Claudia Zilstra & Alyssa Scott
April 29-May 10
Emily Adams & Jordan Thompson
Mathew Nagendran & Fiona Fox
Emily Adams is a textile and mixed media artist living in Kingston, Ontario. Passionate about visual art since childhood, Emily is a graduate of the Algonquin College animation program, and has a background in 2D character animation for television. Her work explores themes such as Mental illness, body image, politics and sense of identity, and has been exhibited in group and solo shows across North America in cities such as Boston, New York, Toronto and Ottawa.
The work included in this show explores the after effects of transition, trauma, and new beginnings through the use of embroidery, acrylic painting and mixed media collage. The use of media which require methodical application, patience to complete, and careful planning create an interesting juxtaposition with the subject matter, which is often agitating, impatient and frenetic.
After Hours Statement
"After Hours" represents time spent alone with my thoughts. It also has always represented an escape from structure, from authority, and from the scrutiny of others. As someone who has struggled with mental illnesses since childhood, much of my time has always been spent "masking" my emotions and symptoms, which can sometimes feel too powerful to handle, for fear of being judged, corrected, or chastised. Creating art has been a useful way for me to not only process these emotions, but to share them with others in a way that makes them feel less vulnerable. Art has always been catharsis for me, as it was a safe outlet for difficult emotions. The pieces in this collection center around trauma, particularly those experienced since returning to Kingston after the end of a long term relationship. Art has not only been an outlet for these experiences, but also a method for dealing with them. Through the creation of the pieces, the impact of the events has lessened, and I have begun to feel empowered by the creative process. Working at Art Noise and for Tri-art has not only inspired me, but has also influenced my artistic process, as the knowledge I've gained about acrylic paints and mediums has been transformative. Every day that I am at work, I am learning in an ever-evolving, supportive environment, which I feel is invaluable to any artist. Armed with a newfound confidence in the use of acrylics, I have been able to take my mixed media work to a level I never thought I would reach.
Claudia Zilstra is from Port Perry, ON, and is currently a Kingston based artist who recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Queen’s University. She primarily works in sculpture and printmaking, and explores the difficulties of different aspects of health, such as female reproductive health and mental health, and how these ideas interact and affect each other.
Uterine Chintz is a piece that specifically talks about multiple different female reproductive diseases, including endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and uterine fibroids. These are diseases that have been relatively unexplored in medical research, and still contain many unknowns, including how the disease is contracted and how it could be cured. In an attempt to display how little is known about these issues, I decided to make an 18th century day dress printed with a dutch chintz inspired pattern. This was to reach back to a time before modern medicine was founded in the early 1800’s, and compare how the knowledge about women’s reproductive health is nearly the same almost 200 years later. Lotus was a side project where I explored mixing new contemporary tools with traditional methods. Share My Skin is a piece that specifically targets ideas of how physical illness may affect the skin, and questions the physical and mental health of having diseases such as eczema or psoriasis. Medical treatments are also common in many individuals who suffer physical ailments, and in many cases some people may have to take these medications throughout the rest of their life, despite the health complications that may be associated with the medications. Isolation also plays a part in my work, as sometimes having health issues or diseases that look physically different from normal healthy bodies might make a person feel isolated although surrounded by others.
After Hours Statement
My position at Art Noise has given me the amazing opportunity to experiment and learn; both from the materials we sell in store, and from the people I have taught in the Art Noise Studio. This opportunity has led me to create more, and to try to learn as much about products and applications as possible. This new knowledge has allowed me to experiment with the pieces included in this show, and will inspire new paintings and sculptures to come.
Alyssa Scott is a visual artist based out of the Kingston area. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) with Distinction from Queen's University in 2019. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education in the Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University. She utilizes painting, printmaking, photography, creative writing, found objects and collage in her works.
Through my art practice, I explore my personal connections to familiar spaces. I think about my relationship to these places through my experience, memories and the space itself. Through my mixed media work, I attempt to converse with and break down the materiality of these spaces. I use collage along with processes such as photography, paint, printmaking, found materials and creative writing to further explore the relationship between these physical places and the atmosphere they create. Through my art I find myself searching for what I am familiar with and yet also struggling to understand it. I am also fascinated about how small processes reflect and manifest themselves on larger scales and vice versa. Through all of this I try to understand my situation and myself.
After Hours Statement
'After Hours’ carries many meanings in my life. It is when all the day is done, and my body and mind can rest. It is a time for reflection. It is a time for rest and incubation. And for healing. It is also a time spent with loved ones, by myself, or with my animals. A time spent in nature, or sleeping... It means taking care of myself and of what is around me. This is the time where experiences and meanings intertwine, when reflections can become realizations.
Fiona is enrolled at Queen’s University for her Bachelors in Art History, she has been doing art her whole life. In the past few years, she has worked with acrylics and fabric painting. Recently she had become interested in recreating maps using various acrylic mediums.
Through extensive travel during my childhood, I became very interested in geography and the natural world. In my work, I attempt to recreate the environment around me whether that be on a two-dimensional surface or in the more sculptural features of a piece. These works are drawn from my imagination yet are meant to resemble real places, somewhere between what is and what could be.
After Hours Statement
The show After Hours has been a wonderful way to explore many creative areas in my life. I find that building the map itself is an interesting exercise in creativity. Beginning with an idea and sketch, I aim to make realistic-looking geography. This kind of fictional world-building has also been influenced by my writing, making the unreal seem believable. The physical process of creating the map is another component of this exploratory experience. I use fibre paste and paper to create the topographical qualities of the terrain. After the fibre paste is dry, I sand the surface and apply the acrylic paint and any additional acrylic mediums. Working at Art Noise has been highly educational regarding acrylic paint and mediums. I am glad not only to have gained such knowledge about acrylics but also to have such a supportive environment in which to create my work.
Mathew Nagendran (b.1991) is a visual artist originally from Toronto, ON. He received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from the University of Toronto in 2014, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Queen’s University in 2016. Now focusing fully on his artistic pursuits, he maintains a studio practice in Kingston, ON.
Nagendran’s work strives to explore feelings of nostalgia, longing, and loneliness, in juxtaposition with the inherent beauty of the human form. Elements of surrealism are often present in his work through the use of toned, moody and decorative environments surrounding the main figure.
After Hours Statement
For me, 'After Hours' is a time spent at home with loved-ones. My pieces provide a window into the intimacy of home-life, with surreal elements illuminating the ways in which our homes are places of not only creation, but solace and escapism. These particular pieces were informed by my experiences living with, supporting, and caring for my partner, who is chronically ill. 'After Hours,' our imaginations can take us beyond our daily realities.
My personal art practice centres on the complexity of human expression, both through physical manifestations, as well as emotive states. By emphasizing the tensions between beauty and pain, warmth and loneliness, futurity and nostalgia, I hope to materialize both the challenges and triumphs of being human. My technical practice follows several steps, beginning with a series of composition studies in ink and watercolour. I then work with models to create photo-references, translating the composition into larger scale pieces. Using pencil I establish the under-drawing, next working on the figure with layers of colour-pencil, and finalizing the piece with acrylic background work and metal-leafing.
Working with Art Noise/Tri-Art has greatly influenced my interest and comfort in using acrylic paint within my pieces. Having learned so much about the practical aspects of material production, I have gained confidence in how to manipulate materials to best utilize and explore not only acrylic paint, but its various mediums as well.
Jordan Thompson (b. 1995 Ottawa, Ontario) is a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate and Master’s candidate at Queen’s University. Thompson’s work draws on the experiences of marginalized being and seeks to situate the self in a world that determines the body to be unstable and in an ambiguous state of being. He is also interested in the ways in which fashion and subculture can shape the presentation of the self. His work has been exhibited in shows such as Overdue (2018), and Print Pulse 30: Travelling Exhibition (2017), the Union Gallery’s Cezanne’s Closet in 2015, 2016, and 2020, as well as the Union’s Vitrine in 2017. He has also been featured in Queen’s University’s Undergrad Review in 2016. Ongoing updates of his work can be found on Instagram @jaythom95.
Thompson works primarily with acrylic paint but is also experienced in oil painting, watercolour, and printmaking. The themes of his work focus on various facets of identity, including gender and neurodiversity. Recent works have been explorations of Thompson’s own climate anxiety and thoughts about how to reconcile that anxiety with working in an acrylic medium. As such, a portion of proceeds from any sales of Thompson’s works will be donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Center and the Unist’ot’en legal fund.
After Hours Statement
Typically for me, ‘After Hours’ consists of doing research and taking care of my fish. My work is often informed by the research I am currently conducting and is as much a product of my research as the papers I write. My personal visual language makes use of fish in particular, but other creatures as well, as stand-ins for the human figure to contemplate our place in the world as individuals and as collectives. As products of my research, my goal is to contribute to the emerging field of creation-based research. As reflections of my thoughts and anxieties, I hope that my work will become a record of how at least one of us felt and responded to this tumultuous political, climate, and now quarantined time.
Usually my work follows a collage method, wherein I search through my hearty folders of reference material to find images that both represent my concept and compliment each other. After selecting the images and deciding on an approximate layout, I layer the painting as the references are laid on top of one another. This allows the elements of the painting to interact organically, but also affects the surface of the painting, so that the paint itself interacts with previous layers which can result in raised ghosts of previous images.
Working with Art Noise has broadened the way I use my materials as I continuously learn about the varied ways each of the many mediums might be used. It has also introduced me to ways of painting that were completely new to me, like liquid glass pouring. Working closely with the materials has allowed me to better familiarize myself with pigments as well as facilitated my experimentation with them. Art Noise has also allowed me to work alongside artists who all have very different practices which has not only been a delight, but a welcome reminder of the endless ways we can make art.