Fresh Paint / New Construction – 17th edition: Jaeden Blewett, Charles Bourbeau, Natalie Bruvels, Tayler Buss, Asha Cabaca, Gabrielle Carrère-Legault, Lorna Conquergood, Lisa Cristinzo, Brandon Dalmer, Georgia Dawkin, Rebecca Feaver, Julien Fisher, Chloé Gagnon, Niloo Inaloeui, Meghan Ivany, Erica Jochim, Peter Kohut, Andrée-Anne Laberge, Isabelle Lapierre, François Lespérance, Stephanie Ligeti, Vincent Lussier, Natasha Martel, Hayley Myatt, Laura Paolini, Shannyn Reid, Emily Roffey, Roxy Russell, Bashar Shammas, Agata Wojtowicz
Text by Noémie Chevalier
Every summer for the past seventeen years, Fresh Paint / New Construction connects us with a new generation of artists who will shape the Canadian art landscape of tomorrow. Today’s painting and sculpture are multidisciplinary. The students use techniques from a variety of artistic mediums to create an artistic language of their own.
When discovering the work of Agata Wojtowicz and Meghan Ivany (AUArts), one is seized by the subtlety of their common reflection to question our relationship with the physical object. Wojtowicz and Ivany are interested in how we understand objects and how our knowledge is produced from them. In a roundabout way this time, Tayler Buss (University of Manitoba) creates compositions of strange juxtapositions, producing an eerie effect. By re-contextualizing found objects within the gallery context, the visitor is not allowed to touch them, forcing them to imagine the physical sensations that these materials may evoke.
At the heart of Niloo Inalouei’s (York University) artistic practice are notions of identity and displacement. The artist must constantly negotiate her sense of belonging between two disparate cultures: Persian and Canadian. Through imagination, her paintings draw on the memory and feminist structures of Middle Eastern diasporas. The two OCAD students, Julien Fisher in sculpture and Erica Jochim in painting, are working on how we interact with art. They push their research on the analysis of interactions either of space for Fisher, or of race and body for Jochim. Thus, their works leave room for interpretation and experience.
Through the productions of Cat Attack Collective (Natalie Bruvels & Tomson) and Laura Paolini (University of Ottawa), each artist presents personal experiences and new conceptual trajectories in contemporary art. Natalie Bruvels works in collaboration with Tomson, her nine year old son. In the form of diptychs, their paintings reflect their own creative expression, but also the care of a mother for her son. Laura Paolini’s Documentation Study-Images (It’s Like Talking To A Wall) breaks down what is seen during and after a live art piece. The photographs used are enlarged video images and they trace the physical memory of the performance, re-presenting mediated images as they were originally seen during the performance. Roxy Russell (ULaval) shows the detachment that we feel in our daily lives with the environment. Her works reflect questions about our relationship with the living and our cohabitation between human and non-human.
Finally, this year’s diverse and stimulating selection of works proves once again how visual artists are a guarantor of an awareness of the realities of our world today. This is particularly true of the works of Vincent Lussier (UQAM) and Georgia Dawkin (Grenfell Campus Memorial University). In addition, this is a particularly instructive opportunity for the participating artists, most of whom are confronted for the first time with the sale of their work and the relationship with a commercial art gallery. It is nonetheless a remarkable opportunity to begin a collection of original works. Also, there is something very encouraging about supporting the careers of emerging artists, especially when they go on to pursue major projects.