Through immersive drawings, sculptures and encased miniature worlds, I Came Back and Things Were Different seeks to (re)create reflections of nature with synthetic and organic materials encountered in urban environments. By transposing wilderness into a human environment, these works frame nature as a figment of our own desires. Ceaselessly evolving, nature reminds us that no place is fixed.
For some, this exhibition may evoke a feeling of loss of control or even vulnerability. But in this environment, Avila-Yiptong, Gray and Hamilton embrace the unknown and even the decay induced by their efforts. They both exert and relinquish control over their works’ ephemeral appearances, focusing on ongoing processes and interactions rather than the end result.
Gabriela Avila-Yiptong’s practice primarily focuses on painting and abstraction to depict her visual, emotional and psychological experiences through art objects. She has a special interest in the traditional subjects of landscapes, nature and still lifes. Her work aims to distort the viewer’s perspective by abstracting her visual impressions of time, space and light. All in all, her practice aims to encourage viewers to challenge notions of traditional art in a contemporary context. Avila-Yiptong received her BFA from the University of Ottawa in 2015 and continues to live and develop her practice in Ottawa.
Rachel Gray’s interdisciplinary practice is rooted in an interest in drawing. She is moved by drawing’s capacity to facilitate communication outside of written or spoken language. Her work stems from memory, and is often an attempt to retrospectively close the gap between herself and her subject. Gray is based in Ottawa. She holds a BA in English Literature from King’s College and a BFA from the University of Ottawa. In 2017, she launched the first section of her graphic novel Jess, and is continuing this project as an artist in residence at the Ottawa School of Art.
Lea Hamilton’s artworks speak to visual perception and materiality. Seeing herself primarily as a painter, she focuses her practice on the manipulation of surfaces and conceptualized image making. Nevertheless, she is also heavily concerned with materiality, and her practice often resolves itself sculpturally. Hamilton seeks to explore the relationship between the viewer and the viewed, as well as the roles that ritual and time play in the creation of an artwork. Hamilton received her BFA from the University of Ottawa in 2014, and currently lives and practices in Ottawa
Gabriela Avila-Yiptong, Rachel Gray and Lea Hamilton gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.