Through my work, I honour the people in my life. My subjects are my community members, often living and working in healthcare settings. Sometimes I make their portraits, and sometimes I use still-life and landscape compositions as a stand-in for a person or a group of people whose challenging stories weigh heavily on my mind. In all works, I explore who and what make a home.
After studying material arts, with a focus on fibre, at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) in Toronto, Canada in 2016, I went back to school to complete a diploma in Gerontology at George Brown College (GBC). At OCAD U, I received the technical training I needed to become a craftsperson and artist. At GBC, I found my subject matter. Though these fields may seem disconnected, it is the synergy of the two that has given voice to my art.
My artistic inspiration is primarily drawn from the observations I have made as a healthcare worker in the long-term care home sector. The blossoming and decaying floral bouquets in my still-life compositions speak to the fragility of life, so evident in palliative and end of life care. Domestic objects such as cups, vases and books reference the idea of a home. For so many residents living in long term care homes, their home is not the clinical setting in which they reside, but rather found in the small personal items they are able to keep that represent their individuality. For healthcare workers and residents, both living and working in the same space, bonds are formed over quiet moments in which favourite items are discussed, common interests are discovered and/or a warm beverage is shared.
I explore contemporary mark making through traditional craft and art techniques. I hand sew, needle felt and paint with yarn, wool roving, polymer clay, watercolour paint, acrylic paint and pencil crayon on linen canvas. Working with a variety of mixed media on the same surface presents technical challenges that parallel the emotional challenges I have faced as a healthcare worker. When visual harmony and an internal catharsis are experienced, the individual work is complete and ready to be shared.
2019 - Diploma (Gerontology), George Brown College, Toronto, ON
2016 - Bachelor of Design (Material Art > Design: Fibre), OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2022 - Spence Gallery, Toronto
2021 - 22 - helloart, Toronto
2023 - (upcoming April 2024) Two person show at Spence Gallery, curated by Joan Spence, Toronto, ON
2023 - Affordable Art Fair NY with Spence Gallery, curated by Joan Spence, New York
2022 - Solo show with helloart at The Tampered Press, curated by Susan El-Rass, Toronto, ON
2022 - Affordable Art Fair UK with Spence Gallery, curated by Joan Spence, London, UK
2021 - Riverdale Artwalk. Artists' Network, Online Exhibition
2021 - TOAF60 in Virtual Reality. Curated by Daniel St-Amant. Hashtag Gallery, Virtual Reality Exhibition with ArtGate VR
2021 - 2D Works. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Online Exhibition
2021 - New Member's Exhibition. Colour and Form Society, Online Exhibition
2021 - Bubbled. The Artists Project, Online Exhibition
2021 - Portraits of Resilience. The Art Gallery of Ontario, Online Exhibition
2021 - CFS Members 2 Foot Square Exhibition. Steve Wilson Studios > The Gallery, Niagra Falls, Canada
2021 - heART of healthCARE. Curated by Tyler Sherard. Patients for Patient Safety Canada, Virtual Exhibition with Kunstmatrix
2020 - Big Holiday Smalls Show. Leslie Grove Gallery, Online Exhibition
2020 - 68th Annual Open Juried Online Exhibition. Colour and Form Society, Online Exhibition
2020 - Woven Stories. Curated by Angela McIntosh, Online Exhibition
2020 - Coming Home - An Online Art Exhibition. Curated by Phil Anderson and Mariah Lamont, Gallery 1313, Online Exhibition
2020 - Botanicals. Light Space and Time Online Art Gallery, Online Exhibition
2021 - “Watercolour for Beginners”. The New Brunswick College of Craft > Design, Online. Workshop.
2019 - 20 - “Watercolour Painting”. Rekai Centres, Toronto, ON. Workshops.2019 - "KND462 Knitwear Design". School of Fashion Arts at Seneca College, Toronto, ON. Lecture and Studio Lab.
2019 - “Sock Knitting”. Romni Wools, Toronto, ON. Workshop2018 - “Watercolour Painting”. Belmont House, Toronto, ON. Workshop
2018 - “Stitching for Beginners”. Voice Integrative School, Toronto, ON. Workshop
2018 - “Weaving Fever”. The Rekai Centres. Toronto, ON. Workshop
2017 - “Knitting for Beginners”. Newcomer Women Toronto, Toronto, ON. Workshop
2017 - “Knitting 101”. The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON. Workshop
2022 - Research and Creation Grant. Canada Council for the Art
FEATURED IN (see gallery below)
Anahita Azrahimi, "Introducing the 2021 Artists", Juror’s Picks Review. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, May 19, 2021. Online Newsletter.
"Fibre", MAAD Thesis Catalogue Jewelry + Fibre. 2016. Page 20. Print.
2021 - Alone Together Residency, New Brunswick College of Craft and Design
A special thank you and acknowledgement to the funding support I have received from the
Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts