Fanshawe Fine Art Advanced Diploma Program is unique in that it provides, in unison with studio practice, direct opportunities to develop exhibition experiences. In the short three years of the program, various exhibition spaces, projects, and subjects introduce students to the
dialogue of exhibiting with producing their artwork.
This second-year exhibition, Acrylic Values, is this group’s second off-campus exhibition in downtown London. The first was an exhibition, Pot Luck, at Satellite Project Space in the Fall Term of 2019. In both incidences, the students came up with the subject and learned how to
relate the artwork which they wanted to develop for the space of presentation.
Each gallery space, group or solo exhibition, or type of artwork can produce more questions to consider in the communication of one’s studio practice. Logistic and economics, installation preparation, artwork and exhibition titling, as well as advertising are all part of student
experience which mirrors the requirements of a professional artist.
Acrylic Values, like Pot Luck, touches on student life in a time of transition and development from their family and values, to individual living - often with new peers. Within this key transition point, home becomes more relevant with changing emotions and memories,
changing economics and everyday needs. Perhaps these are reasons why the students chose to portray such an important subject as ‘home’ for this painting exhibition.
These self-directed acrylic paintings employ a variety of medium processes, explorations and imagery to communicate unique and sensitive responses to what was important to each student to define as ‘home’. The paintings themselves have the struggle of making, not unlike
an individual’s struggle with a sense of place in the world. Students come to terms with a variety of tools and technical approaches that investigate paint application, systems of brushwork, colour conditions and composition which combine together to make an atmosphere
beyond vision and texture. These conditions of/in a painting can produce suggestive thoughts and feelings such as: bright, electric, warm, cool, messy, loud, tranquil, seamless, safe. In so doing, this sensitivity can take hold, add to, move to the visceral and poetic beyond the basic
term for the subject ‘home’.
Perhaps it could be said that these paintings have built homes as much as they have built an image. Sometimes that home is visually representational as a place on a street. Sometimes it is a place to view the world from. Sometimes it is introspective within or without the physical. Certainly, the image and the idea have merged. In representational, what is seen considers heritage, architecture, social construct, family, childhood, body, country, city and nature. In abstraction, creativity and translations provide senses of love, sadness, belonging, spiritual, nostalgia and even reveal the vulnerable or desires, and just maybe, a dream home.
Gary Spearin, Professor, Program Coordinator