Born: Edmonton, Alberta (Canada); lived in Vancouver and Toronto. Now lives in rural Nova Scotia.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) degree at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. There I focused on making large paintings dominated by formalist ideas that reflected my education in Modernism. Independently, I studied Feminist theory and Feminist artists and art practises. These were to have a large impact on my art and continue to inspire me. I believe my work is preoccupied with and generally falls into one of four themes (with some crossover from times to time): Identity, Text, Formalism and Nature/Science (see below).
Along with multiple group exhibitions (Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Latitude 53 Edmonton; SAW Gallery, Ottawa; Hermes Gallery, Halifax, and others) I have had several solo exhibitions in Halifax. My paintings, collages and textile artworks are held in collections in Canada as well as in California, USA.
From 2006 to 2021 I was (in addition to my studio practise) the Executive Director of the 4Cs Foundation. There I innovated and created such community arts programs as the Art Bikers, while raising the profile of and supporting through grants and education the local community arts practise and artists.
My time is now devoted almost exclusively to my studio-based art practise.
Identity - Generally my claustrophobic response to gendered social roles informs my artwork about identity. I am often skewering or pushing back at something. These can be ideas from my childhood, lived experiences or perceived external pressure. The theme of Identity can be found in my earliest exhibited and most recent artworks and this theme emerges across media.
Text - I am in love with words, language and nuance. The vividness of a word/words graphically displayed both excites and satisfies me. Poetry and Literature are key sources and I have carried phrases and expressions with me for decades to incorporate in artworks. I sometimes write my own but more likely I am using a found phrase, idiom, euphemism, or figure of speech. My journals are filled with other people's words that catch my attention for their beauty, meaning or suggestive power.
Formalism/Abstraction - I am not interested abstract art that has the narrative purpose of expressing feelings or moods. Rather, I am interested in the purely visual aspects of form – in the qualities of composition, colour, and line. This formal language is deep and lush and is a gateway to aesthetic pleasure - which for me is a highly charged way of seeing and being in the world.
Nature/Science - We can move beyond our human-centric selves when we are in and study Nature. We can dream the unknown when we study Science. And we can express our human folly when we understand the inter-connectedness of all Life on Earth and laugh at our hubris.
Curriculum vitae upon request.
~ Terri Whetstone, 2022.