February 10, 2017 to April 2, 2017
Location: Lee-Chin Family Gallery
Public reception: Thursday February 9, 5pm-7pm
Raphael Vella Artist Talk: Sunday February 12, 2pm
Naoko Matsubara Artist Talk: Sunday February 26, 2pm
Donna Ibing Artist Talk: Sunday March 5, 2pm
Paper is given life through the works presented in the two shows A Safe Haven: Raphael Vella and Visual Poetry: Contemporary Woodcuts. As a time honoured medium for artists, paper allows for the expression of thoughts, observations, reflections and statements. Artists Raphael Vella (Malta), Tom Hammick (United Kingdom), Donna Ibing (Burlington, ON) and Naoko Matsubara (Oakville, ON) use this medium to explore a variety of subject matter from contemporary politics to everyday life.
A Safe Haven: Raphael Vella combines his two series of drawings, For the Welfare of All Children alongside ten works from HOMeS. For Vella, the role of the artist is not to create an object, but to engage people by sparking discussions and questions. In For the Welfare of All Children, Vella questions society’s supervision of children and the imposed social structures to protect them. For the series HOMeS, Vella combines iconic buildings with the ravages of the Syrian War, bringing to the fore the power of war over peace and destruction over construction, while questioning the act of reclaiming such sites.
Visual Poetry: Contemporary Woodcuts looks at the work of Tom Hammick (United Kingdom), Donna Ibing (Burlington, ON) and Naoko Matsubara (Oakville, ON). Each artist works in a different style, though all execute their work on a grand scale producing multiple layers of meaning, creating unique and thought provoking work.
About the Artists
Raphael Vella is an artist, educator and curator based in Malta. He obtained a PhD in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts London in 2006, and is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Malta. He has exhibited his works in important international exhibitions and venues, including the Venice Biennale, Domaine Pommery (Reims, France), Modern Art Oxford in the UK and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. For many years, he has also been active as a curator, having directed the Valletta International Visual Art festival (VIVA) in 2014 and 2015, and is currently co-curating the Malta Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 2017. He has also directed the project ‘Divergent Thinkers’ for emerging artists in Malta since 2011.
Tom Hammick is a British artist based in East Sussex and London. He is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Painting and Printmaking at the University of Brighton, and a Visiting Lecturer of Fine Art at University of Ulster, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University). He has work in many major public and corporate collections including the British Museum (Collection of Prints and Drawings), Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale de France (Collection of Prints and Drawings), Deutsche Bank, Yale Centre for British Art, and The Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Donna Ibing of Burlington is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art, and is considered one of Ontario’s leading artists in painting and printmaking. Her work has been shown in major cities across Canada including Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. Ibing’s work can be found in collections across Ontario including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Kitchener/Waterloo Gallery and the Toronto Public Library and Archives.
Naoko Matsubara graduated from the Kyoto Academy of Fine Arts, and was a Fullbright scholar at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh where she received her MFA. Subsequently she studied at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1981 she became a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and in 2009 she received an honourary doctorate of Fine Art from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She continues to create single-sheet woodcuts, paintings and murals from her Oakville studio. Matsubara’s work can be found in private and public collections around the world including the British Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cincinnati Art Museum; The White House; the National Museums of Modern Art, Tokyo and Kyoto; Staatliche Museum zu Berlin, Germany; Royal Ontario Museum; and Yale University Art Gallery.
Image: Tom Hammick, Island Studio, EV 6/7, reduction woodcut, 72″ x 143″ (triptych), 2016.