Emily MacLennan, Hyun Young Yang, Josée Tellier, Margaret Gdyczynski, and Ross Bonfanti
Recipients of 2023
Worth Gallery Award
This year, our partners at Worth Gallery established a new award to provide an exhibition opportunity for artists in a space dedicated to urban and street art explorations.
This is what Adrian Hayles, the gallery director, wants you to know about the roster of artists he has put together for this showcase:
Emily MacLennan gracefully captures the urban atmosphere, and the mood-setting colour palette makes you feel the residence of each location.
The energy of Hyun Young Yang’s works is contagious, and the pieces are a cynical reflection of our modern “selfie” and obsession with our appearance.
Margaret Gdyczynski’s works are mesmerizing and consuming, drawing you in as you untangle the woven ghostly reflections of time and space.
Ross Bonfanti’s diabolical juxtaposition of industrial materials and soft subjects makes you question your senses.
Josée Tellier’s use of sculptural materials and a joyful colour palette help to create magical scenic tapestries all can enjoy.
Dive into the world of each artist below and mark your calendar for this exhibition from January 11 – 28, 2024.
On that note, since we are entering the season of spreading love through gifts, we invite you to consider unique works of art for your loved ones. We are participating in the 401 Richmond Holiday Open House with some TOAF artists. And, stay tuned on our social media channels as we roll out weekly Holiday Curated Collections through the eyes of new and familiar faces of TOAF. We guarantee you will find a gift you will fall in love with.
Emily MacLennan is originally from Halifax and is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. Since moving to Toronto in 2006, she has been creating artworks inspired by the city in watercolour and acrylic.
Her paintings of empty storefronts and alleyways explore the ordinary and surreal. By photographing, editing and re-composing the image, she alters the subject and the image of them in her mind. Through the act of detailed painting, the subject becomes ingrained in her memory. This process cultivates a kind of familiarity and elevates the place itself in my conscience, while nudging the image of the place toward the surreal — gradually, the ordinary becomes important.
Hyun Young Yang
Hyun Young Yang is an interdisciplinary artist born in South Korea. Yang expands her artistic reach beyond the two-dimensional space of canvas to three-dimensional work, video and interactive art.
Her work focuses on the invisible rather than what we can see. In this regard, skull images are often seen in her works. She believes that underneath the clothes, there are flesh and muscles, and underneath them, there are bones. She expresses psychological emotional states—the anxiety, doubt, frustration and confusion felt by human beings—with visual strategies such as distortion and reflection.
The uniqueness of her work resides in a technique of bas-relief with a combination of stained glass. Working on wood, the use of stained glass and various materials allows her to model and sculpt the architectural heritage that she wants to make joyful using bright colors: a classic approach but rejuvenated by modern materials and a colorful vision of naive tendency.
Margaret Gdyczynski is an OCAD alumni and who has completed the exchange program in Florence, Italy. Her interest in photographing architecture was ignited by the interiors of old basilicas during the time she was in Florence.
Recently, she has been exploring historical structures, new builds and the details that often trigger memories and personal associations. She is interested in transient light, short-lived, impermanent, and even volatile moments.
Ross Bonfanti uses discarded stuffed toys and other local thrift shop finds, and manipulates mass-produced objects to construct original mixed media sculptures predominantly made in concrete.
Through the juxtaposition of materials, he creates an arresting tension between the expectation of softness and the reality of hardness, between the fleeting and the permanent, between the memories of childhood and the stresses of adulthood. They are touched with both humour and pathos.
Holiday Curated Collection
Curated by Lavender Cheng & Subin Ee
Subin Ee, artist and administrator, is TOAF’s new Artists Relations Coordinator. She brings a deep understanding and sensibility to the artist community and art institutions. She is thrilled to meet all of you and support your TOAF journey.
Lavender Cheng leaves many delightful memories and a solid commitment to empowering artist entrepreneurs. You will see her around when she comes back from her world adventures.
“Working at TOAF for the past three years was the best moment of my life, and I truly appreciate the team and feel honoured to be part of TOAF’s history.” – Lavender
Lavender and Subin both share a love for whimsy and magical moments.