Union Gallery

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project room

SURFACE

Mackenzie Gregson, Austin Henderson, Ramolen Laruan, Karen Law, Jaclyn McConnell, Jaclyn O’Brien, Alyssa Scott, Leigha Stiles, and Xujing Zhang

November 17, 2017 – January 12, 2018 | Reception: Friday, November 17, 5-7pm

Jaclyn McConnell, Synergy I & II, oil and acrylic on canvas, 2017

Mackenzie Gregson | Bacon and Eggs (2017), mixed media

This piece is a mixed media still life of an everyday surface; my kitchen table. Incorporating paint and collaged elements, it offers a snapshot of a day in the life of a student.

Mackenzie Gregson is a second year student in the Fine Art Program at Queen’s. She is currently studying painting but will be working in other media such as sculpture and printmaking. Mackenzie has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Algoma and is currently serving on the Fine Art Program’s Departmental Student Council.

Austin Henderson | The Breakfast Table (After John Brack) (2017), oil and acrylic on canvas

Completed while studying at the University of New South Wales in Australia, The Breakfast Table is inspired by Australian painter John Brack’s piece, The Breakfast Table. Using a similar electric palette and stark composition, I recreated the still life using objects that were regularly found on the dining table at my home in Sydney, Australia. The function of the dining table has changed since Brack painted his scene in 1958. A surface exclusive to communal dining has since been converted into a makeshift office space and a laundry hamper, among other things.

Austin Henderson is a student artist based in Kingston, Ontario. He is currently in his final year of the Fine Art Program at Queen’s University. Austin’s art practice includes painting, printmaking, and drawing. However, he is beginning to explore interdisciplinary approaches to his art making. His work has been exhibited in group shows at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario (2014, 2012) and the Union Gallery in Kingston, Ontario (2017, 2016).

Ramolen Laruan | an ode to my daddies (2017), mixed media; National Geographic – Come out, wherever you are (2017), mixed media

an ode to my daddies is a mixed media work on wood panel that examine and then use the strategies used by Modern and post-modernist artists as a way of “coming to terms” with history – to rethink and reveal what has been left out. But, more importantly, it is a way to create a new story - one that has yet to happen and has yet to be told.

It is one of a series of paintings that are unclear, nonconforming, expressive – it is an experimentation with the paint medium and what it is. I discard old habits, biases, and deeply ingrained attitudes of aversion and preference. I found new ways to think, act and make art.

The work utilizes many painting techniques including alla prima, dry brush, massing, and contrast. The surface is endlessly re-drawn and disrupted. The rich surface on the canvas documents my investigation of contrasting ideologies through texture. I hope that the sense of confusion in my work leads viewers to shift their views, to come closer to and to walk further away from the work to find new possibilities in the images that I copied, stole, removed, and demolished.

National Geographic – Come out, wherever you are series is an on-going project that consists of tearing pages from National Geographic issues and applying gesso over some sections. Though minimal in design and physical surface, the blocking out is an intervention on the photographic and contextual surface of the National Geographic narrative.

Ramolen Laruan is a fourth-year Fine Art student, minoring in Art History at Queen’s University. She is based in Kingston and Toronto, Ontario. Ramolen grew up in the Philippines. When she was ten years old she moved to Canada. Her work focuses on the intermingling of cultures and its effects on the formation of identity. Currently, she is a docent of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, writer for The Queen’s Journal, and President of the Union Gallery Board of Directors. Ramolen is also the past editor-in-chief of The Undergraduate Review. In 2017, she was awarded the John Cameron O Memorial Award and the Margaret Craig Scholarship in Fine Art.

Karen Law | Last Name (2016), acrylic on canvas

In this piece, I use biomorphic and geometric shapes of the Chinese character for my last name “Law,” to mask and hold overlapping colours. Through the painting process, I try to capture the energy that is produced from specific colour relationships. Although the painting is abstract, the viewer can still experience depth as each shape and colour becomes a surface. There is an artificial surface created through the layering of these colours, but there is also a very real surface based approach with the process of my work. Layers of acrylic paint are applied, then covered, then revealed, and covered again.

On the surface, my last name, Law, can pass as a common White name. It is not until people have met me or seen my last name written in this original form of the Chinese character, that it is realized as a Chinese name. The surface can in many ways act as a curtain that hides what it is below. In my art I hope to treat the surface as a transparent space in which to highlight my own cultural identity in relationship and contrast to Canada’s precarious relationship with multiculturalism.

Karen Law is a third-year painting and print student in the Queen’s University Fine Art Program. Karen has exhibited her work in the Queen’s community in the Undergraduate Review, the Union Gallery, and The Studio gallery at the Faculty of Education. The tangible and conceptual process of creating art and the relationships between colour, the viewer, and the artist heavily influence her work.

Jaclyn McConnell | Migrant (2016), waterless lithoplate; Synergy I & II (2017), oil and acrylic on canvas

Migrant is a piece that uses surface tension to convey a great journey and struggle. The figures travelling across the vast landscape recall migrant workers. I attempt to show the passing of seasons and years reflected in these figures as they travel across the landscape. Each sandpaper and razor mark adds a jaded, worn, and frayed texture to the piece. Exposure to the elements and its effect can be felt within the viewer, hopefully leaving a thread of impression.

Synergy I & II use an array of juxtaposing elements derived from numerous sources. The subject matter and paintbrush techniques give the viewer a new insight into the imagery placed before them. Layers are applied using sponges, palette knife, and traditional brushstrokes that work in harmony to create a dynamic surface. The size and rendering of the pieces invite the viewer in, past the surface, and into the depths of the painting where more detail emerges.

Jaclyn McConnell is in her final year of the Fine Art Program at Queen’s University and is based in Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario. She is a multi-disciplinary artist who takes inspiration from photography. She was an assistant photographer at South March Studio, a contributor to Muse Magazine, and the Undergraduate Review. Presently she is on the graphic design staff at Studio Q at Queen’s. Her work has been displayed in several galleries in eastern Ontario where she has received recognition for her work.

Jaclyn O’Brien | Fall Harvest (2017), drypoint

Fall Harvest was inspired by my love of nature. It is a print made from drypoint on plexiglas using water-soluble black ink that has seeped into the porous surface of the paper. The pumpkin and apple in the still life are made with particular attention to light and shadow to render the illusion of dimension and mass. The subject matter of the print symbolizes a period of transformation. The subject’s symbolism is emblematic of the technical processes of intaglio and the way that the surface is transformed.

Jaclyn O’ Brien is a Concurrent Education student at Queen’s University. Her work is influenced by the Italian Renaissance master painters. Currently, she is focusing on landscapes and still life paintings.

Alyssa Scott | Portrait (2017), acrylic on board

This painting is a result of a class project where we were asked to paint a portrait that was inspired by a particular style of painting. This work was inspired by artist Joshua Miel’s painting style. There are many layers of paint behind the one that the viewer sees, each different. These layers unfolded as the work progressed as did the colours.

Alyssa Scott is completing a degree in the Fine Art Program and a Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University. She currently resides in Kingston, Ontario and plans to teach visual art and history graduating. She is interested in exploring themes of technology, science fiction, futurism, folklore, history and more. I’m also curious about feelings, atmospheres, auras and the unseen.

Leigha Stiles | Vibes (2016), lithograph

Vibes is a lithograph that is the result of my exploration of lithography. I believe that there is something intimate about drawing on stone that creates a unique relationship between the artist and the surface.

Leigha Stiles is a multi-disciplinary artist who currently resides in Kingston, Ontario where she is completing her final year in the Fine Art Program at Queen’s University. Her work has been exhibited at the Union Gallery, in the Cézanne’s Closet fundraiser, and has been published in the Undergraduate Review. In 2014, Stiles was awarded the William and Patricia Sheets Memorial Bursary. Stiles is also the co-chair for the Fine Art Program’s graduating student exhibition which will be held in Ontario Hall at Queen’s.

Xujing Zhang | Rage (2017), digital print

Rage: Rage can make us blind to the truth. It is just like the broken surface of water that can barely reflect anything.

The heart of the lake: Ripples on a lake are so inconspicuous. Long before we realize, the ripples fade away. What we ignore may be the heart of the lake.

Free your soul: Water flies into the sky by changing its state from liquid to vapor. But, at the same time, it never changes its nature. My view of freedom is to be happy with changes. But, the changes will not affect who I am in nature.

Xujing Zhang is a Master of Science student in the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University. She received her first master’s degree in software engineering at Peking University. Her previous projects focused on artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality and spatial hearing. She enjoys bringing together technology with art. Currently she is focusing on 3D gesture interactions. Xujing has received recognition for her Interactive Installations Design for the Leo KoGuan Project (2013, Peking University).