Gillian King 

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 recently graduated from with a MFA from the University of Ottawa (2016). She 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.

Selected Artworks

+ CV


2016 - MFA, University of Ottawa, Ottawa (ON)

2011 - BFA, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (MB)


2018 - Artscape Gibralter, Toronto (ON)

2018 - NES Artist Residency, Skagaströnd, Iceland

2014 - Sparkbox Studio, Picton (ON)

2012 - The Banff Centre, Banff (AB)


City of Ottawa

Artists Pension Trust, New York (NY)


2017 - Nancy Petry Award Recipient

2017 - RBC Emerging Artist Award Ottawa

2017 - Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist Creation Grant

2016 - University of Ottawa, Full Attendance Scholarship

+ Solo Exhibitions

2020 - Upcoming, Ottawa Art Gallery Annex, Ottawa (ON)

2018 - Ghosts, PDA Projects + General Assembly, Ottawa (ON)

2017 - University of Wisconsin-Marinette Fine Art Gallery, Marinette (WI) USA

2016 - Curing Soil, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)

2016 - Becoming Animal, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

2015 - Skinned, Gallery 115 - University of Ottawa, Ottawa (ON)

2014 - MAIM, La Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

+ Group Exhibitions

2019 - Upcoming, Terramatter, City Hall Art Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

2018 - Coetus Floreus, Galerie Nicolas Robert, Montreal (QC)

2018 - Longevity, City of Ottawa Annual Acquisitions Exhibition, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

2017 - Peau, La Maison des Artistes, Winnipeg (MB)

2017 - Ab NEXT, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa (ON)

2016 - Chapter 2, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)

2016 - Curing Soil, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)

2016 - Souvenirs, City of Ottawa Annual Acquisitions Exhibition, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

2016 - Aether into Infinity, PDA Projects, Ottawa (ON)

2016 - Full Catastrophe, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

2015 - Destabilizing Dystopia, DC3 Art Projects, Edmonton (AB)

2014 - Flesh Garden, Milk Gallery, In collaboration with La Petite Mort Gallery and Mimik Magazine, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2014 - Rectory Art House, Doors Open Ottawa, Ottawa (ON)

2014 - Chinatown Remixed, Ottawa (ON)

2014 - Occam’s Razor: Art, Science, and Aesthetics, !dea Gallery, Toronto (ON)

2014 - Occam’s Razor: Art, Science, and Aesthetics, Propellor Gallery, Toronto (ON)

2014 - Gaze: A Female Perspective, La Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa (ON)

2013 - Rectory Art House, Open House, Ottawa (ON)

2013 - Colonel By Pilot Lab - University of Ottawa, Breaking Point, Ottawa (ON)

+ Press and publications

2018 - Ekaterina Popova, Art and Cocktails, Art as Ritual, Sourcing Materials from Nature and Artist Residencies with Gillian King, September 2018.

2018 - Tammer El-Sheikh, Akimbo, Coetus Floreus at Galerie Nicolas Robert, August 2018.

2018 - Ekaterina Popova, Sustainable Painting Practices: Interview with Gillian King, Create! Magazine, April 2018.

2018 - Emma Jiayue Liu, Centretown News, Local Artist to Show Off New Artistic Flair, April 12, 2018.

2018 - Ottawa Arts Council, Gillian King: Moving Forward in a Destructive Time, March 27, 2018

2018 - Akimblog, Work in Progress: Gillian King, March 16, 2018

2017 - Cayllan Cassavia, A Conversation with Gillian King, , Normale Magazine, April 13, 2017.

2016 - Anchal Sharma, The Fulcrum, This Month at the Ottawa Art Gallery: Becoming Animal, Sept 8, 2016,

2015 - Maude Erica-Desjardins, Gillian King: Animal in Search of Humanity - Human Looking Animal, La Rotunde, Jan 26, 2015.

2014 - Susan Johnston, Friday Special Blend March 93.1FM CKCU, Mar 14, 2014.

2014 - Kristina Corre, Gillian King,, Feb 7, Feb 9, & Mar 14, 2014.

2013 - Jennifer Larocque, University of Ottawa Gazette, Chemical Engineering Through the Eyes of an Artist, Dec 18, 2013.