The Possibility of Transformation is the first project to go live as part of the joint Union-OCAD U partnership.
Featuring six OCAD U alumni, faculty, and students in a trellis-inspired garden of contemporary art, this exhibition explores Union’s monthly theme of “Transformation” through a wide-range of art practices that employ floral and natural imagery to visually stimulate and thoughtfully engage Union visitors. These works transform Union Station into an immersive colourful environment, vibrant, lush and ripe with possibility. Catch the full exhibit on display in the West Wing from January 7 to 31 2019.
Artists include: Susy Oliveria, Rob Nicholls, Alex Mcleod, Ed Pien, Farihah Shah, Court Gee
Susy Oliveria is a practicing artist, OCAD U instructor, and represented by Erin Stump Projects in Toronto, ON. Oliviera transforms nature into poetic rumblings of floral beauty. Through collaged imagery, the artist constructs hazy but seductive bouquets steeped in fleeting, tender feelings. These works operate between static and still, in a constant state of ever-settling natural fluxus.
Rob Nicholls is a Toronto-based artist who teaches Drawing and Painting at OCAD U. His works typify how painting can immerse viewers into aesthetically dominating environments. Normal landscapes are transformed into other-worldly environs of unsettled forests populated with soft neons and lush greens. His paintings constantly shift between abstract brush strokes and vast landscapes, infinitely changing depending on perspective
Alex Mcleod is an OCAD U Alumni from the Drawing and Painting Program. Through the magic of digital landscapes, Mcleod shows how one can transform simple 3D geometric renders into vibrant and sublime landscapes. Filled with perfectly constructed forests, trees, and greenery, McLeod’s ever-evolving worlds beckon for human interfacing. His digital scenes put directly on plywood evoke a picture into a utopic virtual ecosphere, untouched by humankind.
Artist Ed Pien was a previous OCAD U Faculty as a sessional instructor 13 years ago. His work examines the flower’s transformation from vibrant beauty to solemn decay. Each of the 144 photos were taken from burial sites or cemeteries, investigating how we employ flowers during times of grief. His work is a touching tribute and hopeful reminder of the circle of life.
Farihah Shah received a BFA in Photography and a minor in Integrated Media at OCAD U. Shah’s work uses portraiture to explore the language of photography. Dynamic backdrops with finely designed tea cups examines historical family migration, and the construct of identity and self in a multicultural city such as Toronto. Her work re-appropriates and transforms common floral imagery into sites of resilience and reclamation of self.
Court Gee is a recent graduate (2018) from OCAD U in the Drawing and Painting Program. Through playful and lively paintings, Gee modernizes the still life floral paintings for millennial culture. Transmuting conventional flower art into expressionistic and vivid profiles, Gee not only denies hiding the artists’ hand, but showcases humoristic and fun flower interpretations. Look up and you may catch one of her 25 dancing flower pots above the trellis garden.
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