Gillian Iles: All and nothing


All and nothing, detail – single component image, 2022. Oil and acrylic on gessoed Tyvek. 60 x 100 inches. Provided by the artist.

All and nothing
Gillian Iles

September 8 – 24, 2022
Public Reception: September 8, 2022 from 6-8pm
Artist will be in attendance: Saturday, September 10 & September 24, 12 – 5pm
Ontario Culture Days Artist Talk and Exhibition Walk-Through: Saturday, September 24th, 3pm

The Red Head Gallery is pleased to present All and nothing by Gillian Iles.

Exhibition Statement:

Overlooked places, marginal spaces, frayed places of our city and the non-ideal. Things and locations that hold little perceived significance or influence. Transitory. Yet to be defined and determined, they represent pure potential – the opportunity for something different or better to occur. They represent the contradictory confluence of wonder, dereliction, inception and devastation.

Although never seen, remnants of human presence indicate this is the territory of unhoused people and roaming adolescents. These places are intersections of undetermined possibility, hope, fervency and brutality. Unadorned.

Imagery, objects and experiences collected or inspired by walks through these places reference this complexity and its related sensations.

The work captures suspended moments of an approaching potential outcome and determination – ordinary moments whose definition teeters on a tipping point.

Impermanence is emphasized through the use of Tyvek and glassine surfaces for the paintings and drawings. The work is intentionally momentary, having a disposable quality akin to the vestiges and the nature of the moments that occur in these places. Gillian approached the work with the mindset that the artwork can be, at any time, crumpled up and thrown out. The momentary act of making – the potential versus the legacy of the artwork was the goal. Once started, artworks were completed directly. No redoing or reworking. Accidents and irregularities were accepted and honoured.

All and Nothing is a multimedia installation. Imagery and objects extend from both sides of a wooden pathway. The intentionally layered and irregular arrangement mimics an encompassing haphazard cacophony of sensations and fluctuating determination. The installation invites the viewer on a personal journey through the constructed reality. Meanings keep shifting as they move. Methods of presentation purposefully require active participation by the viewer. Presentation relies on challenging expectation and shifting perception.

All and nothing, detail – combination of selected images, 2022. Oil and acrylic on gessoed Tyvek & Mixed media on glassine. Variable dimensions. Approximately, 120 x 204 inches. Provided by artist.

Artist Biography:

Gillian Iles’ practice consists of painting, sculpture, constructions and video/projection. Since 1997, she has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, Montreal and Toronto in public institutions, university galleries, artist-run centres and commercial galleries, including representation by Katherine Mulherin and Mia Nielsen and the creation of Blunt Collective. Her work has been highlighted in Canadian Art, Toronto Life Magazine, as well as the National Post and The Globe and Mail. She is featured in the book Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting. Gillian was a founding member of two artist-run galleries in Toronto – Propeller and Loop, and is currently a member of the Red Head Gallery. Gillian teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Sheridan College and the Toronto School of Art in Canada.

Her environmental scale installations incorporate both real and illusionary space, transforming the exhibition spaces into a composite of overlapping realities, contradictions and points of view; constructing spaces that engage and implicate the viewer.

Gillian’s work draws on the existence of social ideals, power hierarchies, precarious systems of belief, ephemerality of perception and the malleability of opinion.

Division, demarcation, contradiction and the innately implacable inevitability of change coinciding with enduring vestiges and remnants are emphasized.

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Gallery hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 5 PM
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