Gwenessa Lam is a visual artist and educator. Her current work draws from historical objects and domestic spaces as contested sites of collective memory. Lam is interested in understanding the psychological and social implications when artifacts are lost to disaster, censorship, or misidentification.
Lam received her BFA from the University of British Columbia and MFA from New York University. She has taught at New York University, the University of British Columbia, and the Alberta University of the Arts. Lam has attended residencies at Skowhegan, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Banff Centre. Her work has been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art and the Queens Museum of Art in New York. Lam lives and works in Vancouver, BC and is currently Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Erin McSavaney’s practice is concerned with spaces of everyday life and how, under close examination, our perception of these spaces can be altered through making and viewing paintings. This exhibition brings together pairs of paintings whose architectural subjects are complimentary in nature. Through the conception and installation of this body of work, McSavaney offers several points of entry to show how three-dimensional spaces and objects can be disrupted and rebuilt in paint.
McSavaney’s geometric interventions take many forms. Sometimes, these squares, triangles, and other angular shapes index the mid-century era of the building, and at other times, they might reinforce the angle of light and shadow. Still other applications echo, extend, or counter the existing architectural form. Through a long and labour-intensive process, reality and fiction are negotiated across the canvas, juxtaposing the detailed illusion of depth against the flatness of abstracted forms. The typical call-and-response process of abstract painting is utilized here to create pictorial harmony of a very realistic kind. The result is a new space that illuminates the relationship between representational and abstract painting, and the parallels of how they are constructed, where each action demands a reaction.