Union Gallery

main space

Ever Passing

Madison Costello, Julia Fast-Grass, Julia Finnegan, Xiao Hu, Jessica Lanziner, Taylor Marrin, Eryn McCarthy, Jaclyn McConnell, Chelsea Saunders, Tianyu Yao, and Patrick Zumpano

January 26 - March 16, 2018 | Reception: Friday, January 26, 5-7pm

Madison Costello | Happenstance (2017), installation

Happenstance is an installation piece that explores the ideas of chance and its consequences over time. The piece has elements of a Rube Goldberg machine, in which a ball rolls through a wooden track that, through both randomness and cause and effect, can lead to seven different possible endpoints. This works draws attention to the passage of time and the variance this future may hold through the different routes the ball can take. It is about how our futures and timelines are defined by small coincidences that may be attributed to chance.

Madison Costello, originally from Peterborough, Ontario, is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Art degree at Queen’s University. Her work is often characterized by neutral colours, geometric lines, and human behavior that is informed by both her own observations and her interest in psychology. Her work has been displayed at Cézanne’s Closet fundraising event in both 2015 and 2016 as well as at the Union Gallery in the exhibit First Editions: Bookworks by BFA Students (March – May 2016). In 2015 she received the Lockside Trading Company scholarship and the Zim Art Sculpture Award at the Best of High School Art Show in Peterborough, ON.


Julia Fast-Grass | Millennial Venus #scaredofalittleblood? (2017), oil on canvas board

Millennial Venus #scaredofalittleblood seeks to normalize periods. It explores how women have immense power and knowledge in their natural ability to tell time through their cycle. This work is a personal response to body shaming and the ongoing stigma surrounding menstruation. It is a general call for women to claim their power, intelligence and beauty.

Julia Fast-Grass is currently in her second year of the Fine Art Program at Queen’s University. Her practice includes oil painting and increasingly she is enjoying creating larger scale paintings. She exhibited in a group show at the Union Gallery in 2016. She is the Vice-President of the Union Gallery Board of Directors and a gallery attendant at the Union Gallery.

Julia Finnegan | Passenger (2017), oil on canvas

Passenger explores the idea of retrospection; the action of looking back. A car’s side mirror is an example of a device that allows for reflection by indicating what is behind you. In this piece one can see that the sunset is quickly fading and that the golden sky immediately out the window has not yet caught up to the gradient lavender blue that it will inevitably become. Time will see that it does. Time is always changing, moving and we are subject to its motion, forced to adjust, adapt, often left only with our memories to reflect upon.

Julia Finnegan is a Kingston based artist for whom creativity has always been an integral part of life. She is a second year student of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program currently focusing on painting in oil and acrylic. She is working to diversify her understanding of different media such as printmaking and sculpture. Julia has completed several commissioned works that are in private collections.

Xiao Hu | Mo Bai (Black White) (2017), documentary

Mo Bai (Black White) is a short experimental documentary introduces a Chinese trans-identified Taoist monk, Mo Bai. In English, the Chinese name Mo Bai means black and white. In our interviews, Mo Bai told us that he was a Buddhist monk before and he can recall what happened in his previous lives. Those memories and religious practice influence how Mo Bai answers the question: “Who am I?” While disrupting the dual relations between black and white, this film applies dual channel projection, looping and “speaking nearby” to represent Mo Bai’s narrative of transformation, reincarnation, and temporal extension throughout history. His narrative and the skills I applied in the documentary can help audiences to sense and think about time in a new way.

Xiao Hu is a filmmaker and scriptwriter born in Shandong, China. She received an MFA degree Subsequently, she acquired her second Masters’ degree in Gender Studies at Queen’s University (Canada) in 2017. When working on her final Masters’ research project, she made her first short documentary Mo Bai (Black White) that is based on the contexts and theories of her essay “Nostalgia, Racial Melancholia, and Asian American Woman Intellectuals.” Recently, she is submitting her film to some international film festivals. in Film Theory and Practice from the Central Academy of Drama (China) in 2014.


Jessica Lanziner | The Warehouse (2017), oil on canvas

The Warehouse is an oil painting on canvas. The piece incorporates imagery of structures in conjunction with imagery from the natural world and explores the temporality of man-made society and relationships with the built environment. The building that stands may have once been a beautiful home but time has taken its toll on the structure. This piece strives to bring notice to the abandoned, perhaps alluding to their previous inhabitants and their former lives. Overall, this piece attempts to show that synthetic, man-made environments are never as permanent as that of the natural world.

Jessica Lanziner is a third year Fine Art and Art History student at Queen’s University, specializing in painting and printmaking. Her work explores the atmosphere of the abandoned in conjunction with the effects of nature. Her work was included in First Editions: Bookworks by BFA Students shown at the Union Gallery in 2016. Additionally, Alabama Pines, Mother, and My Algonquin were published in the Undergraduate Review in the spring of 2017. Lanziner served as an intern at the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2017) where she was inspired to further pursue visual arts. After she graduates she plans to complete a Master’s degree in Curatorial Studies.


Taylor Marrin | Brick Wall (2017); Common Knowledge (2017), lithography and serigraphy

Brick Wall and Common Knowledge are lithographs with silkscreen details. The works reflect on the stigmas around mental illness. Both prints are silhouettes of a man’s head with plants and leaves growing around it. The prints differ in the middle section of the head where on the left, plants grow out of and around the face and on the right the face is blank. They represent two faces of the same person, and can either be seen as the same moment or two different moments in time.

The work is about someone’s outward and inward self when battling with mental illness, specifically depression. The face in Common Knowledge represents the face one typically shows to the world. Whereas, the face in Brick Wall represents the way one feels inside, or the hidden face of the person. Both prints follow the same person (or arguably many people) through the course of a mental illness getting better and worse, and that person’s methods of dealing with the illness.

Taylor Marrin is a printmaker in the fourth year of the Fine Art Program (BFA) at Queen’s University. She has exhibited at Modern Fuel artist run centre (Kingston, Ontario) and has participated in art auctions held by the Queen’s BFA program. Marrin chooses to work mainly in lithography and screen printing, focusing on the relationship between self-image and mental illness, in particular the stigma related to depression and anxiety. She makes use of the psychological meaning of colour, the invasive nature of plants, and methods of layering images in her prints to present the topics.

Eryn McCarthy | The Fall (2017), oil paint

The Fall is a snapshot of three figures in the midst of tumbling. It is as if the scene has been paused to capture a moment in time of the bodies, helpless, as they fall.

Eryn McCarthy a multi-disciplinary artist originally from Waterloo, Ontario and is currently based in Kingston, Ontario. Eryn is in her fourth year of the Fine Art Program (BFA) at Queen’s University. Her current work focuses on figurative and portrait rendered oil painting. McCarthy is a volunteer gallery attendant at the Union Gallery and has completed graphic design projects for companies such as Sunvim North America and Mantis.

Jaclyn McConnell | Undercurrent I-VIII (2017), serigraph

Undercurrent I-VIII. Having always been intrigued with the idea of one’s own journey through life physically, emotionally, and mentally, I wanted to sample a group of people close to me to create a photo-based portrait of their personal development over the past four years. Photography is a great tool to preserve a movement in time though with this project there was the challenge of trying to narrate a moment that was longer than a quick snapshot. This was resolved in the end by extending the shutter for one to two seconds focusing more on the notion of time passing itself then freezing one particular frame.

Off-register layers were applied to show the interconnectedness of the group. Overlays of topographical maps represent the subjects’ geographical movement in order to display not only a self journey but also the group’s growth. Each person was instructed to wear clothing that best fit their style and personality; their “everyday look” to help capture their essence.

Breaking out of the traditional mode of installation for two-dimensional works, a wallpaper concept was utilised. The more traditional section in the centre is juxtaposed with more experimental work around the outside of the installation. This allows the viewer to gradually dissect the piece, discover the underlying interconnectedness of it, and hopefully have a better understanding of the abstract concept in the work.

Jaclyn McConnell is in the BFA Program at Queen’s University and is based in Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario. Her work incorporates a spectrum of ideologies and mediums. McConnell is a past assistant photographer at South March Studio, contributor to Muse Magazine and the Undergraduate Review, and presently a graphic design staff for Studio Q. Her work has been displayed in numerous galleries throughout eastern Ontario and over the years and has been recognized and awarded repeatedly on her success.


Chelsea Saunders | The Fates (2017), oil on panel

The Fates is an oil painting on panel that features three girls of different ages. The children, ages four, twelve, and eight, are myself and represent different periods of my childhood. The figures are trying to untangle a red thread, which symbolically represents the red string of fate found in several East Asian legends and folklore. Although the red string of fate is often associated with destined lovers, my use of it asks the viewer to consider the impact of one’s childhood on their ‘destined’ development as they age.

Chelsea Saunders is a student at Queen's University currently in her final year of study in the Bachelor of Fine Art program (BFA). Saunders focuses on oil painting as her preferred medium. She explores human emotional expression through the lens of her own experience.

Tianyu Yao | The Rhythm of Death, Y001-Y002 (2013), photography

The Rhythm of Death, Y001 captures several dead lotuses on a winter lake that show the destination of life and the starting point of rebirth. The lotuses and their inverted image on the lake are like musical notes and give the audience a feeling of rhythm. Thematically the work reflects on death and the passage of time offering a reminder of the past and the status of present.

Tianyu Yao is a first year Queen’s University student and avid amateur photographer. Tianyu’s passion for photography began in 2012, when he received his first camera. Tianyu captures the beauty of nature, the people he encounters, and things that happen in daily life. He views photography as the most direct medium that vividly reflects people's thinking modes and the context in which they live, and is one of the best reflections of aesthetic thoughts.

Patrick Zumpano | Icarus (2017), lithography

The concept of time is represented in Icarus, a series of prints that reference classical Greek figures and the lessons taught by their stories. Icarus was gifted with wax wings that gave him the ability to fly, however he was warned not to fly too close to the sun. Not listening to the warning he flew as high as he could and his wings began to melt, leaving him to fall and die in the sea. This story speaks to youthful recklessness and our lack of fear of consequence. I believe this idea of ignorance in youth is timeless in nature. The world’s youth must forever go through this stage in life, as if it is a rite of passage into adulthood. The use of three colours and presenting it as a triptych plays on the idea that youth often get told things three times before there are consequences.

Patrick Zumpano, from Richmond Hill, Ontario, is completing his fourth year of study in the Fine Art Program at Queen’s. His artistic practice started in dry media, and has since expanded into printmaking, specifically digital, lithography and screen-printing. Zumpano's work takes inspiration from psychopathology, the scientific study of mental health, and addresses mental illness as well as different modes of learning. Recently he has shown in the Print Pulse Traveling Art Show held at the Isabel Bader. Zumpano has worked in art camps for multiple summers creating programs and teaching basic skills to beginner youth artists. He is an instructor for Queen's Expressions, teaching the fundamentals of figure drawing to the community.