Slow Mover

by Chelsea Smith

Exhibition Statement:

Local artist Chelsea Smith’s solo exhibition, Slow Mover, presents a selection of abstract encaustic paintings. Deeply emotive, Smith’s most recent pieces were created after a nine month period of pause and contemplation bearing in them a matching affective charge of reminiscence, transition, and reflection. Throughout, each piece recalls the textures, ripples, and undulating waves found here in the natural, Northern landscape: ridgelines punctuating the bush and fields, mineral lines and sediment in porous bedrock, white and red pine trees swaying in the wind and dusting the surface of fresh snowfalls, the way hayfields and crops dance in the summer, or how pine needles and leaves collect in the slow moving inland bodies of water. 

What Smith is showing us is a deeply impressionistic snapshot of living in the rural Northeast -- there are rhythms here that ebb and flow, leaving their marks all around us. Much like these cyclical ebbings and flowings, so too does Smith consider this relationality in her painting practice whereby she may take a nine month period to ebb, and when the winds pick up and seasons begin to change, flow with encaustics across the canvas. In hand and wrist, Smith uses her intuition to create brushstrokes that follow the memories of these inspirations. Mark making becomes a diaristic, indexical process through which Smith is offering us a deeply temporal score to the rhythms of the region.

Artist Biography:

Chelsea Smith is an artist of mixed Anishnaabe and European descent from the small northern town of Englehart, Ontario. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting at OCAD U in 2020. While attending OCAD U, her thesis focused on the importance  of place and ancestral heritage through the exploration of natural and handmade earth pigments foraged from within her homeland. Chelsea continues to explore this narrative through mediums such as oil, watercolour, and encaustics.

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