Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery is pleased to present the annual exhibition of work by fourth-year students of the visual arts program at Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland. The visual arts program offers the only BFA (visual arts) degree in Newfoundland and Labrador. The fourth-year student exhibition is a valuable opportunity for students to exhibit their work in a professional gallery space and to benefit from public exposure.
All Nighters is a multi-disciplinary presentation of new work by 23 fourth-year students: Jackie Alcock, Gabriela Estrada, Jordan Bennett, Anastasia Brazil, Stephanie Ciz, Hope Clarke, Amanda Coates, Sandra Crewe, Jillian Fogarty, John Foster, Herb Gibbons, Jonathan Green, Jon Janes, Craig Joseph, Gill King, Matthew Noble, Krystin Parks, Shannon Power, Stephanie Power, Erin Summers, Kimberley Walsh, Nicole Wassing, and Hillary Winter. Art works in the exhibition reflect the students’ interdisciplinary approach to art making, whereby photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, performance and video elements are used in various combinations that mirror the variety and scope of current issues in contemporary art.
For example, Shannon Power creates sculpture, prints and mixed media art of all shapes and sizes, making, in her words, “worldly commentaries about everything from frog princes to global warming.” Ultimately, she states, “paper has become a messenger in my work, illustrating the connection between our lifestyle and our life force: nature.” She also reflects on the meaning of clothing as a cultural marker. Sandra Crewe uses media such as sculpture and relief, serigraphy and book binding to explore her fascination with clocks and time. She remarks on the fact that “we force a person’s life into the construct of ‘years’. Paradoxically, time also has an ephemeral quality which becomes a ‘memory’. To me, the memory has become like an unattainable vessel, just out of reach, which holds places and people that we can never be with ever again.”
Jonathan Green’s interests include “reading, philosophy, sandwiches, fashion, gender issues, watching fighting, dystopian and apocalyptic elements, drawing, painting, printmaking, and an increased interest in thanatology (the scientific study of death and associated practices) Jonathan completed a co-op internship at St. Michael’s Printshop in St. John’s last year, and recently received the St. Michael’s Don Wight Scholarship for 2008-2009. “I use the medium of drawing, for it can show the sensitively and vulnerabilities of being human. It is like a slow motion version of thought, for the process of drawing can be imprecise, and uncertain. Drawing captures this by the power of it being an unmediated impression of the artists hand and mark on the surface.” Jackie Alcock has studied sculpture, painting, printmaking, digital imaging and video. She will shortly launch a community project that she has been working on for the last two years: a web site dedicated to Newfoundland War Brides. “I paint, assemble wood and mixed media constructions, create videos, make clay sculptures, and build universes within my art installations. I am working with new materials such as reflective mylar, mirrors and glow-in-the-dark wiggle eyes. I am creating art by deconstructing dressers and dresser drawers and building assemblages within and on them. My current work deals with the themes of women, body shape, the passing of time, and the stuff that we collect as we pass through our lives.” Nicole Wassing creates minimalist, abstract or complicated games based on personal issues. “I wanted to do this as a way to show the inner process my mind went through while creating the works. I invite viewers to play, assemble, disassemble, knock over or enjoy anyone of my creations as part of their inner play.”
Other artists have chosen to work in media considered traditional or fundamental in mainstream practice. Anastasia Brazil defends her preoccupation with portraiture. “Finding a deeper meaning in something as obscure as characteristic indecisiveness or a fascination for a certain object does not at first seem like any kind of a portrait. These do, however, bring to light many of the most important and distinctive qualities of a person. They lead us through the person’s interior world: but only if we are given access to the dialogue they create with the subject and within themselves, through voice or through image.” Erin Summers creates representational paintings that reflect her life experience. “My paintings as well as my sculptures are layered with patterns that I have created by hand, and are meant to reflect the female role in the creation of fabrics and patterns. We all use pattern as it is imposed on us in some shape or form in our daily lives”. Kimberley Walsh considers herself a painter. “I like to paint, but then again, I’ve liked to paint since I started finger painting when I was two. I found out that I really enjoy building things, and getting my hands into the material, feeling the tactility of an object, and changing it as I wish. I sometimes can’t figure out if it’s building a stretcher and stretching the canvas over it that I enjoy the most or the globing paint onto it afterwards.” Kimberley sees her current work as a way of expressing the need to join the elements of sculpture and painting together on the same surface. The work Stephanie Ciz has made over the last four years “has varied immensely but in this I have discovered I enjoy narratives and sequential images. I work in mainly drawing, digital, printing, and painting although I do enjoy other media as well. The figure has been of particular interest in my work. I try to bring aspects of my own life into my art without making the work too personal or revealing.” Herbert Gibbons’ recent work has been photography-based. Herbert has experienced a long exposure to photography and video. In order to prevent stagnation, he feels, his work has “evolved into the abstract. Here I find an extraneous world of possibilities. My aesthetic vision is much more active when dealing with photography/ video in the unrecognizable or familiar. My images deal with texture, light value, and creation of shapes utilizing shadows and negative space.”
Another group of artists developed art that deals with literary or interdisciplinary thought. In his work this semester Craig Joseph wanted to explore the world of the subconscious. “I am interested in how individuals use intuitive mark making and how it is connection to the idea of chance. It was important to me that this not be a sole exploration, others needed to be involved as to produce a variety of intuitive movement and a range of subconscious ideas and images.” Jillian Fogarty’s work is based on literary interpretations of unrequited love, such as, “Don Quixote” by Cervantes, “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Victor Hugo, and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. “In my work I express my interpretation of their interpretation of this type of one-way love. This close relationship to literature has led me to explore the medium of the artist book. These explorations are something I am interested in continuing, for the material is endless when on is looking for unrequited love.” Hilary Winter tends to look to her personal histories to dictate the themes of her art practice. “Currently, I've produced a body of work that simulates particular aspects of my past in relation to my present. To represent each of the relationships/experiences, I have constructed a freestanding window unit which contains a kind of eco-system. I use cremation, water, grease, text and imagery inside these windows to display assembled, disassembled or reassembled physical manifestations of relationships and personal journeys. By sealing these things under glass, I am representing their unchangeable and untouchable nature. This acts as preservation both for myself and from myself.” Stephanie Power’s goal as an artist is to produce healing work -- making images that inspire and empower people. Neurophysiologists say that art, mediation, and healing all come from the same source in the body; they all are associated with similar brain wave patterns, mind body changes and they all are deeply connected in feeling and meaning. Marrying my ideas of healing and art is now my focal point.”
All Nighters offers the public a fascinating overview of the artists’ conceptual and theoretical concerns as they were carefully and thoughtfully developed during their four year program on the history, theory and practice of the visual arts. The exhibition will continue at the art gallery from April 19 to May 24. The gallery will host a public reception in honour of the artists on Saturday, April 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery is located in the Fine Arts building on the second floor, off the atrium. Short-term parking is available in front of the gallery. Drop by the office for your parking card. The gallery is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free.
For further information please contact Gail Tuttle at (709) 637-6209 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Web site at www.swgc.ca/artgallery/