Claire Ashley

Her work inhabits the liminal space between painting, sculpture, and performance. She also expresses the language of painterly abstraction, monumental sculpture, slapstick humour, and pop art to transform mundane industrial materials into inflatable painted sculptures and performative props. She is interested in the assumptions and history of both painting and sculpture and engages in intellectual play, testing the boundaries and expectations of each medium, while exploring the possibilities of low-brow, mundane, unconventional materials.

I really enjoy that she breaks the boundaries of art making. Her appearance of abstract painting is visualized through industrial materials and sculptural form. I enjoy the use combination of

expressive painting in opposition to the linearity and the rigidity of adhesive tape and vinyl stencils.


Why drawing needs to be a curriculum essential

Drawing has seen something of a renaissance in the last twenty years. Evidence drawing as both the most sophisticated means of thinking and communicating, and an activity for all, Drawing remains a central and pivotal activity to the work of many artists and designers – a touchstone and tool of creative exploration that informs visual discovery. It fundamentally enables the visualization and development of perceptions and ideas. With a history as long and intensive as the history of our culture, the act of drawing remains a fundamental means to translate, document, record and analyze the worlds we inhabit. The role of drawing in education remains critical, and not just to the creative disciplines in art and design for which it is foundational. As a primary visual language, essential for communication and expression, drawing is as important as the development of written and verbal skills. The need to understand the world through visual means would seem more acute than ever; images transcend the barriers of language, and enhance communications in an increasingly globalized world. Alongside a need for drawing skills for those entering employment identified by a range of industries in the creative sectors – animation, architecture, design, fashion, film, theatre, performance and the communication industries – drawing is also widely used within a range of other professions as a means to develop, document, explore, explain, interrogate and plan. This includes the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine and sport. Surely, this should affirm drawing to be an essential part of the curriculum at all levels for all subjects, and something for which a clear commitment needs to be made. If we really want to move the agenda, drawing could be the connector at the heart of it all.

Brent McIntosh: Nudes and Shelley Adler/Brent McIntosh: The Nude Polaroid’s

Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brantford is displaying the two-part exhibition of Brent McIntosh and Shelley Adler, which is opened to the pubic from August 30th to October 25th 2014. Brent McIntosh’s “Nudes” and Shelley Adler/Brent McIntosh “The Nude Polaroid’s” respect that the materials may push boundaries since it is believed this is the first time the public gallery has exhibited nudes.[1] Nevertheless the exhibit presents a pleasing representation of the art and beauty of the human body.

Firstly, Brent McIntosh normally a landscape painter from Thronbury, Ontario preferred to display his additional interest, drawing.[2] He selected twenty-five, 11-inch square compositions on paper for the exhibition entitled ‘Nudes”, which are spread amongst the gallery.[3] His drawings are produced primarily in watercolour, pencil, charcoal and ink however are constructed using various techniques and diverse approaches. McIntosh’s twenty-five drawings employ an impressionistic technique, upon a close examination the viewer only recognizes the unique dabs of colour, yet from a distance of a few feet or more the light and shade come into view. It is obvious in his work that he has a profound interest in the interaction of colour and how it cooperates with the image. The “Nudes” demonstrate a rhythm between representation and abstraction due to McIntosh’s ability to create balance and stimulate our own visualization to see forms.

Continuing across the gallery Brent McIntosh’s practices are transferred to a collaborated Polaroid project with Shelly Adler entitled “The Nude Polaroid’s”. The purpose of “The Nude Polaroid’s” development was to document the human body, in which the two explored the different way men and women view nude bodies.[4] Adler photographed the male form while McIntosh photographed the female form to explore the significance of their overall intentions.[5] The two also explored how modern technologies have multiplied images of the bare form, however reverted the importance of maintaining a historical tradition by accepting the nude figure as an art from.[6] The Polaroid’s were scanned and enlarged in an assortment of sizes and develops an almost-painting-like attribute and warmth. The photos and forms become flat shapes with non-representational colour; they are not just familiar pictures but paintings. Eventually, perception shifts away from identifying the image to the enjoying the complex qualities of the work. Adler and McIntosh create a unique combination of skilled craftsmanship, painterly intelligence and empathy towards the Polaroid’s.

Brent McIntosh “Nudes” and Shelley Adler/Brent McIntosh “The Nude Polaroid’s” create a unique exhibition of the human form by balancing image and conveying a historical art form in a contemporary approach.

[1] Shypula, Brian . “Glenhyrst bares it in new exhibition.” Brant News, September 05, 2014. (accessed October 2, 2014).

[2] McIntosh, Brent. Brent McIntosh, “Art Works.” Accessed October 1, 2014.

[3] Unknown, . Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, “Current Exhibition.” Last modified August 30, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014.

[4] Shypula, Brian . “Glenhyrst bares it in new exhibition.” Brant News ,

[5] Unknown, . Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, “Current Exhibition”

[6] Ibid

Influence – Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China

“Featuring 70 works in various media–paintings, calligraphy, photographs, woodblock prints, video, and sculpture–that were created during the past three decades, Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China will demonstrate how China’s ancient pattern of seeking cultural renewal through the reinterpretation of past models remains a viable creative path. Although all of the artists have transformed their sources through new modes of expression, visitors will recognize thematic, aesthetic, or technical attributes in their creations that have meaningful links to China’s artistic past. The exhibition will be organized thematically into four parts and will include such highlights as Xu Bing’s dramatic Book from the Sky (ca. 1988), an installation that will fill an entire gallery; Family Tree (2000), a set of vivid photographs documenting a performance by Zhang Huan in which his facial features–and his identity–are obscured gradually by physiognomic texts that are inscribed directly onto his face; and Map of China (2006) by Ai Weiwei, which is constructed entirely of wood salvaged from demolished Qing dynasty temples.”

These works may also be appreciated from the perspective of global art, but by examining them through the lens of Chinese historical artistic paradigms, layers of meaning and cultural significance that might otherwise go unnoticed are revealed. Ultimately, both points of view contribute to a more enriched understanding of these artists’ creative processes.

For more than two millennia, ink has been the principal medium of painting and calligraphy in China. Since the early twentieth century, however, the primacy of the “ink art” tradition has increasingly been challenged by new media and practices introduced from the West. Ink Art examines the creative output of a selection of Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present who have fundamentally altered inherited Chinese tradition while maintaining an underlying identification with the expressive language of the culture’s past.

Some Ideas ?!

Drawing has long been considered a foundational element in the study of art. In the 20th century, drawing has also become a medium that exists front and center in the practice of many contemporary artists. While previously it was understood as a preparatory tool, now it is seen as a final destination. The very question of what constitutes drawing has been redefined by artists who have pushed the bounds of the term.  I want to consider activities in our everyday life that touch on aspects of drawing (writing, diagrammatic language, notation, mapping), while also thinking about the ways drawing has been taught traditionally, and to consider what associations the medium carries today from this history. The question of what constitutes drawing is approached through process and concept much more than as defined by medium, and the course focuses on an expanded experimental approach to drawing. Assignments are often a response to a wide variety of artistic mediums where there exist resonant relationships ( installation, land art, sculpture, and among others). I do work in conventional drawing media (pencil, paper, eraser, ink etc) but I want to also explore how other media can expand the idea of what “drawing” might mean.

Mayako Nakamura

I found her work very interesting and inspiring! She traces the shapes of space and boundaries in everyday, as her body feels. She understands how she feels and places it within her work. She uses her senses woven together with her impressions of reality. She uses universal shapes to explain emotions and actions that can’t be expressed by words.

I love how she places herself within the work and still allows the viewer to become connected!

Finished Product – Painting / Mixed Media

Throughout my work I was concentrating on bringing in past and present ideas of religious concepts. I wanted to relate historical beliefs and traditions connected to my own faith. I feel that religion is an ongoing movement and still to this day changes and continues to incorporate modern day ideas. As oral tradition still continues and new ideas of the significance of biblical stories are being shared I wanted to bring into play all different views religion encompasses. As religious commandments were brought to Moses on a slab of stone I created several encased books with the word of God printed within them, whether it be historical story telling or modern day philosophical ideas. I then took my own influence of major biblical stories and created an illustration on how the story may have been displayed. I feel that even though my inspirations are placed amongst these works, the viewer can still place their own ideas, influences and interpretation within the work. I continue aappreciate that every artwork is diverse for everyone and since narrative exists within the material context, it is the exploration of physical interaction of materials that allows me to express emotion, spirituality, and other human conditions. This strategy aims to test any artworks own internal logic, as well as test the broader limits of what an abstract painting can be.