I am a Toronto-based visual artist interested in genuine, supportive relationships and the goodwill that holds people together. My exploratory painting practice is a way to search for meaning in my relationship to self, others, and our precious planet. I tell a new kind of story by painting an imaginary, inclusive, and hopeful world. I reinvent the figure in diverse ways, varying their degree of abstraction, diminishing barriers between them and equalizing them to their essential humanity. I positively reframe distance with closeness, vulnerability with strength and transience with permanence. In my purely abstract work, I explore the concept of connecting, or I use a bird’s eye view to explore communal meeting places, where human interaction is implied rather than represented. Paintings aim to raise questions and invite viewer completion. I paint in layers of mixed water media and oil that are abstracted and intuitive. I experiment by joining together source material. I use symbolic, expressive colour and connecting processes like paste, blend, merge and share.
My plan for this Residency is to paint abstracted figures, starting with small daily warm-up sketches of local people on the ferry or island supporting one another. As a record of my stay on the island, I may later assemble the warm-up studies as a Residency visual diary to make fleeting moments more permanent. I want to follow the small daily warm-up studies by painting large-scale canvas banners using mixed water media. I aim to extend and strengthen my current work involving the joining of figures by exploring some of these processes in my painting: drawing and sweeping figures together, sharing mark making, superimposing, intersecting, pasting and etching into the paint. These processes mirror my broader theme of closeness and support. I am interested in the luminous bodies theme of this Residency as an opportunity to extend my ideas about the portrayal of a dynamic human body as a vessel for connection. I intend to expand my reinvention of the body in inclusive, diverse ways, such as by giving groups one body or diminishing the boundaries between multiple bodies. Further, I hope to remove barriers, equalizing the figures to their essential humanity. I hope to question further the concepts of gender, age, and other barriers by equalizing the figures to their essential humanity. I want to further abstract and simplify the figures so that they are communicative without a lot of potentially irrelevant detail. Group discussion and feedback will be incredibly beneficial in informing my future work.
Born and raised in New Zealand, I graduated with Honours in Painting from Auckland University. I have a vibrant exhibition history and have enjoyed teaching roles and residencies in New Zealand and Canada. A highlight of my teaching career was running an independent art school for ten years. I am grateful to exhibit, paint commissions, volunteer in my art community, jury shows and take Residencies. I have paintings in international private, corporate and public collections, including churches, hospitals, community spaces, and care facilities. In my free time, I enjoy biking all over Toronto, especially on the bustling city streets, through the beautiful green spaces, and along the lakeshore. As I ride, I observe and sketch Toronto communities in all their diversity. I’m inspired by happy crowds and cohesive groups, working, playing, and supporting one another. More works can be seen on website here.