George Gilmour Members’ Gallery

Josh Brien

the waiting is the doing of the day – Don Phillips Scholarship Exhibition


January 12, 2018February 10, 2018

Artist Talk

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Opening Reception

January 12, 20187:00 – 9:00 PM
Josh Brien, yes in the spring grass, 2017, screenprint on paper, 8'' x 10''.

Each year, Open Studio awards two, yearlong residencies to artists of merit. The Don Phillips Scholarship is awarded to a graduating student who has just completed an undergraduate art program with a printmaking major at an accredited Canadian institution and who will not be returning to full-time studies.

Recipients are provided with rent-free access to Open Studio facilities for a period of one year, materials allowance, professional development assistance, and tuition-free access to Open Studio’s education program. This exhibition is a result of this intensive work period. An artist’s talk accompanies the exhibition.

Josh Brien: Sunlight drifts to skin surface, warming. Mist touches foliage, seeps through surface; inside, outside, and through. Fleeting sensations provide a route to reality, a concrete, direct experience. Soft, soft, reality brushes by. We are left with words and images, representations that can point at the truth but cannot touch it. Representations that do not contain existence, they sit empty. They can only be themselves and point to what they cannot be. Focus on this pointing. Keep a gentle reality in view. A reality that fades in and out of the periphery and is found again through constant perspective shifts.

Josh Brien’s art is a means for him to shift his perspective, to catch a glimpse of the reality that sits behind a screen of thoughts and notions. He draws a world where meaning floats, altering and resisting clarity. A world that is deliberately difficult to pin down, where obscurity provides an opportunity to move beyond logical thinking and see what sits at the base of existence. This is a place where relationships and roles are slippery, where characters are never quite sure what they’re doing and where reality is never fixed. In an uncertain world, Josh feels that the best course of action can be to just sit and wait, and to be okay not knowing.

Josh Brien is an artist from Calgary, Alberta. His art is a tool for pointing, gesturing towards a reality found in the warmth of sunlight on skin or the prickle of grass under bare feet.

An essay by Laura Demers accompanies this exhibition. Please click here to download.