The Gladstone Hotel is pleased to present our first International Artist Residency in conjunction with GROW OP: the Gladstone’s annual exhibition of Urbanism, Landscape and Contemporary Art, held April 18-22, 2018.
Beginning at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island, and then fully-realized in the Gladstone’s 2nd floor Gallery, this year’s residency welcomes Emily Jan, of California, USA and Adrian Stimson, of Siksika/ Blackfoot Nation, Alberta. This year’s residency is presented in partnership with Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts and Artscape Gibraltar Point.
Emily Jan and Adrian Stimson are both contemporary artists, often inspired by the relationship and connection between humans and other species. Their art speaks to the effects these relationships may have on their surrounding environments. Through the use of organic materials, both Jan and Stimson are advocates for sustainable practices in the arts.
We are thrilled to have both Emily Jan and Adrian Stimson as our first ever GROW OP Artists in Residence. Their contribution to the exhibition is bound to be thought-provoking and insightful. You can purchase your tickets for the exhibition, including both artists’ installations, here: growop2018.eventbrite.ca
The World Is Bound By Secret Knots is a sculptural installation that grew out of the artist’s explorations through South America. She brought these encounters and experiences back home and re-integrated them into her life in a North American metropolis. There is a connection between living organisms, and the temporal blur between the living, the dying, and the regenerating in a dizzyingly complex place. The relatively sparse web of life in the North and the diverse ecosystems of the equatorial South speak to the inextricably intertwined relationships of life on this planet, of which we are only one species. The installation addresses that dissolution of boundaries between Self and Other by reimagining species and objects, as if they were the shifting thoughts of the rainforest itself emerging through the woodwork of an anonymous domestic space.
Emily Jan creates intricately crafted, hyper-realistic installations made of a mixture of hand-made flora, fauna and found objects. These installations mix elements of high culture with low culture, science with mythology, and history with current affairs. Jan transforms common North American materials, such as wool, wicker, recycled cloth, and found objects, into exquisite installations. The creatures, wondrous and monstrous by turns, feel real but are entirely handmade. In this age of mass extinctions and climate change, there is an importance of being able to envision places and species we may never see.
In responding to the theme of “After the Flood,” Stimson started to research Blackfoot Nation mythology as it relates to creation stories and floods. One of Blackfoot Nation’s main creation stories involves the world being a big ocean, and “Napi,” the old man or trickster, is stuck on a raft with various animals. In the end, the muskrat dives into the ocean and discovers the clay in which human beings are made of. This story is the basis for the work Stimson will create. The Blackfoot Nation, like most Indigenous cultures on Turtle Island, created boats for traversing rivers and lakes. These were known as “Bull Boats,” and although not as refined and well-known as the canoe and other Indigenous watercraft, the Bull Boats were integral to the Blackfoot Nation and are a vital part of their history and material culture. Stimson’s installation will be comprised of a contemporary version of a Bull Boat, including elements such as light, sound, water, clay, petroglyph drawings and stencils.
Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation. An interdisciplinary artist who exhibits nationally and internationally, Stimson was the recipient of a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2018. He holds a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. His installation work primarily examines the residential school experience; having had attended three residential schools in his life. He has used the material culture from Old Sun Residential School on his Nation to create works that speak to genocide, loss and resilience.