Les candidats MAV | MFA Candidates
La premiére année | First Year
Tiffany April is an Ottawa based artist, born in Montreal, QC. April’s focus is in painting, centering on the relationship between physiological and psychological perception. She recently completed her BFA of studio arts (Honours) at Concordia University in 2014. Following five months of travel, including a three-month artist residency at Takt in Berlin, Germany, April returned to Ottawa where she held a studio at the Rectory Art House till September 2017.
Michael Belmore is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and graduated with an A.O.C.A. in sculpture/installation from Ontario College of Art & Design in 1994. Belmore's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections. His most recent exhibitions include fenda, Nogueira da Silva Museum, Braga, Portugal, Land, Art, Horizons, North American Native Museum, Zurich, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at the Peabody Essex in Salem, MA, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, an international exhibition of contemporary indigenous art in Winnipeg, MB and HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor at the National Museum of the American Indian – George Gustav Heye Centre in New York.
My work exists because of my infatuation for paint as a medium and a deep appreciation of the historical roots for which this fondness seeds. My work is concerned with existentialism and human experience. As a painter, the language of paint guides my decisions and allows the final product to become fully realized.
My paintings are bound to abstraction. Abstraction allows me the ability to create existence in paint. Where paint is allowed to be a medium only tarnished by the artist’s hand, and the artist’s hand becomes a symbol of existence. The brush becomes a tool not to represent, but to extend my being onto the canvas. This is where my interest lies, the precarious theme which explores the line of communication between the nature of my medium and the presence of my own hand. Finding insecurities in each of these elements and allowing them to take over my process, enables my work to develop in a way that propels my self-awareness.
I deliberately seek out discomfort, seduction and awkwardness as fodder for my paintings. Visual contradictions are also important: hard edge vs. soft edge, gesture vs. flatness. By fully utilizing the myriad of visual elements available to me as a painter, I am able to create contrast with the elements so that they may interact in unexpected ways.
My practice investigates the conscious experience of place as metaphor for unseen or subconscious worlds. Through the juxtaposition of abstracted and representational marks, parallels between natural and constructed landscapes are delineated. Landscape, a direct representation of our environment, alludes to our collective state of being. My images are playful philosophical explorations into ideas of collective identity and cultural myth. Personal experience of contrasting spaces- wild, rural and urban- are a point of departure. Connections are outlined between organic forms and geometric motifs by likening them, also, to the natural and the man-made respectively. A vocabulary of marks are used to interwreathe the macroscopic with the minute thus creating images of imagined terrains that toy with and extricate perspectives. Contemporary landscapes are regularly punctuated by, often absurd, moments of human impact. Correspondingly, dream imagery will bring forward out of place ideas, difficult to decode. Considering Carl Jung's idea of the collective unconscious, these contradictory moments of human impact may emblematically parallel the subconscious experience. I interject my landscapes with unexpected symbols in order to evoke the existential through play or jest. Moreover, I am interested in withdrawing from conventional forms and surfaces, in order to bring landscape painting into a contemporary context. The relationships between reality and fiction, natural and constructed, between waking and dreaming – are mischievously questioned but not defined. My art is about the experience of place and lightheartedly suggests that contemporary landscape may be a direct depiction of our collective subconscious identity.
My artistic practice includes photography, video, performance, and installation art. The materiality and intersections between these mediums is very attractive to me, and where I continually strive to forward my practice. I create work at the crossroads of photo performativity and video installation. It is here that I tend to favour the vernacular of the everyday. By using common elements including language, tools and materials, I rearrange them to explore new uses, outcomes and meanings. Ultimately questioning the world and its happenings, the act of being and belonging, I tend to deconstruct and reconstruct concepts and themes fabricating connections between them.