Julie Beugin, Leigh Bridges, Sarah Kernohan, Shannon Partridge, Mélanie Rocan
June 11 - July 10, 2010
June 11 - July 10, 2010
Reception Friday June 11, 7-10pm
Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present Making Scenes, a group exhibition of new painting and drawing by emerging artists Julie Beugin (Montreal/Berlin), Leigh Bridges (Vancouver), Sarah Kernohan (Kitchener, ON), Shannon Partridge (Toronto) and Melanie Rocan (Winnipeg).
The exhibition explores ideas of domesticity and habitat, the material world and female consciousness.
Julie Beugin was born in 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a Vancouver-based artist who completed her MFA at Montreal’s Concordia University in 2008. She earned a BFA from Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and has studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, England. She is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including the Power Corporation of Canada Graduate Scholarship (Concordia University), BC Arts Council Senior Award, J.A. DeSeve Entrance Award (Concordia University) Mary Plumb-Blade Award (Painting Grad Award, Emily Carr Institute), Maisie Ann Robertson Memorial Scholarship, and the University Women’s Club of Vancouver Scholarship (Emily Carr Institute). Her paintings of fictional spaces combine landscapes with architectural interiors, placing the viewer simultaneously inside and outside, on the threshold of imagination and reality. Visual ideas begin with descriptions in novels, yet the images are emptied of characters and story, suggesting the possibility of narrative without providing resolution.
“In my paintings I combine landscapes with interiors, placing the viewer simultaneously inside and outside and describing reality as a shifting state. Uninhabited, my cinematic spaces suggest ambiguous narrative through mood and sense of place. Constructed from photographs from my daily experience alongside the idealized imagery of old postcards, retro interior décor books and National Geographic landscapes, my paintings mingle geographies and time periods. Outmoded wish symbols, the decor books and dusty postcards have faded palettes and analog print qualities, alluring for their distance from the present. In my paintings, fiction merges with and coats reality, suggesting the permeability of everyday experience. Visual ideas begin with passages in novels, and my indirect translations of text to painted image are embodied through representational painting that is on the verge of disintegration. Objects and furniture dissolve into liquid pools and transparent washes. This precarious balance of marks and shapes is evocative of the mutability of memory and the instability of visualization. My work is motivated by the friction between the real and the fictional; regret for the physical impossibility of fictional spaces accompanies the uncanny of the everyday.”
Leigh Bridges was born in 1977 in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a Canadian artist originally from Edmonton, currently splitting her time between Canada and Berlin, Germany. In May 2005, she completed the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Victoria, Canada. Bridges was awarded the U Vic Graduate Fellowship in 2004 and 2005. Since then, she has shown internationally, most recently in Vancouver, Seattle, Toronto, Melbourne, Berlin and Skien, Norway. Her work is said to explore notions of the sublime pastoral. Sources for her work are varied, ranging from survivalist manuals, do-it-yourself backyard fort building, animation, folk tales, and 18th/19th century romantic landscape paintings. Her most recent solo show was Outpost, 2008, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto and was also featured in Carte Blanche Vol. 2 Painting Magenta Foundation, the same year.
“My latest work continues my interest in landscape and the idea of the sublime, which is another word for incomprehensible vastness, or beauty powerful enough to cause fear. I pursue this idea visually with what can be described as a fog-like whiteout, where near monochromatic colour is modulated to allow the eye in, through surface, which becomes veil opening out towards image. This image is usually a remnant of human activity in the landscape. Monochromatic (non-natural) colour, slowly becoming atmosphere, may evoke in some a trance-like feeling. My current work pursues this altered state, through symmetry, mirroring, and in the graphite on vellum drawings, repetitive mark-making. Symmetry engages immediate gestalt recognition, perhaps because we are biologically accustomed to viewing symmetrical faces and bodies. It also mirrors shapes, and may suggest numerous images simultaneously.”
Sarah Kernohan has exhibited her work in Canada, Italy, New Zealand, and the USA. She won the best drawing (2007) and best student drawing award (2007,2008) at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. She is a graduate of the Drawing and Painting program at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She currently lives in Kitchener, Ontario.
“I develop drawings that explore the surfaces of fossils, coral, wood, rocks and other bits of organic debris, and enlarge them in search of patterns that recall thouse found in land formations, and in movement of the earth. These drawings explore the limitations of memory and vision, seeking what happens when “scape” is penetrated conceptually, emotionally, physically and psychogeographically. My artistic inspiration traverses subjects far and wide – grand landforms, water bodies and glaciers, geology, the painted landscape, panorama, cyclorama, myriorama and cosmorama. For me the act of drawing becomes an immersive activity akin to wandering and meditation, and traces left behind are a record of that experience. In new work produced form Making Scenes, I have developed new drawings that explore the mangled surfaces of driftwood. Delving beyond topographical representation, I have taken the information found in drawing the surface to build drawings that consist of stratified layers of information with the aim of developing an understanding of the structure of the original source material. These drawings explore the experience of getting lost in space and in drawing small, intimate spaces that are presented on the surfaces of small organic objects.”
Sarah Kernohan gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
Shannon Partridge grew up in Bracebridge, Ontario. She has attended the University of Ottawa for fine art, completed an honours degree at the Ontario College of Art and Design and is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the University of Waterloo.
“Created from a collision of imagery between Western zoos and mid-century modern interior design photographs, these curious new worlds comment on the artificiality that is in both zoos and the ideal home. The work, containing layers of research and paint, provides a space for the imagination to contemplate many possible metaphors.
The paintings draw comparisons between the stage-like sets of interior design photographs and zoo exhibits. The contained painted environments are complete with props of still-lifes, behavioural enrichment devices from zoos, and animal actors. These strange worlds of artifice are constructed with images in images: odd compositions and disintegrating spaces that balance between an illusion of depth and an abstract flatness. Each painting presents a fictional exhibit; the exhibition as a whole creates a silent zoo.”
Mélanie Rocan completed her MFA, painting program at Concordia University, in Montreal. In 2003, she graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BFA Honours Degree, thesis in painting. In 2008, she was included in a group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, in Toronto, in conjunction with the release of Magenta Foundation Carte Blanche vol. 2 painting. She also had a solo-exhibition, entitled Naturally Tied at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, and was included in a group exhibition at Lower East Side Gallery, Vancouver. In 2007, she was included in an exhibition at the Leonard & Bina Ellen gallery, Montreal, and was also selected as a semi-finalist in the 9th annual RBC painting competition. During that year her work was reviewed in BorderCrossings magazine, she had a solo-exhibition at La Maison des Artistes, in Winnipeg, and had a two-person show at The Project Room, in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2011 her work will be featured in a 5-year survey organized by the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto.
“My works reveals a preoccupation with issues of the temporal and of the human condition, while focusing on feelings of foreboding in our existence, both within our memory and within our lives. Coupled with this sense of foreboding, I emphasize the inconsistency of emotions. Thus work lingers in between a place of darkness and one of playfulness, with the ability to both affect and evoke sensations. There is a dichotomy between the difficulty of comprehending the reality of the internal world and a reaction to the outside world’s fragility. Some of my paintings depict figures who are brought together by disparate objects or evocations that trail behind them, which brings forth themes of the home and the decorative, as well as problems arising from our world's excessive fabrication and collection of material objects. I often depict figures which are part of their environment, they are invaded by their surroundings or forced to transform into the natural environment, they dissipate into the space they occupy, leaving behind a trace of their former presence. In my paintings there is a unity between humanity and nature, two worlds intertwined abiding by a natural contract. Showing the female figure who is debilitated by debris and objects also is informed by a personal battle with complications with my reproductive system, the lower body of the figures are invaded by objects that should not be part of them. My work is informed by a female consciousness as well as personal sources, although it also touches on many themes within the realities in our lives.”