Gillian King, Pyroclast. Cold wax medium, oil and raw pigments on canvas, 72x60 inches. 2016

Gillian King, Pyroclast. Cold wax medium, oil and raw pigments on canvas, 72x60 inches. 2016

GILLIAN KING, MFA '16, Winner of RBC Emerging Artist Award, Petry Award

The University of Ottawa Visual Arts Department would like to congratulate Gillian King, winner of both RBC Emerging Artist Award and the Nancy Petry Award in Painting!

Gillian King completed her MFA in 2016 at the University of Ottawa. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba she is currently based in Ottawa. Her work is firmly grounded in extensive research that connects “ancient art practices with our changing geographical landscapes” and the concept of the Anthropocene has led her to explore relationships between humans and animals. Gillian makes abstract paintings that emphasize material process, using cold wax medium, oil paint and powdered pigment to explore her visual methods. The jury was impressed by Gillian King’s formally inventive paintings that show “ambition and exuberance in her sense of scale and materiality. The physical traces of material in her paintings embody the very qualities of the cave paintings she is referencing. Her strongly affective works present a unique approach to both landscape painting and lyrical abstraction.” 

Artist Gillian King, photograph by Julia Martin

Artist Gillian King, photograph by Julia Martin

Gillian plans to visit the Lascaux caves in France as well as geologic volcanic Eifel sites in Germany between Bon and Trier. Themes in her work will be furthered by seeing “some of the first European Western cave paintings that depict nonhuman animal and human animal interactions” and advance her understanding and exploration of Paleolithic art histories and contemporary methods of painting. The jury was grateful for a strong support letter for Gillian from Andrew Wright, Director of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa. 

Along with receiving the 2017 Nancy Petry Award, Gillian King is the recipient of the RBC Emerging Artist Award for Ottawa (2017) and was selected as the Ontario representative for the Robert McLaughlin Gallery's 50th Anniversary Exhibition, 'Ab NEXT' (2017) in Oshawa that features five emerging abstract painters from across Canada. Recent shows include “Becoming Animal” (solo 2016), Ottawa Art Gallery; La Maison des Artistes in Winnipeg, University of Marinette Wisconsin, PDA Projects, Ottawa and Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa. Gillian also completed residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts and Sparkbox Studios in Canada. --Text from the Petry Award