Nicole Collins: Furthest Boundless

photo detail of textile work
Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 10:30am to Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 6:00pm

January 18 – March 18, 2018
Koffler Gallery
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street

Curator: Mona Filip

Thursday, January 18, 2018 | 6–9 PM | FREE

In a major, new mixed media installation complemented by a series of recent paintings, Toronto artist Nicole Collins delves into the emotional territory of loss as she explores the human struggle between grief and acceptance, gravity and grace.

Developed for the Koffler Gallery, Furthest Boundless is inspired by two concepts of Ancient Greek philosophy: Aphelion – the point on the orbit of a celestial body that is furthest from the sun – and Apeiron – the boundless, the origin for all that is. At the centre of the installation, a monumental deconstructed painting built out of woven and knotted nets of materials, pigments and wax faces a delicate video that responds with ephemeral movement to its static presence. The immersive environment is completed by an atmospheric sound piece based on traditional shape-note singing.

Driven by an impulse to repair, Collins’ visceral paintings attempt to suture, layer and preserve the damaged. This new work further strives to dismantle and reconfigure the painted surface, pushing against the physical limits of materials lifted from stretchers and sculpturally re-envisioned. Engaging the potent vocabulary of the colour black, Collins evokes the accumulation of all colours, the darkest shadows, the burnt remains, the fertile soil, creating poignant works that consider both frailty and resilience. Holes, rips and indentations in the fabrics create permeable layers that disperse yet hold together the whole, materializing absences.

Through painting, video and sound, Furthest Boundless articulates a personal response to a universal experience, reflecting a collective search for meaning in loss.

Artwork courtesy of the artist and General Hardware Contemporary.


THE SACRED HARP | Sunday, February 25, 2018 | 2 PM | FREE
Join Nicole Collins and the Toronto Shape-Note Singers for an introduction to shape-note singing from The Sacred Harp tradition that inspired the sound element in Furthest Boundless. The “sacred harp” is the human voice, which combines in this practice into a four-part acapella harmony of hymns and anthems, in an inclusive, non-denominational musical event.

CONTEMPORARY ART BUS TOUR | Sunday, March 4, 2018 | 12 – 5 PM | FREE
Tour starts at the Koffler Gallery (at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street) and then departs for Art Gallery of Mississauga, AGYU, and Doris McCarthy Gallery, returning to Shaw Street at 5 PM. Seating is limited. RSVP:

Nicole Collins has exhibited extensively since 1994, including solo exhibitions at The University of Waterloo Art Gallery (2013), The Art Gallery of Ontario (2013) and The Embassy of Canada in Tokyo (2001) and group exhibitions in Toronto, Hamilton, St. Johns, New York, Miami, London and Zurich. Her work has been featured online and in magazines, newspapers and books including the major survey Abstract Painting in Canada (Roald Nasgaard), the 3rd edition of A Concise History of Canadian Painting (Dennis Reid), Carte Blanche, Volume 2: Painting, and The Donovan Collection Catalogue. Collins is an Assistant Professor in the Drawing & Painting program at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCADU) and she lives in Toronto with her husband artist Michael Davidson and their daughter. Collins’ work is represented by General Hardware Contemporary in Toronto.

Venue & Address: 
Koffler Gallery Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street Toronto, ON