEL, MFA '09, Awarded Joan Mitchell Foundation 2016 Painters & Sculptors Grant



From the Joan Mitchell Foundation website
The Painters & Sculptors Grant Program
was established in 1993 to acknowledge painters and sculptors creating work of exceptional quality through unrestricted career support. The first year of grants was awarded in 1994 and the Foundation has funded individual artists annually since that time.

Nominators from across the country are invited to recommend artists whom they feel deserve more recognition for their creative achievements and whose practice would significantly benefit from the grant. The candidates' images were viewed for consideration through an anonymous process by a jury panel that convened this fall at the office of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Nominators and jurors include prominent visual artists, curators, and arts administrators.

About the Joan Mitchell Foundation
Established in 1993, the Joan Mitchell Foundation is an artist-endowed non-profit organization. The Foundation celebrates the legacy of Joan Mitchell and expands her vision to support the aspirations and development of diverse contemporary artists. We work to broaden the recognition of artists and their essential contributions to communities and society.
In addition to this initiative, other programs undertaken by the Foundation include the Emerging Artist Grant Pilot Program, the Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) program that supports mature artists in the areas of studio organization, archiving and inventory management, education initiatives for both young and adult artists, as well as grants to artists and arts communities in need of emergency support after a disaster. The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans is an artist residency center that hosts national and local artists, and provides public programming that serves the broader community of New Orleans.

MFA Open House

Sam Loewen

Sam Loewen

Lindsey Wilson

Lindsey Wilson

Thank you to all who attended the third annual MFA open house and made it a wonderful evening of art! We hope to continue this tradition of the MFA candidates introducing themselves and their practices to the public, and Ottawa arts community. See you next December!


The University of Ottawa MFA candidates welcome you to their open house! First and Second Year MFA's will be showcasing their most recent bodies of work in our third annual Open House night. Come discover new artists, works, and learn more about the University of Ottawa's MFA program. 

Refreshments and snacks will be served. 
Doors open at 7
December 16th, 7-10PM
100 Laurier Ave. East

University of Ottawa Lecture Series: Barry Schwabsky


The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa presents Barry Schwabsky

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7 p.m.
National Gallery of Canada Lecture Hall (380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa)

The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa is proud to present Barry Schwabsky on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. at the NGC Lecture Hall. 

Barry Schwabsky is an art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. His most recent books are The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present (Verso, 2016) and a collection of poetry, Trembling Hand Equilibrium (Black Square Editions, 2015). He is also the primary author of the Vitamin P series of books on contemporary painting, of which the third and most recent installment is imminent from Phaidon Press. He is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Art and Art History, Hunter College, City University of New York.

National Gallery of Canada
Conference in English. Open to public and free of charge. Limited seating. 



THURSDAY OCTOBER 20th, Artist Talk
National Gallery of Canada

The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa is proud to present the second annual Stonecroft Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Series in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada. Abbas Akhavan, winner of the prestigious 2015 Sobey Art Award, will deliver an artist talk.

Le Département d’arts visuels de l’Université d’Ottawa est fier de présenter la deuxième conférence d’artistes invités de la Fondation Stonecroft en collaboration avec le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada. Abbas Akhavan, le gagnant du prestigieux Prix Sobey pour les Arts 2015, prononcera la conférence.

Conference in English. Open to public and free of charge. Limited seating. 
Conférence en anglais avec traduction simultanée disponible sur demande avant le 13 octobre Ouvert gratuitement au public. Places limitées.

Exposition de Sasha Phipps (BFA Alum/Photomedia Technician)/Exhibition of Sasha Phipps

Sasha Phipps, Se faire avoir comme un bleu (Hook, Line and Sinker)
La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario
Exposition du 7 octobre au 5 novembre 2016
Vernissage le vendredi 7 octobre à 17 h

Avec son travail d’installation, l’artiste Sasha Phipps explore et réinterprète les cultures dites «vernaculaires». Se faire avoir comme un bleu s’inspire ainsi du paysage riverain du lac Ramsey en accordant une attention particulière à ceux qui y tendent leurs cannes à pêche.

Un hameçon géant transperce le mur de la galerie à la façon des lignes à pêche qui, au lieu d’un poisson, accrochent le fond du lac. Dans un ancien évier en acier inoxydable, un flotteur ballotant indique la présence d’un poisson qui grignote l’appât avant de s’esquiver. Finalement, l’exposition se dissimule sous des motifs originaux de camouflage conçus par l’artiste à partir de photos prises du paysage local.


Through his installation work, artist Sasha Phipps explores and reinterprets what he calls “vernacular” aspects of culture. Inspired by the landscape around Ramsey Lake, Hook, Line, and Sinker is especially interested in those who cast their fishing lines along the shore.

A giant hook is embedded in one of the gallery’s walls, evoking the manner in which a fishing line sometimes snags the bottom of the lake instead of its intended prey. Something tugs at a floating bobber in an old stainless steel sink, like fish nibbling on bait before getting away. Finally, the exhibition is partly hidden behind original camouflage patterns designed by the artist with photos taken of the local landscape.

JESSICA BELL (MFA'15) Artist Talk at Ottawa Art Gallery

Catch and Release, 2014, Found object, plaster, 18 x 14 x 14 inches

Catch and Release, 2014, Found object, plaster, 18 x 14 x 14 inches

Tuesday, September 13th, at 6:30PM
From the OAG website:
This event will take place at OAG’s Annex Gallery at City Hall, located at 110 Laurier Ave West.
Join artist Jessica Bell for a look at her new work, recent projects, and life after MFA. Bell's graduate thesis exhibition All things being equalwas featured at OAG in 2015. Refreshments will be served.

Jessica Bell makes objects and installations that play with the relationships between art and craft, home and studio, life and work. A graduate of the University of Ottawa’s MFA program in 2015, she has twice been a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2013, 2015), and has exhibited in such venues as Ottawa Art Gallery, Idea Exchange and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. This spring she was an artist-in-residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Jessica Bell lives in Vancouver.


Pink Lake Mica III (detail) Cold Wax Medium, Oil, and Raw Pigments on Canvas, 8x5 feet, 2016
Pink Lake Mica III (detail) Cold Wax Medium, Oil, and Raw Pigments on Canvas, 8x5 feet, 2016

Gillian King
Becoming Animal
Exhibition: August 19th - September 25th, 2016
Vernissage: Thursday August 18th-  6pm
Ottawa Art Gallery

In Becoming Animal, Gillian King explores our relationships as human animals towards non-human animals and the natural world through abstract painting. Human animals have changed the natural landscape to a point where we have entered into a new epoch - the Anthropocene. Unlike other epochs, the Anthropocene began by our actions and influence on the natural environment. The resulting fallout from our ability to change the landscape of the world has affected how we interact other living beings. To address these environmental issues visually, King uses her hands and nails to move and throw beeswax, charcoal, and natural and artificial raw pigments onto human-scale canvases. The traces left by her body are reminiscent of non-human animals clawing or digging and act as a kind of symbolic mapping of a relatable body. She invites viewers to consider their own physical engagement with our landscape and other animals through the haptic or sense of touch. From afar her gestural marks give a photographic illusion. Up close the viewer is able to experience their physical relief that is akin to a topographic terrain. King sees this opposition between what is perceived and what is the case is important to her practice because exploring the actions between human animal and non-human animal bodies means to question how we look at, and act, within the natural world. Becoming Animal is King’s University of Ottawa Masters of Fine Arts thesis exhibition. 

We're happy to announce that the OAG has extended the run of Gillian King's thesis exhibition, it will be up until the end of day September 25th!