Strickland, Robert

Artist Statement

I choose representational art to convey my visual stories because the language is exoteric, transcending the limitations of verbal language. Being in a multicultural city I find this useful as a means of communicating and connecting with people. My work is simply about people and my fascination with them. What are their lives like, what are their believes, what led to this moment? The paintings are a glimpse into moments and a glimpse into someone’s life, yet there is still much mystery to them. Instead of focusing or trying to find an universal Canadian identity, I want to learn about what makes an individual identity within Canada. Painting is a way for me to study and learn about people. When I met Phelisha a quality that stuck out to me most was her confidence, the type of shoulders back, chin up and ready to face the world kind of person. She was also feminine, benevolent and enthusiastic about life. Business focused and entrepreneurial. She didn’t really identify with the “North American” identity, resonating more with her own culture. In the painting she is looking directly at the viewer, confronting them with her chin up and shoulder back. There is beauty in the painting but she is not an object.

The paintings are also a rebellion against the technological and mechanical world. Unlike the mechanical process of a camera I interpret my empirical reality and project it through my imagination creating a convincing fiction. This is the human element of storytelling, the spiritual element. Light, colour, form and technique are the foundation to the language I use. I want to convey beauty because it is life enhancing and grounds us in nature.

Resume

Gallery Roberts Gallery – 641 Yonge street, Toronto www.robertsgallery.net

Grants/Awards
2018 – Finalist, Bold Brush Painting Contest. http://faso.com/boldbrush/
2017 – Foundation Award, Next2 (Juried by McMichael Gallery, McLaughlin Gallery and Loch Gallery), Arts & Letters Club.
2017 – 21 under 31. Southwest Art Magazine. Top twenty one artists under 31 to invest in www.Southwestart.com
2017 – Best Artist Under 30, PleinAir Salon. www.pleinairsalon.com
2017 – Finalist, Bold Brush Painting Contest. http://faso.com/boldbrush/
2016 – Chalmers Professional Development Grant, Ontario Arts Council. $7,500

Shows
2019 – Artist Choice Exhibition, Group Show, Roberts Gallery, 641 Yonge St, Toronto.
2018 – Art Toronto, International Art Fair, Roberts Gallery Booth, Metro Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, Toronto.
2018 – Group Show, The 14th annual Shenzhen Cultural Industry Fair, Landscape Tourism Culture Park, Longhua District Guanlan Town, Shenzhen, China.
2018 – Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Nathan Philips Square, Toronto, Ca.
2017 – Next 2, Group Show, Arts & Letters Club of Toronto. 14 Elm Street Toronto
2017 – Small works show, Westmount Gallery, 88 Advance Road, Etobicoke.
2017 – Riverdale Art Walk, Jimmy Simpson Park, 870 Queen St, W, Toronto.
2016 – Queen West Art Crawl, Trinity Bellwood’s Park, 790 Queen St, W, Toronto.
2016 – Art Walk North, CF shops at Don Mills, 1090 Don Mills Road, Toronto.
2016 – Riverdale Art Walk, Jimmy Simpson Park, 870 Queen St E, Toronto.

Publications and Media
2019 – Globe and Mail newsprint, Globe Life and Arts, Artist Choice Exhibition, Issued February 2nd.
2017 – Plein Air Magazine, Best Under 30. www.pleinairsalon.com
2017 – Southwest Art Magazine, 21 under 31. www.southwestart.com

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