Feature

Lost in Translation - student work created in Florence, Italy

Florence - Bethany

Check out the work of OCAD U students who participated in the Florence Off-Campus Studies program in the fall of 2019. The program provided this tightly-knit group of artists with opportunities to share their experiences of being steeped in the Italian way of life.

The studio became a vital location for sorting cultural feelings and reconciling the Renaissance story with contemporary knowledge. The Florence Off-Campus Studies program has been providing rich and challenging cultural experiences for OCAD U students and faculty for more than 40 years. 

 

Image of work by Bethany DavisBethany Davis - Treatment Area - "Drawing from my time working as a tree planter in rural Alberta, the main focus of my work is a Cut Block; a mapped area of Land after the removal of a forest. My work examines beauty within decay and accredits the silent, yet resilient force of nature. Floral patterns in my work reference my experience in Florence, Italy, and express the history of humanity’s attempt to control the environment."

 

Image of work by Marcelo FernandezMarcelo Fernandez - Leap - "Taking inspiration from Italian neorealist cinema and working with textural surfaces and oil paint, I explore themes of loneliness, estrangement and disconnection. The Florence program brought these themes into sharp focus through intensive engagement with art, culture and fellow students. My four-month experience in Italy inspired me to continue exploring the effects of alienation which, I believe, are so prevalent in our contemporary, globalized society."

 

Image of work by Claire HeidingerClaire Heidinger - Modern Madonna series, #2 - "Claire’s recent research focuses on the cross-cultural trade between the East and West. This fueled a particular visual fetishism that Claire investigates from the transposition of media in ceramics and paintings of the Italian Renaissance alongside contemporary Postcolonial literature. Her practice depicts contemporary bodies in reflection of western iconography in order to regain the sovereignty of the gaze."

 

Image of work by Charlotte Healey

Charlotte Healey - Drag - "I use bits and bobs from old paintings that get stuck in my brain: a picnic, a card player, smoke and fire at night, bottles of wine, wild flowers, body weight. My goal is the maintenance of an open reading and to hold suggestion above most else. All marks should work towards an in-between-ness that keeps the image interesting and evolving beyond its own moment. The story I have told myself is alluded to, but specifics are lost in translation. I am provoked by the historical lie of male genius. Spurred on by female predecessors - their constancy glowing beneath the ash and soot of patriarchal bondage - I present a tale of upheaval, vengeance, and reflection on long-tempted violence. A woman carves her own identity into the existing structure."
 

Image of work by Keana Gauvin

Keana Gauvin - Beer Cherub™ or Beerub™ - "Through the coming together of beers I drank with the endless elaborately painted angels and cherubs, the Beerubs™ are the visual epitome of my time in Florence. These sculptures are inspired from my experience with Italian party culture while simultaneously learning of the rich history Florence told through its many paintings."

 

Image of work by Jessika Geranium

Jessika Geranium - Jackie's Room - "This is an installation space where the viewer is encouraged to forget about preconceived notions of what makes good art. The goal of the space, inspired by art therapy practices, is for viewers to create low-stakes art in a colourful and comforting environment and to take a break from the stressors of the outside world. The artist would like to acknowledge the importance of making art and having conversations surrounding the social and political climate we live in. However, the artist also believes it is important for us to acknowledge our humanity as well, and take moments to decompress."

 

Image of work by Gabbi Maria

Gabbi Maria - Undercurrent - "Gabbi Maria’s work is an expression of femininity through a woman's eyes using the figure as the subject. She paints the female form with both platonic and sexual undertones. These figures explore and embrace sexuality as well as challenge the immediate sexualisation of the female nude. In this series the models are asked to pose and painted exactly as they chose, though embellished with colours and fantastical backgrounds the model dictates the painting.These portraits contain honest depictions of the subjects personality, distinguishing them from mere objects, forcing the viewer to confront of their humanity .The bright synthetic colours allow the subject to be seen in terms of its painterly qualities , diverging focus from their nakedness, and allowing their bodies to be appreciated as art." 

Image of work by Yingchao Chen

Yingchao Chen -  Useless clothing line – handbag - “My work investigates concepts of materials and consumerism, particularly in the consumers attachments to massively produced designer goods, and questioning relationship between consumers, capitalism and materials. Useless clothing line does not only mock off designer brands, but also express my reflections and struggles of a young adult set in modern time when most people are driven by superficial desires.” 

Image of work by Nicola Palmieri

Nicola Palmieri -  Number 23, 2020 - “Nicola is interested in the character and individuality of people, architecture and objects. She paints not to portray perfection, but to portray the idiosyncratic. Through oil paint, Nicola depicts architectural spaces without the presence of people. She likes to let the viewer into the scene, but only give them little information to make them question further. Her references come from photographs she takes and from there she pushes to simplify composition. Nicola views each painting as a record or memory of places she's traveled or spaces she's been in. Currently, she is working on a four-part door series from her travels in Italy that each describe a specific memory. While studying in Florence, she created a sketchbook project based off of the environment abroad. Her goal for her sketchbook is to capture personal experience, new places and people she comes in contact with.” 

Image of work by Adriana Lee

Adriana Lee -  The Composite - “The Florence program was a journey in defining what a self-directed studio practice means to me. I studied the concepts and processes of great artists across European culture, as well as the perfectionism of renaissance art. The composite is a mixed media painting capturing a balanced moment between expectation and reality. I found that identity when confronted with a new city often creates dissonance, and a sense of displacement. This idea closely relates to my art practice. This painting expresses the importance of maintaining different perceptions and recognizing the missing component of myself, along with the unique composite only I could make.” 




Florence - Bethany

Check out the work of OCAD U students who participated in the Florence Off-Campus Studies program in the fall of 2019. The program provided this tightly-knit group of artists with opportunities to share their experiences of being steeped in the Italian way of life.

The studio became a vital location for sorting cultural feelings and reconciling the Renaissance story with contemporary knowledge. The Florence Off-Campus Studies program has been providing rich and challenging cultural experiences for OCAD U students and faculty for more than 40 years. 

 

Image of work by Bethany DavisBethany Davis - Treatment Area - "Drawing from my time working as a tree planter in rural Alberta, the main focus of my work is a Cut Block; a mapped area of Land after the removal of a forest. My work examines beauty within decay and accredits the silent, yet resilient force of nature. Floral patterns in my work reference my experience in Florence, Italy, and express the history of humanity’s attempt to control the environment."

 

Image of work by Marcelo FernandezMarcelo Fernandez - Leap - "Taking inspiration from Italian neorealist cinema and working with textural surfaces and oil paint, I explore themes of loneliness, estrangement and disconnection. The Florence program brought these themes into sharp focus through intensive engagement with art, culture and fellow students. My four-month experience in Italy inspired me to continue exploring the effects of alienation which, I believe, are so prevalent in our contemporary, globalized society."

 

Image of work by Claire HeidingerClaire Heidinger - Modern Madonna series, #2 - "Claire’s recent research focuses on the cross-cultural trade between the East and West. This fueled a particular visual fetishism that Claire investigates from the transposition of media in ceramics and paintings of the Italian Renaissance alongside contemporary Postcolonial literature. Her practice depicts contemporary bodies in reflection of western iconography in order to regain the sovereignty of the gaze."

 

Image of work by Charlotte Healey

Charlotte Healey - Drag - "I use bits and bobs from old paintings that get stuck in my brain: a picnic, a card player, smoke and fire at night, bottles of wine, wild flowers, body weight. My goal is the maintenance of an open reading and to hold suggestion above most else. All marks should work towards an in-between-ness that keeps the image interesting and evolving beyond its own moment. The story I have told myself is alluded to, but specifics are lost in translation. I am provoked by the historical lie of male genius. Spurred on by female predecessors - their constancy glowing beneath the ash and soot of patriarchal bondage - I present a tale of upheaval, vengeance, and reflection on long-tempted violence. A woman carves her own identity into the existing structure."
 

Image of work by Keana Gauvin

Keana Gauvin - Beer Cherub™ or Beerub™ - "Through the coming together of beers I drank with the endless elaborately painted angels and cherubs, the Beerubs™ are the visual epitome of my time in Florence. These sculptures are inspired from my experience with Italian party culture while simultaneously learning of the rich history Florence told through its many paintings."

 

Image of work by Jessika Geranium

Jessika Geranium - Jackie's Room - "This is an installation space where the viewer is encouraged to forget about preconceived notions of what makes good art. The goal of the space, inspired by art therapy practices, is for viewers to create low-stakes art in a colourful and comforting environment and to take a break from the stressors of the outside world. The artist would like to acknowledge the importance of making art and having conversations surrounding the social and political climate we live in. However, the artist also believes it is important for us to acknowledge our humanity as well, and take moments to decompress."

 

Image of work by Gabbi Maria

Gabbi Maria - Undercurrent - "Gabbi Maria’s work is an expression of femininity through a woman's eyes using the figure as the subject. She paints the female form with both platonic and sexual undertones. These figures explore and embrace sexuality as well as challenge the immediate sexualisation of the female nude. In this series the models are asked to pose and painted exactly as they chose, though embellished with colours and fantastical backgrounds the model dictates the painting.These portraits contain honest depictions of the subjects personality, distinguishing them from mere objects, forcing the viewer to confront of their humanity .The bright synthetic colours allow the subject to be seen in terms of its painterly qualities , diverging focus from their nakedness, and allowing their bodies to be appreciated as art." 

Image of work by Yingchao Chen

Yingchao Chen -  Useless clothing line – handbag - “My work investigates concepts of materials and consumerism, particularly in the consumers attachments to massively produced designer goods, and questioning relationship between consumers, capitalism and materials. Useless clothing line does not only mock off designer brands, but also express my reflections and struggles of a young adult set in modern time when most people are driven by superficial desires.” 

Image of work by Nicola Palmieri

Nicola Palmieri -  Number 23, 2020 - “Nicola is interested in the character and individuality of people, architecture and objects. She paints not to portray perfection, but to portray the idiosyncratic. Through oil paint, Nicola depicts architectural spaces without the presence of people. She likes to let the viewer into the scene, but only give them little information to make them question further. Her references come from photographs she takes and from there she pushes to simplify composition. Nicola views each painting as a record or memory of places she's traveled or spaces she's been in. Currently, she is working on a four-part door series from her travels in Italy that each describe a specific memory. While studying in Florence, she created a sketchbook project based off of the environment abroad. Her goal for her sketchbook is to capture personal experience, new places and people she comes in contact with.” 

Image of work by Adriana Lee

Adriana Lee -  The Composite - “The Florence program was a journey in defining what a self-directed studio practice means to me. I studied the concepts and processes of great artists across European culture, as well as the perfectionism of renaissance art. The composite is a mixed media painting capturing a balanced moment between expectation and reality. I found that identity when confronted with a new city often creates dissonance, and a sense of displacement. This idea closely relates to my art practice. This painting expresses the importance of maintaining different perceptions and recognizing the missing component of myself, along with the unique composite only I could make.” 

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