October 11-28, 2017
Opening: Saturday October 14, from 2 to 5pm
Embodiment of Identity
In my work I focus on the individual as a concrete node, an intersection of abstract global and local forces. This interest springs from my own experience as an immigrant. Born in India and living in Canada, I have a relationship with two geographic regions, two physical spaces that are located on the opposite sides of the globe but overlap each other in the internal space of my body and even deeper, my mind. This duality has played an important role in every aspect of my personal and artistic life.
My new body of work, Embodiment of Identity, paintings, digital prints, and burnt wood sculptures that incorporate new media– revolves around the human struggle for spiritual and political peace from a multicultural perspective. Most of my art is related to the current social and political world around me; the new work responds to the global refugee crisis with its interplay of various issues such as global mass migration, borderlines and integration, dislocation and relocation, war and terrorism. In a rapidly changing world, the identities of individuals require fluidity, constant movement, remapping of everything around us, physically and psychologically. Through visual representations, I aim to show the tangibility, the sentient reality of changing identities.
My thinking about the material process of abolishing and renewing one’s identity comes from my observation of Hindu funeral rituals, where the body is burnt to charcoal, setting the soul free to take a new form. My art process goes through a similar cycle: an idea takes a form, develops, and is projected in a medium to create a new form, a new artwork. The process continues thereafter giving birth to a new concept which goes through the same phases of the cycle spawning a new identity each time.
In the era of globalization, I feel like a Nomad who builds his home wherever he goes. As poet Thom Gunn stated “One is always nearer by not keeping still” my art practice too has no endpoint, it embraces all.
Ranajit Sinha was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and is currently based in Ottawa.
Ranajit received his BFA degree from Delhi College of Art, New Delhi and MFA in Print Making from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan in India. During this time he was awarded with various prestigious awards such as National Academy Award, All India Fine Arts & Crafts society (AIFACS), National Research Grant award etc.
Ranajit has received his second Master’s degree in Painting from Central Washington University, with a teaching assistantship grant. He has been exhibited in worldwide at galleries including National Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, New Delhi, India; Sarah Spurgeon gallery, Ellensburg, WA, USA.; the Varley Art Gallery, Unionville, Canada; Canadian Sculpture Center, Toronto; Agora Gallery, Chelsea, New York; , Saw Video, Ottawa. He has got many awards and grants from Canada and USA. One of the highlight of his current achievement is that Ranajit is a recipient of 2017 Project Grant Award-Professional Artist category from City of Ottawa.
Ranajit has worked in the advertising world with reputed companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Young & Rubicam for a period of time during his stay in United Arab Emirates.
The consistent themes in my contemporary visual art research-based practice, including painting and the media arts, relate to rapid climate change, specifically, impacts on global and local water levels and identity. For example, the Navigational series of small mixed-media paintings use nautical hydrographic charts. The numerical soundings, which are water levels, and the navigational symbols, become an aesthetic space that emerges and disappears within the painting. In this way, there is a phenomenological reference to our psychological and identity dislocation impacted by changing geographies. The three larger paintings selected from the Water series are my visceral experiences of a dynamic inspired by my sailing and kayaking activities. While located in a broader contemporary art discussion on climate change and shifts in identity, I consider these paintings to be spaces that evoke mystery and engage visitor imagination and personal interpretations.
Sandra Hawkins is an acclaimed Canadian contemporary visual/media artist. Her art is shown at important exhibitions and festivals across Canada and internationally in Russia, China, Germany, Morocco, Hungary, U.S.A, the Colombia SUBA Biennale, and the Alhamra in Lahore and the National Gallery of Pakistan. Her creative research practice includes juried artist residencies such as the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta. Her work is held in significant corporate and private collections in Canada and internationally. Hawkins’ academic accomplishments include teaching and publishing on contemporary art discourse and arts administration. She holds the Masters in Environmental Studies, York U.; and Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude, Ottawa U. Ms. Hawkins is grateful for public and private support at all levels including the Ontario Art Council Exhibition Assistance.
(This exhibition began on September 20th was extended until October 28.)
The images presented here are integral parts of two collections of poetry published by the author, Elle vint en un lieu and Me suis éveillé, whose launch is held at the same time as the opening of the exhibition on September 23rd, 2017. These images result of close-up photographs of plane trees and eucalyptus barks, all taken in Portugal in spring 2017. They have been sufficiently retouched numerically to deserve the name “digital prints” rather than simply “photographs”.
Pierre Tousignant is a photographer and author of poetic texts. Since 2009 in Montreal, he participated in several solo and group exhibitions: Galeries Kaf Art, Outremont Art Gallery (Au parc les artistes), Galerie Luz, Galerie du Plateau, Galerie La Castiglione. Some of his works are permanently visible in the entrance hall of the Nordelec building, in the metropolis. Recently, he also dedicated himself to digital printing and photolithography.