Through large scale abstract painting, Gillian King attempts to connect ancient art practices and our changing geographical landscapes as a way to address our collective histories, mutual fragility, and mortality with other living beings and the Earth. She draws from elements of ecology, palaeontology, politics, and earth-based spirituality, making use of specific materials (including plant and vegetable matter, hair, animal ashes, sand, dirt, and raw pigments) for their physical properties and symbolic relevance. Her practice focuses on creating large works that are approximately the “wingspan” of a human animal. At times these marks are reminiscent of non-human animals clawing or digging. The traces left by her body act as a symbolic mapping of a relatable body, and invite viewers to consider their own physical engagement with our landscape and other animals.
Born in Winnipeg (MB), Gillian King lives and works in Ottawa (ON). She recently graduated from with a MFA from the University of Ottawa (2016) and is the winner of the RBC Emerging Artist Award 2017 as well as the recipient of the 2017 Nancy Petry Award. King has shown in galleries nationally and internationally and has completed residencies at NES Artist Residency (Skagaströnd, Iceland), The Banff Centre (Banff, Alberta), Artscape Gibralter (Toronto Island, Ontario), and Sparkbox Studios (Picton, Ontario). In 2016, she exhibited a solo show, ‘Becoming Animal’, at the Ottawa Art Gallery and in 2017 was chosen as the Ontario representative in the Robert McLaughlin Gallery's 50th Anniversary Exhibition, 'Ab NEXT' (Oshawa, Ontario) featuring five emerging abstract painters from across Canada.
2016 - MFA, University of Ottawa, Ottawa (ON)
2011 - BFA, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (MB)
- Artscape Gibralter, Toronto (ON)
- NES Artist Residency, Skagaströnd, Iceland
- Sparkbox Studio, Picton (ON)
- The Banff Centre, Banff (AB)
City of Ottawa
Artists Pension Trust, New York (NY)
GRANTS AND DISTINCTION
- Nancy Petry Award Recipient
- RBC Emerging Artist Award Ottawa
- Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist Creation Grant
- University of Ottawa, Full Attendance Scholarship
+ Solo Exhibitions
- Upcoming, Ottawa Art Gallery Annex, Ottawa (ON)
- Sédiment, Galerie Nicolas Robert, Montreal (QC)
- Ghosts, PDA Projects + General Assembly, Ottawa (ON)
- University of Wisconsin-Marinette Fine Art Gallery, Marinette (WI) USA
- Curing Soil, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)
- Becoming Animal, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
- Skinned, Gallery 115 - University of Ottawa, Ottawa (ON)
- MAIM, La Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
+ Group Exhibitions
- Upcoming, Terramatter, City Hall Art Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
- Coetus Floreus, Galerie Nicolas Robert, Montreal (QC)
- Longevity, City of Ottawa Annual Acquisitions Exhibition, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
- Peau, La Maison des Artistes, Winnipeg (MB)
- Ab NEXT, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa (ON)
- Chapter 2, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)
- Curing Soil, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)
- Souvenirs, City of Ottawa Annual Acquisitions Exhibition, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
- Aether into Infinity, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)
- Full Catastrophe, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
- Destabilizing Dystopia, DC3 Art Projects, Edmonton (AB)
- Flesh Garden, Milk Gallery, In collaboration with La Petite Mort Gallery and Mimik Magazine, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Rectory Art House, Doors Open Ottawa, Ottawa (ON)
- Chinatown Remixed, Ottawa (ON)
- Occam’s Razor: Art, Science, and Aesthetics, !dea Gallery, Toronto (ON)
- Occam’s Razor: Art, Science, and Aesthetics, Propellor Gallery, Toronto (ON)
- Gaze: A Female Perspective, La Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa (ON)
- Rectory Art House, Open House, Ottawa (ON)
- Colonel By Pilot Lab - University of Ottawa, Breaking Point, Ottawa (ON)
+ Press and publications
- POPOVA, Ekaterina (2018). «Art and Cocktails, Art as Ritual, Sourcing Materials from Nature and Artist Residencies with Gillian King», Art and Cocktails, [Audio], published in September.
- EL-SHEIKH, Tammer (2018). « Coetus Floreus at Galerie Nicolas Robert », Akimbo, [Online], published in August, https://bit.ly/2DkKdWW.
- POPOVA, Ekaterina (2018). «Sustainable Painting Practices: Interview with Gillian King», Create! Magazine, [Online], published in April, https://bit.ly/2GsWISj.
- JIAYUE LIU, Emma (2018). « Local Artist to Show Off New Artistic Flair », Centretown News, published in April.
- CLARK, Jennifer (2018).«Gillian King: Moving Forward in a Destructive Time», Ottawa Arts Council, [Online], published in March, https://bit.ly/2Glp6ob.
- (2018). «Work in Progress: Gillian King», Akimblog, published March 16.
- CASSAVIA, Cayllan (2017). «A Conversation with Gillian King», Normale Magazine, published in April.
- SHARMA, Anchal (2016). « This Month at the Ottawa Art Gallery: Becoming Animal», The Fulcrum, [Online], published september 8, https://bit.ly/2GiaAxA.
- ERICA-DESJARDINS, Maude (2015). « Gillian King: Animal in Search of Humanity - Human Looking Animal », La Rotonde, published in January.
- JOHNSTON, Susan (2014). «Friday Special Blend March 93», [Audio], published in March.
- CORRE, Kristina (2014). « Gillian King », Tumblr, [En ligne], published in Febuary
- LAROCQUE, Jennifer (2013). « Chemical Engineering Through the Eyes of an Artist », University of Ottawa Gazette, published in December.