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Action and Object Drawings from VISA 300 001, Advanced Practice in Drawing

“This selection of drawings is intended to function as a conversation between two opposing but interrelated definitions of drawing as both verb and noun that the students considered this semester.

When considered as a verb drawing can be understood as a temporal, process-based action, something that we do. When considered as a noun, we focus more on its role as an autonomous art object or image, something that is there, to be viewed. Most of the time both definitions apply.

In focusing on drawing as a conduit between self and other, both through its making and its viewing, themes emerged of relationships to and perceptions of time, place, and bodies.”

Alison Trim, Instructor VISA 300O001

List of works

01 Jen Poodwan, Computer Biology, digital, 1758 x 1324px, 72dpi

A crossover of the digital and the biological.

02 Madison van der Gulik, Queen Lucy, Copic markers, prisma color pencil crayons, 14″ x 10.5″

A personal drawing meant to put emphasis on the importance some people give pets.

03 Ari Sparks, Two Boys Kissing, plastic fuse beads, 27” x 19”

Our already increasingly virtual experience of interaction and connection has been deeply exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. This work explores the experience and mediation of pixelated information in a digital era by representing an act of intimacy, through the physical process of individually placed beads.

04 Angela Wood, One Place After Another, ink & watercolour on paper, 11 x 15” each

1 Apartment, 2 Backyard Neighbour, 3 Cul-de-Sac, 4 City Kid, 5 Prairie

This series is an exploration of past self and existence in place. These spaces are personal to my life but are rendered with little detail aside from architectural structure, allowing room for each viewer to place themselves within the works and more openly interpret them.

05 Sidney Steven

(We) Move in Unison, graphite with bingo dabbers on paper, 18” x 24”

Time only goes in one direction, so I wanted to visualize that even though we all move in different ways in life, we are still connected to time.

06 Brett Dopp, Die Kirche, digital, 3600 x 5400 px

What’s more spooky than an old church?

07 Shelley Sproule, Spectacular Fall at Billie Bear (Muskoka), watercolour and gouache, 22″ x 15 ”

Billie Bear is a resort outside of Huntsville Ontario in the Muskoka Highlands. Fall colours are spectacular giving the viewer an almost surreal experience.

08 Pip Mamo Dryden, A Momentary Life, pencil crayon and watercolour, 12” x 16”

A Momentary Life is an examination of how we remember people who have died, and the way we perceive people we’ve never met.

09 Faith Wandler, Silhouette, 11”x 15”x 3, acrylic ink on watercolour paper

My theme is dealing with inhabitants of space and how the plants I have in my studio can create their own imagery from the shadows that they cast on my walls. I hope to bring the viewer a sense of calmness and nurturing just as my plants do for me in my studio space.

10 Andrew Halfhide, Familiar Figure, marker on Bristol board, 6’x 1.5’

The aim of this work was to draw without the biases of habit and focus more on the figure I was trying to capture. Drawn using my weaker (left) hand and at this life-size scale made the figure seem more tangible during the drawing process.

11 Adrianna Singleton, Dys Connect, charcoal, ink, oil pastel on canvas, 3 ft x 1 ft

This piece is about the distortion of my perception due to body dysmorphia. Struggles of my ‘problem’ areas are amplified; face, chest and thighs.

12 Candice Hughes, Nana Says, graphite on paper, 28’’x30’’

A recreation of the only image of my Nana in the remaining years of her life.

13 Susan Protsack, Moving ~ Memories I, mixed media on cartridge paper, Moving ~ Memories II, mixed media on handmade paper, Moving ~ Memories III, mixed media on drafting film, each 20” x 30”

These works are based on textural rubbings of surfaces in a home from which I recently moved. Many of the surfaces are associated with personally meaningful events and so, for me, these works are souvenirs evoking moving memories.

13 Amily Wang, Aquarium, ink and watercolour on paper

To make this work I began with looking at the different shapes of the fluid ink drop to give it more meaning.

Art Apart – celebrating what our disability arts community can create together from a (social) distance

Although many of us have had to be separated during this time — which has been especially hard on those of us with disabilities and health issues — we at Cool Arts still managed to come together to make art as a community. Art/Apart, much like the manner it was made in, might feel disjointed at first, discombobulating, even a little bit of a hodgepodge, if you like. Look closer though and you might just see inspiration leap. Page to page, brushstroke to crayon, there is not one single piece in this gallery that has not been inspired by another here. Why? Because these many pieces were made together by our tight-knit community of dedicated artists with developmental disabilities and other exceptionalities. Here, we’re advocating the legitimacy of this collectively created aesthetic that is the byproduct of a unique set of lived experiences. But most of this work this wasn’t created in our downtown Kelowna, BC studio, nestled in the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Instead, for the first time in our organization’s nearly two-decade-long history, every artist featured in our latest show has had to work in isolation. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we knew it was essential to keep our Cool Arts community together, even from a distance. We started with moving our community programming to pre-recorded video lessons and rapidly progressed to live video conferencing and even a few limited attendance in-person programs behind clear plastic sheets. The shift in platform naturally changed the relationship between facilitators and our membership into a more intimate mentorship focused one. Some artists worked on scraps of paper out of the recycling bin, others started filling up notebooks long forgotten. We began delivering art supplies using physically distanced techniques picked up from the food curriers we’ve become so dependant on over the past few months. And every day, here at Cool Arts, we were receiving a plethora of emailed photos of these artworks from our artists, their families, and support workers. Before we knew it, we’d amassed a significant collection and knew we had an obligation to share it. Looking back, it seems obvious that one artist’s mentorship session would influence the others on the same screen and so on and so forth. However, for us, we didn’t get to see the interplay of intersecting interests influencing each work until we started laying out the pieces for this show. Originally, we were going to present this collection virtually via social media. Then when we saw how stunning all the pieces looked, we decided to put them up in digitally overlaid frames printed on posters around Kelowna’s Cultural District. But seeing those pieces together made us realize this show had to go up in a gallery. Which direction would we take this show? If this pandemic has taught us anything as disabled folk, it’s that different barriers of access exist differently for different people. Nothing taught us this more than the different ways each of us had to engage in our art making individually over these past few months; coming together under new restrictions, whether live virtually, in physically distanced in-person lessons, or exchanging pre-recorded video letters. So in the end we decided that with all the sacrifices our community has had to make during these tumultuous times, Cool Arts deserved all three. Because this is a celebration of what our community can do, even apart. And at Cool Arts, that means everyone gets to join in the celebration. We hope you enjoy the show. 

Creative Work – an Arts Council of the Central Okanagan exhibition of UBCO faculty members

The Arts Council of the Central Okanagan is delighted to present UBCO faculty members, Katherine Pickering, Briar Craig, Patrick Lundeen, and Conner Charlesworth.


Under The Skin – a Laundry Room Collective pop up exhibition at the Lake Country Gallery

The Laundry Room Collective Presents a pop-up exhibition celebrating queer artists of the Okanagan.

Many of the artists are UBC Okanagan students and alumni.


FIFTEEN features the works of 15 UBC Okanagan alumni from both the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts programs, in celebration of the campus’ 15-year anniversary.

These artists are featured in a catalogue, produced in partnership by alumniUBC and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, as well as part of an exhibition at the Kelowna Art Gallery. This project is part of the events happening for Homecoming 2020 at UBC Okanagan.

Artists included in FIFTEEN:

Moozhan Ahmadzadegan
Brit Bachmann
Scott Bertram
Arden Boehm
Sarah Burwash
Connor Charlesworth
Jon Corbett
Carin Covin
Jorden & David Doody
AJ Jaeger
Christian Nicolay
Ed Spence
Pamela Turner
Tania Willard

FIFTEEN will be on exhibition at the Kelowna Art Gallery in The Front Project Space from September 19 to November 15, 2020. UBC Okanagan alumni will receive complimentary admission at the Kelowna Art Gallery during Homecoming weekend.

The exhibition is co-curated by Briar Craig, Professor, Visual Arts, and Katherine Pickering, Lecturer, Visual Arts.


Moozhan Ahmadzadegan
BFA 2018

Where Are You From? شما مال کجا هستی؟(
Cotton sheet, ink, spray paint
Dimensions variable

Where Are You From? attempts to navigate the complex intersections of ethnicity, culture, and nationality. This work questions the complicated implications of seemingly innocent questions, such as “where are you from?” when asked by strangers. This work is influenced by the ritual of this conversation; strangers will often ask me where I am from, noticing that I don’t look white, or that my name sounds very “ethnic”. I respond, as a second generation Canadian, that I am from Canada. The follow up question is almost always the same: “where are you really from?”



Brit Bachmann
BFA 2013

(The tall peach vase)
A visual arts program that doesn’t have a pottery studio isn’t worth the tuition (2020)
Clay, glaze
13 x 5.5 inches

(The shorter black and red vase)
Aggressively interrogate Eurocentrism in visual arts education (2020)
Clay, glaze
7.5 x 5 inches

There are seven years between my grad exhibition drawings and these clay vessels. While my social practice has been a frenetic transition through writing, publishing, radio and non-profit arts administration, my material practice has been steady in its stillness. From the repetition of my ink and vinyl animations, to inertia play on the potter’s wheel, I seek out quiet solutions for documenting movement in time. A drawing is as truthful as a photograph, and a pot is as truthful as a stone. My vessels are not usually titled, but those who know my work know that I never pass up an opportunity for institutional critique, as was my training at UBC-O.


Scott Bertram
BFA 2007

Untitled (19-15) (2019)
Acrylic on Canvas
63 x 60 inches

I strive to create paintings that embrace uncertainty and increase my tolerance for ambiguity. Through the use of improvisation, intuitive structures, and openness to possibilities, I am able to proceed in a painting without fixing my view or knowing what the painting will eventually be. The kind of painting that I aim for is one that I am not completely able to grasp, yet it doesn’t push me away, and so I want to stay with it and remain within its ambiguity—in not knowing.


Arden Boehm
BFA 2018

Crushed (2018)
Assorted metals, Baltic birch plywood
Dimensions variable

In a culture that is controlled by material accumulation, we are continually encouraged to look for gratification in the form of attainment. My work investigates the relationship that we humans have with everyday objects. I deal with concepts of production as well as categorization and the notion of the archive. The seeming banality of everyday objects is countered by the emphasis designated basis of my exploration. I am fascinated by the value placed upon specific objects, as well as the act of casting away the seemingly useless when something newer comes along. My investigation is fueled by the social concerns that arise from a continuously growing mess of mass-produced things that are often so quickly considered to be worthless.


Sarah Burwash
BFA 2009

Grain of sand in my boot (2020)
Watercolour and collage
18 x 24 inches

Situated in non-specific yet decidedly natural landscapes, my work depicts figures experiencing the spectrum of life: creation, destruction, rest, play, curiosity, sorrow, exhilaration, death. Landscapes appear as outlying settlements in which I research the realm of physical and emotional experience including struggle, hard work, failure, and vulnerability. These dreamlike environments celebrate and question a range of gendered interests and identities with undertones of humour, fantasy, and performance. Nature perseveres regardless of its hardships—a disjunctive labyrinth to traverse in search of a meaningful path. In contrast to the virtual languages that saturate us, my intricate cut-and-paste style reflects an inclination toward the tactile and rudimentary.


Connor Charlesworth
BFA 2015

Push Up, Yellow (2020) 
Oil on canvas
68 x 38 inches

The work Up Arms, Yellow is part of a series of paintings that are all the same dimensions. The figurative source imagery is derived from photographs I took and collaged together. All the works in this new developing series emphasize the verticality of the canvas and, for the most part, the forms remain contained well within the frame. I arrived at the subject matter and contained composition during the spring of 2020 during isolation and the various ongoing civil rights movements. During such times, I hope this network of gestures opens up a dialogue for consideration of our relationship to these events.


Jon Corbett
MFA 2015

Nohkom (2020)
Digital print on canvas
18 x 24 inches

Nohkom is from a series of digital portraits of my family and is the central image from my video work titled Four Generations that was exhibited at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Canadian (2017-2018) Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) (2020). This portrait of my paternal grandmother was computationally generated using 3D virtual beads and is the origin of my current PhD research that involves the development of a more suitable digital media toolkit for Indigenous artists. This includes an Indigenously-based programming language (currently Cree), physical hardware designs for Indigenous orthographies, and software/application solutions that use Indigenous Storywork as programmatic code.


Carin Covin
BFA 2003, MFA 2010

Easel Quartet XI (2020)
Oil and enamel on canvas
38 x 54 inches

The Easel Quartet began as observation and response drawings that reflect my interest in the politics of the everyday. Second Wave Feminism allows me a poetic understanding of the politics of the everyday and of the home. The easels provide an entry point through their function and inclusion as observed objects. The resultant drawings are manipulated through changes to scale and mediums used. These new works are then photocopied. The resultant solvent transfers push the images past their original intentions.

These images are re-translated into a new suite of paintings; Easel Quartet XI and XII are the beginnings of these new investigations.


David & Jorden Doody
BFA 2008

Virtually Empty, 2020
Mixed Media Assemblage, printed fabric, printed reflective film aluminum dibond panel and ironing board.

Artist statement: As sculptors, We wade in the brackish waters between image and materiality, investigating the tactile qualities of sculpture and three-dimensional space in the virtual light of screen culture and the post-internet age of image explosion. With a genuine commitment to experimentation and improvisation, We construct material assemblages that respond to the constant deluge and saturation of visual information. Our work explores the migration of contemporary culture and imagination into the realm of the virtual network, where We are forced to reconsider presence, absence, and reproducibility as We sculpt our understanding of authenticity. Blurring the boundaries between the rational and the absurd, the measurable and the metaphysical, We strive to dislodge our creative practice from the dogma of prescriptive understanding. By wrapping the immaterial and the subconscious in a blanket of contemporary psychedelia, We seek to cultivate an unbridled space where contemplation and entertainment mingle freely. We encourage rogue collisions between icons, symbols, and materials that forge new and vibrant networks of associative meanings within the vast nebula of the Post-American Imagination.


AJ Jaeger
BFA 2013

It’s a dark world out there (2006)
Mixed Media
72 x 48 inches

I believe that art is visual storytelling: communicating a needed message and showcasing beliefs, heritage, and vision. My work has deliberately evolved to depict the complexity and contrast of life through a combination of mediums, symbolism, and surface patterns. I am inspired by creating poignant works of art that catch the attention of people distracted by everyday life—as a rally-cry to remind us all to focus on what matters most. Intuitively acknowledging the uncertainty of life fuels my creative mind and heart to keep expressing candid emotions that positively transform our collective future.


Christian Nicolay

On the Horizon Line (Shipping Pallet No.3) (2015)
Light jet photograph, salvaged Plexiglas, MDF, acrylic paint, found detritus paper, collage, ink, pencil, tape, correction pen
31 x 30 x 4 inches each (Diptych) (78.74cm x 76.20cm x 10.16cm)


relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
  3. liminal symbols of passage and transformation; doors, ladders, crossings, bridges, pallets.

On the horizon Line explores current issues of globalization and climate change through the lens of the liminal – a place betwixt and between. Our cultural landscapes are becoming increasingly crisscrossed and blurred through shifting borders and boundaries, directly impacting the growing challenges of migration and the transitory movement of people. Materials, images and objects reflecting concepts of liminality visually demonstrate transition and transformation – the visible and the invisible – the seen and unseen. The notion of ‘space’ and ‘place’ occurs in conjunction with idea ‘temporary’ and ‘permanent’ creating a play between the real and the unreal—the No Where and the Now Here.


Ed Spence
BFA 2005

Tunnelling (2020)
Pigment print and adhesive on paper
25 x 32 inches

This piece is one in a long series of experiments involving the dissection of photographs. Beginning as a single photograph that is subsequently cut into small units and rearranged, the image is abstracted, transformed and the original subject is effectively denied to the viewer. No information is lost or gained in the process, only rearranged. Designed as a metaphor for our subjective sensorial experience, the process invites thoughts about how we interpret information based on idiosyncratic personal and cultural patterns, and additionally, how information can be decontextualized and manipulated.


Pamela Turner

BFA 2017
Tunnelling (2020)
Pigment print and adhesive on paper
25 x 32 inches

I am focused on expanding the idea of fibre to include anything that can be linked or woven together, thus re-examining how fibres and materials function. It is important that my materials are only altered through the process of cutting, maintaining subtle but recognizable aspects of what the materials once were.

By choosing to keep my work monochromatic, my aim is to create an emergent image thatresults in a contemplative response from the viewer, both from a distance and up close.Blackness has been described as the definitive void, but it also marks the ultimate space ofcreative possibility. Monochromes both veil and reveal, as the expectations of objects weregularly associate with are given new potential through this method of material transcendence.


Tania Willard
MFA 2018

Gut Instincts (2018)
Digital print
~32 x 24 inches

Gut Instincts is an affirmation of women’s intuition, gut instinct, and ancestral voices that collapse the past, future, and present into an embodied and visceral experience of the present. This work takes its origin in a design from a cedar-root basket collected as part of the North Pacific Jesup Expedition (1897-1902) from Stl’atl’imx territories. In many collections, basketry from this period is unattributed to a maker. As an expression of Indigenous women’s art forms, this disappearance of named makers and ancestor artists represents the colonial disappearances and dispossession of Indigenous women, communities, and lands. My work seeks to bring these ideas, expressions, and questions that challenge the legacy and histories of anthropological framing of Indigenous art into connection with lived Indigenous experiences.



Lindsay Kirker: Away We Go

I paint images of construction with Nature as a way to reinterpret the world around me. This method of painting within my current body of work developed significantly after experiencing loss. I intuitively began taking pictures of construction sites, as a need for stability, manifested itself through an attraction to structure. Life felt chaotic, but I found salvation in scaffolding, cranes, and concrete. Through my artistic practice, common themes emerged: the idea of home and a sense of place, but more so, preservation, fragility, demolition, and creation. There was an immediate agency to create, and my paintings became both a response and a way to make sense of the nonsensical.

My thesis developed from a concern for the emotional and ethical disconnect required to live in the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is the suggested renaming of our current epoch by geologists and earth scientists. There is no place on earth that has not felt the anthropogenic impact. We have transformed the earth system, and the evidence of this is species extinction, severe weather fluctuation, and ocean acidification.

Away We Go implies both a journey and a fear of saying goodbye. Contemporary philosopher Claire Colebrook suggests that for the first time, our extinction can honestly be imagined. The paintings displayed question the ideas and structures we put into place to protect us from these uncertainties.

The cityscape communicates structure. A sense of order is established through line, grid, and repetition, assuming pattern and stability, but this also suggests that life unfolds linearly. That we take the same unconscious routes among clearly defined paths, and that there is an order between our experience and the people we come into contact with. The painting reflects the human mind and behaviour, spontaneous encounters that occur outside of these assumed patterns of activity.

My paintings are a preservation and conservation of place and response to personal observations. Everything is connected. The process reflects the question, the narrative, and the concern. Layers show history, a struggle or an attempt to cover up that history, but human presence is felt, and the navigation towards understanding is left behind. What I am interested in far surpasses prefabricated concrete slabs constructed to contain. I am interested in the foundations of Being. When integrated with nature, the city’s infrastructure stands as a metaphor to explore all that we perceive as separate. The construction site is a place for rebuilding.

I Must Be Streaming – Jorden Doody MFA Show

Jorden Doody is an interdisciplinary artist who is examining the transitional spaces between tangible material and digital media within the framework of spatial installations. By utilizing new media technologies in combination with traditional modes of craft, she choreographs sculptural installations that focus on blurring the boundaries between the theatrical stage and the architectural framework of the gallery. Jorden investigates how our contemporary culture responds to notions of presence and absence of the body in the digital age where illusion, escape and distraction are at the forefront of the collective consciousness.

As an artist whose practice is heavily steeped in intuitively relating to her surrounding environment, she actively responds to the mercuriality of digital image with the resonant qualitiesof physical materiality by remixing and re-contextualizing the realms of Craft and Pop culture. With the dematerialization and fragmentation of the self in the digital era, Jorden’s sculptural installations evoke and hold space for new and alternate perspectives of connectivity.

Jorden’s recent work is focussed on creating an iconic visual language where lived experience and theatrical metaphors intersect within the exhibition space. Here the alchemy of form, texture, pattern and material presence are synergized and activated by a hand painted mural that wraps and warps around the gallery. By showcasing an objective shift in scale between the platforms of a handheld digital device and the spatial constructs of the gallery space, she acknowledges and incorporates specific modes of display that include large hand fabricated objects with digitally mediated images.

Jorden Doody’s installations explore the tangibility of sharing tacit knowledge through art by offering a relational yet surreal experience of dynamic visual encounters. Jorden’s interdisciplinary method of making is relevant to subjects surrounding contemporary communications where the evolution and the stability of our expanded communities are challenged through the exponential growth and the impact of digital technologies and social medias.

2020 BFA Graduating Exhibition – Any Moment

Students have been working hard to create a body of original and engaging works.

The graduation show includes a wide variety of artists’ works including sculpture, photography, drawing, painting, digital media and printmaking.

Due to the current situation with COVID 19,  the BFA Graduating Exhibition, Any Moment is currently an online  platform. but artist statements along with images of their work can be seen here.

Aiden de Vin

As a painter I use mark making to explore memories and emotions associated with place. The gestural brushstrokes in my paintings aim to represent memories of specific people, conversations and feelings. The architectural spaces in the paintings reference various nooks and corners from my home environment.

Movement is a key feature in these paintings as our emotions and memories can live within domestic spaces. Memories also accumulate within domestic spaces, each building upon another in the same way that brushstrokes and colour build layers and atmosphere in a painting. For example, I Called Him Crying Then Brushed My Teeth references mundane moments of getting ready intertwined with heartbreak and loss as each was felt within the same walls. Colour allows for an entrance into emotion in these works. Paint provides me with a way to explore how memories both build and break down the spaces in which we exist.

Angela Gmeinweser

While living in Toulouse, France, on an exchange last year, I was often overwhelmed by the amount of information in the streets and places I visited. The “Gilets Jaunes” protests were taking place near my apartment and the streets were animated by shoppers, protesters, sounds of tear gas, and music. It was sometimes hard to make sense of these situations as a cultural outsider. The experience made me reflect on what I noticed and why, and question the meaning I assigned to what I observed. In my current practice I continue to be interested in questioning the relationship between people and spaces.

In my paintings I explore a combination of recognizable and abstracted forms while my sculptures combine found objects or audio within architectural spaces. I often transfer the same idea between painting and sculpture to better understand the possibilities held within a space. My most recent work, Chamber, references my travels through France with a friend from the Appalachian region of the United States. She would sing songs she learned in her childhood in resonant spaces we happened upon. The sculpture combines shapes of Gothic architecture and the British/Appalachian song, “Pretty Saro”, to create an experience of disparate elements converging and completing each other.

Bailey Ennig

Nostalgia explores an experience from my childhood through animation and narrative. This animation depicts my internal process of dealing with an emotionally abusive situation at elementary school. The result of this abuse was self-isolation, mostly at home or a nearby forest.

The setting of this animation is constructed from objects that reference the forest and my childhood home. The animation and audio is installed in a space that is reminiscent of my basement living room where I spent hours watching movies and playing video games.

The animation transitions between the forest and the basement through a process that involved compositing photographs of two constructed dioramas. This work captures my retreat into myself and my imagination as a vulnerable child.

Barb Dawson

My art practice focuses on memories of my elders in the Yukon.  Those elders who passed on still occupy my thoughts. I think about the time they were here and how they lived traditionally within the ways of the Taku River Tlingits.

I look for direction from these elders, even now when they exist in another spiritual plane. I replay my memories and I contemplate their actions. Observing my grandfather with his drum, my grandmother with her stories, and two old ladies scraping a moose hide in the bush.  These elders practiced the values passed down to them, and they hoped to pass these values onto their grandchildren. Some of these ways are a lost art, now more story now than practice, but I was listening and learning. Even though these elders are not here with me, I constantly refer to my memories of them when I need guidance.

My Grandfather George Dawson always spoke of his Great Grand-Uncle, and I remember how emotional he got when he thought people were not following the traditions of dancing and drumming.  I remember the story of my Great Grandfather Chief Taku Jack telling the government agent that he had no land to give him, because it already belonged to his people. I remember my Grandmother sharing her stories, stories that were passed down to her from her Mother and Aunties.  Old stories from long ago.  These are the memories I explore in my artwork.

I want people to be curious about how these elders lived so that we can talk about these traditions again. I make it a daily habit to encourage myself and others to remember. My second cousin did not even know who her Great Grandparents were. I shared my images of them with her, she now knows who George and Rachel Dawson are.  Small victories in cultural revival.

Brock Gratz

In this series of illustrations, I reference human history in order to create tangible fictional narratives about the future. Death is the main theme in these stories because I fear death and experience intrusive thoughts about my own death and the death of loved ones. This fear has motivated me to look into some of the cultural practices around death such as ancient funerary practices and memorials. At the same time, I also explore the possibilities for our future immortality through technology. I explore how non-human beings could one day become vessels for our spirits, memories and feelings. I’ve chosen to format this work in the style of a serial comic book because of the link between comic books and hieroglyphs, wall reliefs and scroll paintings.



Cassie Mckenzie

Rediscovery is a familial love letter to my Abuela (Grandmother). When my family immigrated from Peru, they erased their identity in order to blend in with their new country. As the granddaughter of these immigrants, I rediscovered my Peruvian heritage by talking with my Abuela.

This short film is a metaphorical exploration of this slow dawning of cultural knowledge and the comfort taken from finally understanding these parts of myself that were previously unknown to me. The journey is told simply by the images of a pre-dawn expedition across an expanse of water, leading to a representation of culture in an unexplored space. The trip is not frightening or dangerous – it is one of self-discovery and deep love of family.

Despite the fact that my Peruvian and Uruguayan heritage was suppressed upon my family’s move to Canada, my Abuela now links the past and present together with what she remembers from her childhood. Chaska is the Peruvian goddess of love and dawn. My Abuela speaks of Chaska often, as her friend sculpting Chaska from stone is one of her fondest memories from her childhood. Chaska’s domain of rising sun and love fits this short film’s purpose of dawning cultural knowledge and love. The talisman of Chaska in the girl’s possession is in my Abuela’s image, representing my connection to my culture as the connection I have with my Abuela.



Eclipse Galloway

Growing up surrounded by the forest has left me with a fascination for the intricacies of nature. The forest radiates a feeling of density because of the magnitude of life present in this environment. In the forest I feel mindful and I notice beautiful abstract patterns, textures and shapes. These organic forms provide the foundation for my semi abstract paintings that evoke the sensory experience of being immersed in nature. Before beginning a painting, I construct a model from natural objects such as lichen, bark, or fungi. The models serve as a microcosm of the forest. At a point in each painting, I shift my focus away from closely imitating the model to thinking about what it feels like to be in the forest. I use my imagination and intuition to let the painting grow organically. I accentuate patterns, emphasize texture, and use bold strokes of colour. This painterly interpretation creates an intense feeling of focused looking and enables me to access my feelings and memories. My work then becomes less about representation and more about the painting as sensory immersion in the natural environment.




Robyn Miller

These vessels and screen-prints express my connection to the landscape. I make the vessels by weaving clay and soil with branches and long grasses in order to emphasize lines and patterns found in the natural world. Similarly, my screen-prints are images of sculptural forms made from woven, organic materials.

I am fascinated by how the contours of the landscape change as a result of glacial activity, weather, erosion, and human development. In this way, the landscape is like a body and the shifts and marks on the earth are signs of events that have taken place there. My vessels and other woven objects express this changing body by evoking the river, weather and the implied movement of line.

I feel at peace when I work in nature and coming to the landscape with a degree of focus is important when I work outside or in the studio with natural materials. I think of myself as having a conversation with the organic materials I use and I respond to their desires to bend and move in certain ways. In this way, the vessels and other woven forms represent my relationship to place.







Ruth Nygard


Communications explores the gestures and facial expressions that we use in our daily interactions with one another. I became interested in human expression from working in recovery with people who suffer from addictions plus assisting clients with physical or cognitive challenges. Through these experiences I have observed the dramatic changes in people as they progress through recovery from a non-communicative negative space to becoming healthier and more expressive, as they start to communicate more through their gestures, expressions and bodies.

In order to capture candid gestures, I start by taking photographs of friends and acquaintances while they’re engaged in conversation. I further animate these gestures through painting by using a vibrant colour palette, linear cross hatching and often open, unfinished forms. This study of gesture, expression, and body form is of great interest to me, as our bodies are living, moving, expressive landscapes that can transform at any moment when our emotions change.



Sara Spencer

This work explores the relationship between two characters, the expecter and the traveller. The characters are represented by two screens installed partially facing one another in the exhibition space, showing two perspectives of the same arrival. The screen that represents the expecter is a video projection about the experience of waiting for someone to come home. The screen that represents the traveler is a curved light box with a still image, static but monolithic and imposing. The traveler and the expecter sit in the room quiet, detached and distant.

This work captures the heightened awareness experienced while waiting alone at night. For the video of the expecter I documented the interior of my apartment over many nights in order to capture moments of anticipation. This documentation included audio of my breath stopping when I’d hear noises outside, video of headlights tracing across the wall in the interior of my apartment and security lights turning off and on. For the still image of the traveller I photographed moments of the passing landscape illuminated by truck headlights.