My practice considers traditions of painting, with an interest in frayed boundaries between mediums. Activated by formal abstraction and experimental printing methods, I construct paintings using staining, dying and sewing techniques. Employing deskilled labour through hands-on production, I seek to explore metaphysical concerns relating to material and causality.
— Colleen Heslin
Treading Buoylines is an exhibition of new work by Colleen Heslin. The paintings in the exhibition, all made within the past year, speak to the artist’s recent investigations into form, materiality, experimentation and happenstance. Though they engage in discourses around painterly abstraction, Heslin’s works are comprised of fabric, ink and dye—materials that are traditionally associated with crafting and needlework. The artist stitches these two seemingly discordant practices together, and although the resulting paintings speak of gendered use value, Heslin is more focused on the opportunities for experimentation that her choice of materials allow. In contrast to paint being applied to the surface of the canvas, Heslins’ inks and dyes seep into the wet surface of the commonplace fabric. As the artist has described, “the mark-making that appears on the fabric in my work consists of traces of pigment from the process of water drying. The lines from this process influence my formal decisions and potentials, and that is the space where the experimental process and formal abstraction engage and produce outcomes.”
Colleen Heslin completed her BFA at Emily Carr University in 2003 and her MFA at Concordia University in 2014. She won the RBC Painting Competition in 2013. Heslin was the founder of The Crying Room Projects, an independent space for emerging artists in Vancouver. She is represented by Monte Clark Gallery.
Presenting Sponsor: RBC Wealth Management