THIS IS MY BODY
February 5 - March 20, 2016
Curated and organized by Phil Irish, our first main show in 2016 features new work by art students from Redeemer University College, including Rachael Bosma, Francis Germain, Tristan Kaarid, Bethany Kenyon, Maggie Perry, Jessica Puddicombe, Nicole Stadt, Stephanie Ten Hove, George Wastle, Maria Wagler, and Alicia Wheatley.
“Our bodies are contested sites. Our own narratives about our bodies are often fraught, for pleasures and joys are undermined by insecurities and pain. The narratives of our culture, embedded in movies, fashion, and advertising, also inscribe themselves on us. How are we to claim, to understand, and to enrich a thriving sense of our bodily life?
As an art professor at Redeemer University College, I challenged a Figure Drawing class to make full-body self-portraits at life size. What pose, gesture, or clothing? What visual language? How would students create an image that embodies their experience?
Drawings that take up this challenge form a central thread throughout this exhibition. The students addressed concerns such as body image, health conditions, negotiating racial histories, inner conflict, innocence and experience, fears, and mourning the loss of a sibling. These young artists greeted the vulnerability of a large-scale self-portrait with courage, imagination, and authenticity. The phrase “this is my body” comes from the Christian celebration of communion. In the breaking of the bread, we understand that God is with us in our brokenness, even breaking for us; that the many fragments of community are stitched together; and that each body is reunited in a story of wholeness. This understanding lies behind many of the works in this exhibition, allowing fierce honesty about brokenness, while finding hope and meaning within this struggle”. – Phil Irish
Redeemer’s Art Department is committed to nurturing its students as both artists and people. As the only Christian university in Ontario that offers an art degree, the art faculty at Redeemer puts extra emphasis on the role students have in Hamilton’s growing art culture as well as in the broader Christian community.