George Gilmour Members’ Gallery
Yael Brotman, Karen Curry, Liz Parkinson, Snaige Sileika and M.J. Steenberg
Group Show: Where I’m at Now
Where I’m at Now is a collection of ‘postcards’ reflecting an ongoing conversation about the experience of place – physical and psychic – by artists Yael Brotman, Karen Curry, Liz Parkinson, Snaige Sileika and M.J. Steenberg, colloquially called the Gibson Girls.
During their 2018 annual retreat, each of the artists received ten 4”x6” cards to work on and circulate among the group for additional mark-making, with more cards to be added over time. While individually pursuing current studio exploration, the visual conversation developed within the parameters of the cards is a negotiation of ideas, approaches and materials.
Eleven months later 170 cards have circulated from Gabriola Island to Pouch Cove, Newfoundland to Puerto Escondido, Mexico to Toronto, with input by each Gibson Girl.
The project expands the conversation about art begun at Open Studio and Artscape, continued through drawing excursions, gallery hops and canoe trips, and reinforced over the years by group and one on one talks within independent studios. It furthers the trust developed in the group to carry them through another hard portage, family crisis or studio funk. The project is understood as a process and the artists see the work as an evolving document of relationship, an impetus for individual exploration outside of everyday comfort zones, and an opportunity for the Gibson Girls to travel together again in a new direction.
In some form, the Gibson Girls have been together for 25 years. They have known each other longer through shared experiences at Open Studio and Artscape. Their ironic name includes a nod to early trips to Muskoka’s Gibson River and the fact that they were anything but stereotypical in their competence in the studio or bush.
Yael Brotman’s print practice incorporates paradoxes of sober content with vibrant presentations exploring human-made structures in natural environments.
Karen Curry explores the ephemeral nature of shorelines using reticulated washes and narrative imagery to record the markings of time.
Liz Parkinson reimagines collections of natural and nature-inspired ephemera and makes prints exploring historical tropes.
Snaige Sileika’s paintings of northern landscapes and botanical details reveal a graphic quality that is rooted in her years of printmaking.
M.J. Steenberg uses the land as print matrix. Graphite rubbings form the structure for her work documenting traces of geological passage.