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The History of Another Person

Mathew Nagendran

June 23 - July 23, 2022
Opening reception Thursday, June 23rd

Artist Statement

As a contemporary figurative artist, my work centers on the complexity of human expression, through both physical manifestations, as well as emotive states, situated within present-day temporal settings. By emphasizing tensions, for example, between beauty and pain, warmth and loneliness, futurity and nostalgia, I hope to highlight the challenges and triumphs of being human.

About Mathew

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 Katarokwi/Kingston. Notably, Mathew’s work has been featured in Free Lit Magazine, and he has exhibited with Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Art Noise Gallery, Window Art Gallery Kingston, and The Union Gallery.

About the Show

This body of work serves as a vehicle for me to explore how memory can recapture and preserve moments that have been lost in time. Ideas around the concept of involuntary memories have informed this painted series. 

Involuntary memories occur when sensory cues encountered in everyday life, most frequently sense of smell, evoke very specific recollections of our past without conscious effort. To me, these memories are characterized through their element of surprise, deep ability to impact my mood, and are far more detailed and emotionally rich experiences. By noting down memories as they occurred to me spontaneously, and by translating them into paintings, it was my aim to revisit specific fleeting moments from my life that, until recently, were lost to even me. 

These very specific recollections from my past represent a window into my personal history, unaltered by the passage of time. It is my hope that they, in turn, may serve as cues that will elicit a similar response in the viewer.