Island. Resident.

Island. Resident.

Friday, July 8, 2016 to Saturday, December 31, 2016
Opening Reception
July 8,
6:00PM to 9:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

Ria Amin
Andrea Hamlin
April Hickox
Margarita Barrientos Macdonald

Hugh McBride
Peggy Taylor Reid
Annie Tong

Island. Resident.

G44 Production Gallery
July 8 – December, 2016

Island. Resident. features works produced during Gallery 44’s 2015 Members’ Residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point. During the four-day residency, the artists engaged in individual explorations that were supported though regular meetings, presentations, and critiques facilitated by April Hickox. The Toronto Islands presented a unique environment for the residency, as a space that hosts both a car-free alternative community of 750 people, and a public park which functions as a recreational getaway for city dwellers. During their stay, the artists explored the landscape and architecture of the Toronto Islands, as well as the transitory space they occupied within the island ecosystem. The resulting works touch on notions of memory, history, recreation, and place.

As a long-time resident of the Toronto Islands, April Hickox continually engages with the interactions between residents and the landscape. Documenting instances of human intervention in the natural environment, Hickox explores notions of wilderness and place within the island ecosystem, playing witness to a continual negotiation between humans and the environment within the island community. Hugh McBride also focuses on occupancy and presence, turning his attention toward interior spaces.  Photographing empty rooms at Artscape Gibraltar Point, McBride documents scenes of vacancy within a space that hosts an accelerated turnover of residents.

Andrea Hamlin focused on formal architectural features during her explorations, particularly the material remnants of Gibraltar Point’s schoolhouse past. Zooming in closely on portals and entry-points such as windows and doorways, Hamlin emphasizes these material allusions to the history of Gibraltar Point and the Island Lighthouse. Windows were also significant subjects for Peggy Taylor Reid, who photographed the surroundings of Gibraltar Point through the screened windows of the building. Accumulated debris and remnants of past signage allude to the passage of time, memory, and the history of the institution within the island landscape. Ria Amin’s landscape photographs reflect similar concerns, as she focuses on quiet spaces where dappled lighting plays across small clearings in the woods, and over the rolling waves of Lake Ontario. Amin documents the island trees, from young saplings to grown forests, in a gesture that hints toward the history of the island. 

Annie Tong captured a sense of time and motion in her photographs of water. Using long shutter speeds, Tong’s abstract images of stones smoothed by the current offer a meditative look at the subtleties in the landscape. Margarita Barrientos Macdonald further considers duration and abstraction as she engages with practices of play and recreation. Experimenting with light, colour, and motion, Macdonald creates abstract images using glow sticks, which express the energy that pervades the island throughout the summer months. 

Through documenting the spaces and the roles they occupied on the island, these artists reveal much about their connections to place, and the ways in which the history of our surroundings offers a foundation for our experiences.