The Akin X Collision Residency is a partnership with the Collision Gallery and Akin Collective. As part of a year long studio space rental, selected Akin artists will be immersed within a community of peers and the broader public, with potential opportunities for engagement with a huge number of daily passers by. Studio members were encouraged to develop and expand their individual practices while engaging with the public in new ways.
During the course of the residency, a number of artists were featured at the gallery. Please find their exhibitions below.
A collection of new works created under different circumstances.
Hit by the material realities of COVID 19, like all other art organizations and institutional facilities, AKIN and the artists who remained at the 158 Sterling Road took new measures, not only to remain safe while working in the studios, but also to devise different ways of measuring productivity and success while exhibition opportunities, teaching engagements and curatorial projects were all placed on hold.
As seen by the work, the ever shifting parameters of a global pandemic resulted in some artists turning inwards, others turning to the empty streets for inspiration and some just needing to find meaning in play. Whether surreal or abstract, figurative or architectural, each artist has either intentionally or subconsciously captured different aspects of what it means to live in a time where everything we once took for granted has drastically changed or been unmade due to the dangerous realities of the once unreal.
SINGLE OUT look to focus on, treat differently, or speak about, just one person or thing in a larger group.
Maria Kim is a Korean-Canadian painter, working between Toronto (CA) and Leipzig (DE), processing histories of individual and collective experiences, distorted and manipulated memories, altered perceptions of the world through intergenerational transferring of beliefs, values and stories, notions of truth, and sense of time. With a personal referencing to transgenerational trauma (especially of divorce, immigration, war, class divide), fragmented memory, distorted identity, contrasting sociocultural norms, she finds relatable entry into other common histories. These deeply rooted interests were born from trying to understand the Korean word, 'han' which describes "shared suffering" used after the Korean divide, and which also describes someone who carries grief or a longing.
Janne Reuss (@iannereuss) is a conceptually-driven artist. She explores inner and outer spaces as metaphors for the existential human condition of freedom and confinement.
In this work, Rewriting the Story, she overpaints her photographs, creating ambiguous spaces that evoke imaginary and mystical landscapes. White paintbrushes move through her photographs, dancing and floating through layers and shapes, like a flock of birds, or petals gliding in the wind, in search for a place to belong. In this process she is addressing the idea of transformation and liberation.
A Subconscious Walk is a journey, however brief, through the artist's mind. Reclaimed materials, colours and shapes come together to create this visual experience.
With no preconceived ideas of the final result, the artist allows his creative energy to flow freely. This has allowed him to tap into the part of himself that is his subconscious. Three central sculptures flanked by a series of mixed media pieces and works on paper have come together to create A Subconscious Walk by Antonio Pendones.
Maren Boedeker studied visual arts and art education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munster, Germany. Her abstract, large-scale canvases have been shown in galleries in Europe and Canada. She received the artist-in-residency-grant Liguria, Italy and was awarded first place in the exhibition "Art for Europe", curated by the European Community in Brussels, Belgium. Her work is held in many public and private collections. Since 2013 she lives and works in Toronto. She was selected for the AKIN Studio Program 2018/19, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) and in 2020 as an artist in residence for the Collision Gallery at Commerce Court in Toronto.
Revealing an authentic multi-layered conversation, Maren's paintings at the same time convey the process of their genesis. The source of inspiration is life itself: nature, landscapes, atmospheres, colours, sounds, textures, rhythms and the experience of the painting process itself.
Using a spectrum of tools, media and experimental techniques, she creates a complex abstract visual language. These lively constructs capture reflections of physical experience, existence, interlacing memory, and perception. The paintings create a fascinating realm of in-between-ness, seem to be always in motion, changing, ageing, transforming, renewing similar to prrocesses of life and time.
Finding the Grey is an ongoing study of paintings which explore the blending point of opposing forces. Imagining methods for the acceptance of information, Chambers has created compositions that often border both realism and abstraction.
Creation is a multi-step process. In many of the pieces in this exhibition, Chambers aims to find the middle ground or 'grey' between two extremes or social contexts. Any pattern present is imagined and then created by the Artist. Pieces such as Window to the Other Side 1 & 2, begin as a diagramed notation in the Artist's sketchbook. Chambers develops her sketches and expands on the idea until she feels that it expresses its intention. Next, a still life is created and photographed for reference material. The painting process itself explores the photographic reference while allowing the materiality of the paint to play with light, texture and colour.
The creation of one of the amazing pieces featuring by artist Lindsey Chambers during her Finding The Grey exhibition at the Collision Gallery.
“Creation is a multi-step process. In many of the pieces in this exhibition, Chambers aims to find the middle ground or 'grey' between two extremes or social contexts. Any pattern present is imagined and then created by the Artist. Pieces such as Window to the Other Side 1 & 2, begin as a diagramed notation in the Artist's sketchbook. Chambers develops her sketches and expands on the idea until she feels that it expresses its intention. Next, a still life is created and photographed for reference material. The painting process itself explores the photographic reference while allowing the materiality of the paint to play with light, texture and colour.” - Lindsey Chambers
Rakefat Arieli studied Film and Television at Camera Obscura of Arts, Tel Aviv, Israel. She is a visual artist focused on collage and dioramas, and has participated in group exhibitions in Toronto, Canada and Tel Aviv, Israel.
To preserve the sense of physical presence, these digital collages of her works were put on photos of the Collision Gallery space.
Sofia Berger is investigating themes of immigration, consumerism and dissensiorn, ultimately concerning herself with the essence of home. Her choice of mundane imagery suggests all the ways in which personal experiences influence upbringing and views of the world, exploring its connotations within the context of contemporary time.
Drawing on materials from culture in all facets, Berger confronts the effects of trauma and synesthetic connection through familiarity in a way that lends itself to her relationship with her own roots.
By the Skin of Your Teeth explores the effects of growing up in a war-torn country. The show highlights objects associated with domestic spaces in an attempt to recreate. and to bring a piece of one home into the next. Much of the work is sourced from moments within local histories and questions its representation. or lock thereof, !o lhe public, With the aid of memory, orchival materials. cultural norms and stereotypes, Berger utilizes the art making process as a way of better understanding her surroundings.
Born in 1997. Afifa Bari is a surrealist painter and textile artist based in Toronto. She earned her BFA from York University in 2020. Through representational art, she examines the contemporary world through the lens ot capitalism, uncovering consumerist-values in her work. She discusses issues around ideas of capitalism, such as poverty and the cycle of consumerism. Her work focuses on material possessions and the desire for materialism in the newly advancing society. She discusses fast fashion trends and the constant desire to purchase more in the modern society.
Ozge Aylekin experiments with paintings, sculptures, and installations to create postmodern narratives of women within the surreal realm. She discusses existential crises or remote identities, explores their response to their existence in all its variety, to the absurd and the unexpected. Her characters linger in the structures of the potriorchol systems and their subconscious desires. Ozge, while recognizing the deep roots of the authority in her character's senses, allows them to reenact the story that may break the authorities' confinements. She studied at Yildiz Technical University, Art and Design, Combined Arts Program in Istanbul, Turkey where she was born and raised. She continued her education in Toronto, completed her postgraduate in the Event Marketing program at GBC. She participated in various group exhibitions in Istanbul, Linz and Toronto. Currently, she works and lives in Toronto.