Holding a line in your hand
July 17 to September 18, 2021

Holding a line in your hand presents the work of five Canadian women painters from different cultural backgrounds, at different stages in their careers, and based at opposite ends of the country. Their work contains divergent methodologies, but also strong affinities. The exhibition includes artwork abundant in colour, line, and texture, embedded with and unencumbered by ideas. The focus on a small group of female painters offers a renewed perspective on an historically male-dominated domain and reflects today’s growing number of female artists working in the medium. Exploring and expropriating the idea of the painting in a myriad of ways, these artists share an expanded approach to painting. Holding a line in your hand speaks to a resurgence of painting in Canada and an active dialogue around historical precedents and contemporary approaches.

Works in the exhibition by Azadeh Elmizadeh, Colleen Heslin, Russna Kaur, Lyse Lemieux, and Rajni Perera include large-scale dyed canvases and site-specific wall paintings, experimental works on fabric and rope, as well as painted objects. Many of the works integrate textiles as part of a conversation about their everyday use, formal possibilities, and historically gendered associations. Other works interweave cultural tradition and storytelling, including the futurities of science fiction. The title of the exhibition – Holding a line in your hand – borrows a phrase from the way Lyse Lemieux has described her artistic process, which, for all the artists in the exhibition, implicates the body. Figures appear in much of the work, both through representation and abstraction, offering a bodily presence.