Jillian Beedell, Claire Dobbie, Meenakashi Ghadial, Jobelle Quijano, Lauren Russo, Rebecca Vangennip, Ruža Vatres
Curated by Alexander Rondeau
March 8–26, 2022
The combined works presented from the 4o8 Collective in the exhibition, I still see your ghost dancing in my room, eliciting complex questions surrounding painterly portraiture at the turn of the new year. Many of the works were produced in times of isolation during lockdowns, or bear with them the psychic and affective charge of isolation; we see, throughout, representations of persons that are consistently slightly off, failing to present a realist likeness of the subjects depicted. Ostensibly working from memory, loneliness and depravity operate as imposed conditions essential to the production of these works as the artists within the 4o8 Collective call into question the slippages between inner and outer worlds, reality and fantasy during a period of isolation. Here, the bedroom takes centre stage and the subjects portrayed straddle a line that is caught in the doubled-space of being simultaneously real, and utterly hauntological.
4o8 believes that introspection on an artistic level is best achieved through collaboration: our diverse lives, personalities, and creative processes allow us to consider and adapt new practices and ideas. We create our art with the hope that each piece will resonate with an equally diverse contemporary audience.
this feels so far from what I know
Jillian Beedell is an Ottawa-based artist who spent her first year of undergraduate study at Queen’s University and is currently pursuing a BFA at Concordia University in Tiohti:áke/Montreal. She works primarily in painting and drawing, through which she attempts to translate feelings of nostalgia, metamorphoses within the psyche, and the extent to which personal perspectives colour our external realities.
be here, with me
Claire Dobbie is a Toronto-based artist currently studying her BFA in Kingston, working primarily in drawing and oil painting. Her works explore the nuances of commonality and intimate moments, communicated through the presence of figures in private spaces and small objects used as personal motifs.
I wish I was this girl again
Meenakashi Ghadial is a fine artist based in Toronto, currently working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at Queen’s University. She specializes in oil paint and mainly works with figures and portraits with an emphasis on self portraiture. Through the depiction of oneself, Meenakashi explores ideas of sexuality, femininity and identity by capturing moments in her life that give her a chance to reflect on the relationship she has with herself. Through the vulnerability of her work, she invites others to find solace.
nobody cares for you anymore
Jobelle Quijano is an artist based in Toronto. She is currently studying for her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at Queen’s University. Through her artwork, she aims to create a vivid and honest image of her inner world by exploring themes of girlhood, comfort, vulnerability, and fantasy.
I had another dream in that room
Lauren Russo is a Toronto-based artist currently studying her BFA at Queen's University. Using oil paint and mixed media, she combines traditional techniques with modern concepts to highlight the beauty that can be found in the mundane. Bored with the repetition of daily life, Lauren aims to create art that is not only an escape from the humdrum, but a celebration of it.
turn toward me, and be gracious unto me
Ruža Vatres is an artist based in Kitchener, and is in her third year of study at Queen’s University. Her art is predominantly concerned with personal and family history, culture, and the translation of historical artistic concepts to suit contemporary values.
in this moment, who is in your thoughts?
Rebecca Vangennip is a fine artist based in Georgina. She is a third year Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours student at Queen's University and minors in Art History. She is a member-at-large on Union Gallery’s Board of Directors. Rebecca specializes in alla prima oil painting, focusing on classically inspired still lives and interior narrative scenes. Navigating traumatic personal experiences of loss, she reflects on themes of grief, forgiveness, and remembrance to change the way we view grief; by uncovering our love in disguise.
Alexander Rondeau is a queer curator, writer, and artist from a rural Northeastern so-called "Ontario" farming community known as Kerns Township—past, present and future home to the Ojibway, Cree and Algonquin within Robinson-Huron treaty land. He holds a BFA in Photography Studies from X (formerly known as Ryerson) University (2017), and an MFA in Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2021). Alex is a first-year PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University. He has curated exhibitions for artist-run centres in Northern Ontario such as the Near North Mobile Media Lab (North Bay, 2020) and the White Water Gallery (North Bay, 2019). In 2021, Rondeau launched Between Pheasants Contemporary, an experimental gallery and presentation space in a pheasant coop on his family farm. Rondeau is also a founding member of two ad hoc curatorial collectives: Minor Hockey Curatorial (alongside Robin Alex McDonald), and découpé__projects (alongside Marilyn Adlington and Alex Gregory).
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