Memories accompany emotions. Does a memory elicit the same emotions each time we recall it? Do we remember the memory when we feel the same way again? In this special editorial, TOAF60 artists experiment with their mediums to explore memory, emotions and their interrelationships. Art touches us in many ways. It may remind you of a moment, or a feeling that connects to an experience, or something deeper. Open your heart and mind to begin.
“The same memory contains also the affections of my mind, not in the same manner that my mind itself contains them, when it feels them; but far otherwise, according to a power of its own." — Augustine of Hippo, philosopher
Resurface the Memory
Montina's paintings explore subjects and emotions translated from ancestral healing, mediations, dreams, and repressed memories. In her series of Ancestral Overlap, Montina opens up a dialogue with ancestral memories and energies, addressing the long-term effects of trauma and how they affect subsequent generations. Through her gestural and highly saturated painting style, Montina rectifies cellular and metaphysical memory by translating photographs and film stills of my grandparents from the 1920s.
This is an imagery of her grandparents on a beach, living through their own pandemic (Spanish Flu) on top of the first world war. Here we are 100 years later, Montina ponders the shared life experience with the past generation.
Juxtaposing the Real and Virtual
Through programming, print and paint, Jaspal’s practice filters and reconstructs virtual and physical memories. Embracing limits and miscommunication in her creative process with machines, her prints reveal unique errors that mimic watercolour and pencil aesthetics. “16h57m" depicts a reflection of two figures engaged in capturing a selfie through a mirror. Gold imperfections from the emergency blanket surface shine through the image. While the making process speaks to reminiscing through human/technological means, it interacts with the physical and conceptual properties of the emergency blanket. It contemplates gaze, surveillance, privacy, and play.
Power of Words
“Words inspire, give vision, shape our beliefs, drive our behaviour. Some of the power comes from the words themselves and some comes from the emotion and intensity in which we use them.” By layering vibrant acrylic accents over a collage base and incorporating the written word, Gail’s work connects the audience to cultural references that are ironic, humorous or directed from pop culture. Using language and text to make a statement and draw out emotions, she wants to convey a feeling of empowerment, optimism and positivity. “Whatcha Doing???” invokes our inner child of creativity and curiosity, reminding us of our first encounters with art through the lens of popular culture.
The Expression of Musings
Marcie’s work is an ongoing dialogue about existence, through subtle, anecdotal, experience-based musings. Her titles are often based on found text, and when combined, telling a non-linear, inconclusive story that remains in progress. This intuitive work references figuration, spirituality, and geography. Bright, quilt-like sections of paint give an impression of an aerial view of the land from above, and an arm-like form crosses the bottom, referencing an arm of security and warmth. The work is a meditation on parent-child communion with the divine in nature.
Glimpses of Essence
Aiming to achieve a balance of simplicity and a reflection of sincerity and calmness, Rana’s figurative paintings explore the essence of people and moments. “These (paintings) are glimpses or moments from life that I have captured, that have merged to create a composition between location and light to give me a feeling of energy. This is the energy that I wished to capture as a memory that I would be able to revisit.” Looking at Rana’s paintings, the vintage-inspired quality and the dream-like impression may give you a déjà vu experience.
"I feel a continual rolling around and around through the deepness but moving toward the surface faster." Margot is inspired by the tension/release dialogue that occurs during a painterly flow and the meditative moments in between. In this work, Margot practices her intuitive, gestural layering of colours and texture to initiate a thought-provoking and blissful experience. She wants to make connections with the viewer through abstracted conversations that link a personal meaning. What does Margot’s expression remind you of?
These works are available at #TOAF60!
Get to know our 400+ participating artists, enjoy virtual events from July 2-11, and browse our curated collections! TOAF is proud to celebrate the legacy of Canada's longest-running contemporary art fair in a digital format on our 60th anniversary.