Patricia Kenny
Artist Statement

I am an Ottawa based multidisciplinary artist with a primary focus on painting. I studied visual arts at York University, Algonquin College and Ottawa School of Art (OSA) at different points in my life. Since my work examines the impact of life altering events and memories, I will share some relevant experiences that inform my recent work. In 2011, a cancer diagnosis caused me to face my own mortality and a period of reflection precipitated a major shift in the direction of my life. I left a career in the education sector and returned to visual arts studies, graduating in 2017 from Ottawa School of Art with a Fine Arts Diploma. Mid studies, a destructive house fire resulted in trauma and considerable personal loss. On the other side, the combination of life changing events proved to be fertile ground for conceptual development and creative expression.  

I am interested in the connection between mind, body and identity through the exploration of life altering memories, investigating how they reveal themselves as disruptors and impact our being. Inspired by exploring transformative experiences, universal to the human condition, threads of vulnerability, resilience, transformation and identity run through surrealistic and abstract works. Paintings are produced intuitively through abstract mark-making and incidental action creating ambiguous biomorphic shapes and calligraphic lines alluding to body and the memory of an action. Imagined spaces are evoked through relationships of colour, form, gesture and enigmatic allusions to the familiar. Saturated colour, animated forms and an action filled process contribute to dynamic movement, intensity and drama in the work. Reworked surfaces through building layers, erasing, blurring, defining and obscuring, hold embodied experience, leaving glimpses of past realities. I wonder, is a memory a place, does it have edges between the mind and the body, shaping perceptions of how we see ourselves and the world.