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Course of Action

June Barrage, Eliane Findley, Ramolen Laruan, Eryn McCarthy, Jaclyn McConnell, Haley Menard, Shaylyn Honor Myshrall, Chelsea Saunders, Leigha Stiles, Serina Timperio, and Patrick Zumpano

March 23 - May 11, 2018 | Reception: Friday, March 23, 5-7pm

June Barrage | Friction (2018), acrylic, oil, and pastel on canvas

Friction demonstrates the complex political and social aspects regarding veiling in countries, like Lebanon, that are not fully identified as Islamic states. The relationship between men and women in these countries are heavily influenced by appearances and this is hinged on the act of veiling and unveiling. Whether or not Muslim women choose to veil themselves they are scrutinized under the public eye and this causes friction within society.

June Barrage (b. 1995) is from Beirut, Lebanon. In pursuing her BFA at Queen’s University, Barrage’s work revolves around visual manifestations of the practice of veiling and societal restrictions on women in the Islamic diaspora. She questions what is it to be a Muslim in this modern day and age.

Eliane Findley | Collide (2017), oil on wood panel

Through concrete and abstract imagery I try to create an environment where the viewer may explore states of mind that I consider difficult to describe. Some elements may confront the viewer directly, seeking to overwhelm and others may try to escape out the back door, leaving a sense of uncertainty in its wake. Some may simply not know what they are and sit quietly waiting.

I consider the ways in which artistic works explore emotion - its fluidity and changeability. As the feeling behind a work transforms, I believe the physical medium must also change and adapt to reflect the depth of these feelings. As I work, the piece transforms; the shapes change, I add layers of paint and representations of emotional states of mind. It shows a conflict or an impending collision that may leave one tense and uncertain of which side will win, although there is a suggestion that the dark might overcome the light.

Eliane Findley is a painter and printmaker currently pursuing a BFA at Queen's University (with a minor in psychology). In her art, she explores psychological and dream states with a focus on looking critically at social constructs. She has shown her work in Ontario Hall (Queen's University) and participated in Cezanne's Closet charity auction. Eliane is currently exploring new techniques in oil painting in order to further her body of work. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario now living and working in Kingston, Ontario.

Ramolen Laruan | Untitled (2018), mixed media

Works of art do not necessarily begin and end in the studio; the practice of art-making is a personal and social one. Because art can be personal, the process can involve chance, where the original plan is redirected as the artist grows and/or moves through the world while creating the work. An experience outside of the studio can affect the progression of labour in the studio. As a result, I believe that the undertaking of making or performing art involves with a certain level of emotional commitment that occurs before, during, and after the process.

If artworks mirror methods of inquiry, can inquiry be art? Untitled is a series of simple texts (like mottoes) that is the inquiry. That is, inquiries that are not documented through the formal elements of art, but through how most people document their thoughts: in writing. The literary processes aim to display modes of investigation through intent, motivation, and even doubts. I want to share the labour that complicates the process of creation –the emotions that sometimes block creation.

Ramolen Laruan (b. 1996 Manila, Philippines) is an interdisciplinary student artist and writer based between Kingston and Toronto. Laruan is currently a BFA (Honours) candidate at Queen’s University, minoring in Art History. Having grown up in the Philippines and moved to Canada at the age of 10, her work focuses on the intermingling of cultures and its effects on the formation of self-identity and politics of belonging; as well as exploring strategies of appropriation and censorship in an attempt to forge a new artistic language that reflects the rules and limitations of the society in which art is produced. Laruan is a past editor-in-chief of The Undergraduate Review and Communications Coordinator for Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre; she is currently a museum docent of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, staff writer for The Queen’s Journal, and the President of Union Gallery’s Board of Directors. Her work has been featured in various Kingston publications, exhibited across Ontario, and participated in-group exhibitions in New York and California. In 2017, Laruan was awarded the John Cameron O Memorial Award and Margaret Craig Scholarship in Fine Art; Laruan was, again, awarded the John Cameron O Memorial Award in Fine Art in 2018.

Eryn McCarthy | Coco (2016), oil on canvas

Coco is an oil painting of a woman in a blue and white striped bathing suit. Situated below her is a white outline of another figure in a dress that creates a ghostly form. The figure is placed in front of a backdrop that is a mix of colours and shape. In making this piece I was able to step outside my normal way of working which was to paint works only as I saw them. Taken from imagination this piece exemplifies my own experimentation with colour, line and imagery.

Eryn McCarthy (b. 1996 Waterloo, Ontario) is a multidisciplinary artist primarily focused on oil painting. She is currently completing her fourth year at Queen’s University in the Bachelor of Fine Art program in Kingston, Ontario. Along with completing her major in fine art, Eryn is also completing a minor in art history. Her work focuses on portraiture and figurative subject matter that explores her own personal thoughts, memories, and experiences. Eryn has had her work on display at the Union Gallery, donated work to the Union Gallery’s silent auction and has been interviewed on her work by the Queen’s Journal. She has completed graphic design commissions for the companies Sunvim and Maxtech, and is also a gallery attendant for the Union Gallery.

Jaclyn McConnell | Relics (2016), monoplate, estisol transfers

Relics is an illustrated journey. In the process of making the work, a number of road blocks were confronted and navigated. Conflicting subject matter was made more cohesive by changing the colour fields and creating planes. These were subtracted and added, transfers made intentionally and randomly. The bottom plane grounds the spatial arrangement of content and imagery.

Jaclyn McConnell (b. 1996 Ottawa, Ontario) is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in printmaking, oil painting, and new media. McConnell is currently a fourth year BFA student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is the photographer and graphic designer for the BFA graduating class exhibition. Her work currently explores themes of fragmentation through juxtaposing various subject matter with differing connotations and origins. Through this contrast the viewer is given a new insight to the imagery placed before them in a dynamic mixed media aesthetic. McConnell is a past assistant photographer at South March Studio, contributor for the Undergraduate Review, and presently a graphic designer for Studio Q. Her work has been exhibited in different venues including Kanata Artist’s Studio Tour, Union Gallery (2016-2018), Print Pulse 30: Travelling Exhibition, Modern Fuel, and in the Cezanne’s Closet fundraising event. In 2014, she was awarded the Robert Shotton Memorial Entrance Scholarship and Canon Canada and MTV’s True Original Challenge Grand Prize Winner.

Haley Menard | Silence is Golden (2016), plaster, string, acrylic paint

Silence is Golden explores ideas of censorship, particularly the idea of speaking up versus staying silent. I use plaster and string. The materials create a tension in the piece, as the string should not be able to pierce the plaster. The configuration of the elements of the piece and the way it is installed on the wall puts the viewer in the position of the hands sewing the mouth shut.

Haley is a multi-disciplinary artist from Ottawa, ON, working primarily in multi-media sculpture and oil paint. She is currently in a fourth year BFA student at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. Her work often explores the intersections of her creative practice and spiritual beliefs, drawing from religious art-historical precedence and contemporary expressions of faith.

Shaylyn Honor Myshrall | Rotten (2017), oil on panel

My practice is informed by collecting images that appeal to me. I am drawn to pictures of wildlife and images of human interventions in nature. I am interested in an exploratory, research-based process where I unpack the images I find. This aspect is integral to my practice because it allows me to learn new things, for example, the importance of beekeeping and presenting this information that might otherwise be ignored. I place these kinds of environmental issues into imagined settings with the intention of mystifying the viewer. This is executed by my painting style, which borders abstraction in some areas and symbolism or surrealism in others.

Rotten gives the viewer a subjective and objective experience. Certain things are recognizable where others are not, and thus require further investigation. The viewer may have two intended reactions: the first being pleasant and the second, discomfort given the nature of the subject matter. For example, the green objects that float in the middle of Rotten, represent Brazilian coconut flower mushrooms. These organisms are one of twenty-one bioluminescent species of fungus that grow at the base of rotting trees in South America. What interests me about this subject is their ability to thrive from another organism’s decomposition and the cyclical nature of life and death.

Shaylyn Honor (b. 1996) is a Kingston-based artist who is currently working towards her Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) with a minor in Art History at Queen's University. She specializes in large-scale oil painting and her practice is infused with symbolism. Her work attempts to confront the viewer with current environmental issues and invites action regarding topics such as illegal ivory trade. In 2017, she was granted the Margaret Craig Scholarship for Fine Art. She has exhibited locally in the Kingston Juvenis Festival as well as at the Union Gallery, and has had her work published in the Undergraduate Review. Upon graduation, she will continue her practice in Kingston and pursue her artistic career.

Chelsea Saunders | Interlude (2018), oil on panel

Interlude combines painting techniques to create a hybrid of realism and unfinished sketching. It shows the development of the piece, where many of the layers are still visible, and the viewer is able to imagine how the image started and how it became the final piece of artwork. I experimented with different brushstrokes to achieve a combination of traditional painting and unfinished brushwork.

Chelsea Saunders (b. 1996 Belleville, Ontario) is a Kingston-based visual artist in her final year of study in the Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) program at Queen's University. Preceding her post-secondary education, she studied in the International Baccalaureate program for Higher Level Visual Art from 2012 to 2014 at Moira Secondary School. Chelsea is currently prioritizing oil painting as her preferred medium with the intention to explore human emotional experience through the lens of her own life, memories, and perspective, asking the viewer to empathize with and consider their relationship to the imagery she uses. She has contributed to publications such as the Undergraduate Review and Free Lit Magazine, and shown in the Union Gallery (Kingston) in 2016, 2017, and 2018, as well as The Core (Belleville) in 2014. She was awarded the Quinte Arts Council bursary in 2014, and is currently a graphic illustrator for the Queen’s Business Review and a gallery attendant at the Union Gallery.

Leigha Stiles | Yours (2016), lithography and screenprints

Yours is a series of prints that focuses on female sexuality. In the work I am giving my body to the viewer to play on the idea of ownership as well as attempting to reclaim my sexuality. Each individual print in the larger work is titled with a comment that men have said to me or that I have said to them. Yours reflects my own experiences. It is meant to overwhelm the viewer with imagery so often seen on social media. I believe this series connects with the #metoo movement in which women express their experiences of sexual assault and harassment.

Leigha Stiles (b. 1996 Pembroke, Ontario) is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in printmaking and new media focusing on female representation. Stiles is currently a BFA candidate at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she is the co-chair of the BFA graduating class exhibition. Her work explores themes of sexuality, the representation of the body, and innovations into new forms and mediums within clothing. She has designed for multiple fashion shows including The Vogue Charity Fashion Show (2016, 2017, 2018) and Project Red (2017, 2018), which influenced her artistic practice. Her work has been exhibited in different venues including Union Gallery in 2016 and 2017, the Print Pulse 30: Travelling Exhibition, Cezanne’s Closet fundraising event and the Undergraduate Review. In 2015, she was awarded the William and Patricia Sheets Memorial Bursary as well as the Gerald Finely Bursary in Fine Art.

Serina Timperio | Cuckoo for Keukenhof (2016), oil on canvas

My paintings are inspired by my summer travels that took place in 2016. Working with oil paints, I apply neon colour to structures that transforms what may be considered an ordinary landscape into something surreal and unusual. Using black gesso allows scenes to magically emerge, creating mood and depth to the scene. Made up of thin layers of gauze paint, my method of representing the evolution of architecture contrasts with the destruction of historical landscapes.

The layering in this painting represents the layers of life. The piece is intentionally segmented so that one can almost trace the creative path across the finished canvas. Cuckoo for Keukenhof is strategically composed, with careful consideration to line and tonal balance as it shows a close-up of a kaleidoscopic pattern that whirls with energy. Geometric patterns and hexagonal shapes serve as a reminder of the complexity of life, people’s thoughts, ideas and endeavours. The goat represents humans, symbolizing freedom, vitality, ceaseless energy, and independence.

Serina Timperio (b. 1995, Windsor, ON) is a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours candidate at Queen’s University, with a minor in Art History. Her artwork is commonly themed around obstacles and possibilities of the human mind. Through her artwork she explores health remedies of various cultures and believe systems investigating humanity’s valuable and fundamental relationship to the holistic world. Having undergone a craniotomy in the past year, she plans to document her steps of healing through art, creative expression, and environmental influences. Timperio’s thesis seeks to raise awareness of brain injuries and the importance of community support in regaining independence, and ultimately help in raising funds for a cure.

Patrick Zumpano | Arachne (2017), mixed media

Arachne is one mixed media digital print in a series of 7 large scale prints that juxtaposes statutes from antiquity with contemporary modes of print and ideas of psychopathology. My work strips the statues from their heroic/godlike/or villainess aptitudes and re-associates them with a mental illness that best suits their personalities. The process by which I edit the statues is fundamental to the final outcome. Removing the statue from the gallery setting is the first step in creating the figure. From there, I then go into the numerical coding of the image and inject lines from the specific diagnosis causing corruptions that streak across the prints. Due to the uncontrolled nature of the corruptions, one wrong line can destroy the whole image which is why I have to save the work after every successful corruption. During this process I am acting in the place of a Devine figure much like the gods depicted. I have power to distort the files through the corrupted lines but lack the ability to control how the corruptions will look physically. Thus reinforcing the concept of control versus uncertainty. This conversation of control and lack thereof is important to the final outcome of the work. It is an idea that is layered in the work through myself, the statues, and people with atypical examples of mental illness. In all three there is a submission of power; the statues surrender their god-like qualities to me, as I submit to the unpredictable nature of the corruptions, similarly to a person succumbing to the uncertainties of a mental illness. Through connecting ideas of psychopathology with classical Greek sculptures my work creates a dialogue that speaks to the “myth” of mental health as an ancient misunderstood but underlying factor of life.

Patrick Zumpano (b. 1996 Richmond Hill, Ontario) is an inter-disciplinary artist who primarily works in large scale printmaking and brings elements of instillation to create spaces of changed perspectives. Currently completing his fourth year of study in Fine Art at Queen's University, Zumpano's work takes inspiration from psychopathology, the scientific study of mental illness, and juxtaposes different time periods to create comparisons between classical and contemporary understanding of mental health. Zumpano has worked in art camps for many summers creating programs and teaching basic skills to beginner youth artists and is currently an instructor for Queen's Expressions teaching the fundamentals of figure drawing to the community. His work has been exhibited at different locations including: The Union Gallery, Print Pulse 30 Traveling Exhibition shown at The Isabel Bader Centre (Syracuse University, McMaster University, Nipissing University) The Tett Centre, the Undergraduate Review, and the fundraising event Cezanne's Closet.