Fire, Water, Ice & Snow
September 16 – October 28, 2017
Reception with the artist, Wednesday September 27, 5 – 8 pm
Jennifer Walton’s visceral and vivid paintings will be featured in a major solo exhibition titled ‘Fire, Water, Ice & Snow’ at Abbozzo Gallery.
As outlined in the exhibition’s title, the subject matter spans the elements and their forms. Walton’s paintings, rich in movement and texture go beyond typical depictions of landscape and human figure, pulling the viewer into a tangible moment: “I’ve been trying to recreate the essence of an experience rather than strictly representing a landscape or scene. The paintings of swimmers, for instance, might evoke a sensation of weightlessness–a transcending of gravity that could be liberating (or perhaps terrifying) depending on the viewer’s own experience.”
The idea of “essence of experience” lends itself to the precariousness of permanence in a rapidly changing global climate. This idea is captured in Walton’s work: the pieces acting as homage to the beauties of the natural world while simultaneously honouring its fragility; “Locally the experiences of snow and ice that I’ve depicted here are much harder to come by than they once were. So while each of those paintings on its own is a celebration, it’s devastating to think that such experiences may become a thing of the past,” and the paintings of fire “represent a counterpoint to the paintings of water, ice and snow. I hope they feel a little out of control.” Her interest in painting fire stems from her own experience escaping a forest fire while tree planting in the late 1980’s and fire has since been a recurring theme in her work. Viewers are invited to draw their own conclusions from the show.
Jennifer Walton was the inaugural winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and her painting Conflagration, featured in this exhibition, won the Juror’s Choice Award at WADEM (World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine) Congress Art Show, 2017, Toronto. She received an honourable mention from the 2007 Kingston Prize, Canada’s National Portrait Competition. She has received grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Canada Council, the Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec and the Toronto Arts Council. She has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the International Painting Symposium in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec and the Pouch Cove Studio in Newfoundland. Her paintings hang in numerous public and private collections and have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums across Canada and in the US and the UK. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Abbozzo Gallery Toronto (May 2015). Jennifer Walton holds a BFA from Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick) and an MFA from Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec). She currently lives and works in Toronto.