Jim Bourke

Home: Toronto, Ontario
Title: Self-portrait #4
Media: Encaustic and Wolfe’s carbon pencil on paper / encaustique, crayon de charbon Wolfe et papier
Dimensions: 76 x 56 cm
Website: www.jimbourke.ca

My initial impulse was to create a series of self-portraits. I have been looking in the mirror and saw the effects of both gravity and time in my face. I found myself gently adjusting the skin to remember a younger self, and became fascinated with those unconscious gestures.

I included my hands in the portraits stretching, squeezing, pulling and hiding various parts of my face. Distorting my features in a parody of the contemporary compulsion to surgically alter one’s appearance.

My hands in the images began to define the attitude of the portrait. The placement of the hands undermined the intent of the self-portrait by hiding the parts of the face that give expression to those emotions and characteristics. Concealing the mouth, covering the eyes, framing the face, plugging the ears are all gestures which alter physically how I see myself and how that self is presented to the public.


1995 Computer Animation. Sheridan College, Oakville
1974-78 Fine Arts – A.O.C.A.. Ontario College of Art, Toronto
1971-73 Fine Arts, York University. Toronto


2007 Best of 2006 Artists, First Canadian Place Gallery, Toronto
2006 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, City Halll (Honourable Mention), Toronto
2005 Discovery 2005, Korean Consulate, Toronto
2005 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, City Hall, Toronto
2004 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, City Hall, Toronto
2003 40th Anniversary of Korean Consulate, Korean Consulate, Toronto
2002 Celebration of the Arts (Juried Competition), Art Gallery of Uxbridge, Uxbridge
2001 Juried Show (Second in Show), Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga
2000 Arts 2000, Royal Can. Academy of Arts Stratford
1998 Annual Arts Competition (Finalist), Canadian Artist and Producers, Ottawa
1998 Open Juried Competition (Second in Show), Grimsby Art Gallery, Grimsby
1996 Amnesty International Auction, CBC Atrium, Toronto
1996 Paper Back, Paper Bound (Juried Show), Uof T Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga
1996 Open Juried Exhibition ( First in Show), John B. Aird Gallery (OSA), Toronto
1995 Open Juried Exhibition ( First in Show), John B. .Aird Gallery (OSA), Toronto
1995 Yoo Kyung International, Yoo Kyung Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1992 Round Up, AGO (Activity Centre), Toronto


2006 Later That Same Day (TOAE Exhibition ), CBC Radio, Toronto
1992 Later That Same Day, CBC Radio Toronto, “Round Up Review”, Christopher Hume
1992 Wonder Struck, CBC TV Bob McDonald, Toronto


2005 Being Scene 2005, Workman theatre Project, Toronto


1991 – present Exhibit Designer, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto