• Mixed Media on Canvas
  • Features West African technique involving pulling thread through canvas
  • Dated: 2004
  • Sight: 58 x 29 ½ inches
  • Framed: 61 x 34 ½ inches, Dark cherry wood frame
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Provenance: Private collection, Toronto

The Artist:  Dionne Simpson (Canadian-Jamaican, 1972-)

Dionne Simpson was born in Jamaica, raised in Toronto, and studied art at Cooper Union in New York and OCADU in Toronto. She was the first national winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2004. 

Simpson’s artistic practice is rooted in family histories and textile practices. Using a traditional African textile technique, she pulls threads from large canvases to create voids in the canvas. Into the spaces left behind she adds various paint pigments and found pigments including White Out and hair dye and then further destroys and embellishes the canvas.

The square is a re-occuring element in her work and she uses it as a symbol of order that exists in stark contrast to the reality of daily life for most Canadians.

The Story:  Simpson reveals her own feelings of displacement in Canada, the country she calls home. She uses the canvas as a metaphor for the underlying fabric of Canadian society, and as a record of her ongoing exploration into her identity as it relates to the Canadian cultural backdrop.

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