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

OCAD University and Goethe-Institut Toronto partner to present the CROSSMEDIAL Artists Residency

Friday, September 17, 2010 - 4:00am

2010 program brings Berlin-based artists Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani to OCADU

(Toronto — September 17, 2010) The Goethe-Institut Toronto and the Faculty of Art at OCAD University (OCADU) present the 2010 CROSSMEDIAL Artists Residency with Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani of Berlin from September 26 to October 3, with a free public talk on Thursday, September 30 at 6 p.m.

CROSSMEDIAL is committed to bringing leading-edge multi-media artists from Germany to OCADU and the Canadian arts community. CROSSMEDIAL artists cross different media platforms in their work while synergizing analogue and digital modes of studio production that illuminate interdisciplinarity, hybridity and critical engagement with the contemporary visual world. The residence is designed to bring visiting artists to Canada’s largest and oldest university of art and design, and engage them in dialogue with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty through public lectures, studio critiques, workshops and screenings. In 2008, the residence hosted Berlin-based multimedia artist Lillevan, and in collaboration with Yatra Arts, it sponsored a public talk and performance by Olaf Bender and Carsten Nicolai in 2009.

The Berlin-based art duo Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani use film, photography, mixed-media installations and architecture to explore failed utopias. Also holding professorships in Japan, Fischer and el Sani have been featured in numerous exhibitions, including the Gwangju Biennale, the International Istanbul Biennale and the Sonar Sound Festival Tokyo. They illuminate urban culture, layers of civilization, life and decay, before turning to something completely different.

“We are very pleased to partner with Goethe-Institute and co-host the residence of Fischer and el Sani in the Faculty of Art,” said Vladimir Spicanovic, Dean for the Faculty of Art. “We look forward to have these two internationally known artist-educators interact with our community, and see their residence as an opportunity to extend cross-cultural dialogue on the meaning of contemporary art practice.”

“The Goethe-Institut is known for initiating and establishing lasting relationships between the Canadian and German arts scenes,” explained Sonja Griegoschewski, Director of the Goethe-Institut Toronto. “Our residency program with OCAD University is a perfect example of how we develop these in-depth connections.”

CROSSMEDIAL Artists Residency 2010:
Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani

September 26 to October 3
Public lecture: Thursday, September 30, 6 p.m. (FREE)

OCAD University
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
416-977-6000 |

Screening of Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani’s film Sayonara Hashima:
Friday, October 1, 7 p.m. (FREE)
Japan Foundation
131 Bloor Street West, Toronto

About the Goethe-Institut Toronto
The Goethe-Institut Toronto ( presents important positions, contemporary ideas and arts practices from Germany and Europe to Canadians. Our current focus themes are Culture & Economy, City & Climate, and German film & media art. We organise residencies together with our Canadian partners, offer international liaison work and consulting as well as promote European cultural understanding, e.g. through our cooperation with other European cultural institutes across Canada.

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University ( is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information, contact:

Jutta Brendemühl, Program Coordinator, Goethe-Institut Toronto
416.593.5257 Ext. 205

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)