MFA Thesis Two: Zahra Baseri | Paula McLean

University of Waterloo Fine Arts Presents
MFA Thesis Two

May 2–18, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday May 2, 5:00–8:00 pm

Gallery One
Zahra Baseri
Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant

Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant is the result of my research on the problematic nature of binary oppositions and their causal relationship with power dynamics. From the viewpoint of an Iranian living in the Diaspora, I create images, objects, and spaces that subtly speak to the collective phenomenological experience of a shared melancholia that those who self-identify as Iranian are undergoing. The exhibition addresses complex issues of the oppressive ruling system in Iran that continually and deliberately produces socio-political turmoil as a way to control its citizens. I employ allegory and representation of culturally and historically significant imagery from Persian and Islamic art and architecture as a commentary on political and social issues. While accentuating the importance of materiality, my work questions the subject-object duality to more profoundly bring the political into the material realm

Zahra Baseri was born and brought up in Iran. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Waterloo, and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Studio from the University of Manitoba, and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in Iran. She has exhibited in Art Mur’s Fresh Paint / New Construction (2016, 2018), and BMO 1st Art! at Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, where she was provincial winner for Manitoba (2016). She was awarded a Shantz International Research Scholarship through the University of Waterloo, and worked with artist Ann Hamilton in Guimarães, Portugal during the summer of 2018. She was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship for her thesis research.

Gallery Two
Paula McLean
To Catch A Glimpse of Things

To Catch A Glimpse of Things is an exploration into concretizing and prolonging ephemeral gestures. Through the repetition of ambiguous forms and recurring imagery of distorted, amorphous figures, an attempt is made to reconstruct the complex and fragmentary phenomenon of perception, and the way meaning is created retrospectively through the extraction and arrangement of disparate moments and details gathered from lived experience. Employing the mediums of painting, drawing and sculpture, the exhibition presents a body of work in which the process of reproducing, abstracting and translating distorted images into other variations, mirrors the universal activity of the meaning-making mind, a mind that analyzes, prioritizes, erases, or substitutes aspects of experience as a means of negotiating a perceptually fluid world.

Paula McLean is an MFA candidate at the University of Waterloo, and received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art with a specialization in painting from Concordia University in 2017. She has exhibited at the Propeller Gallery, Toronto; Art Mûr, Montreal; Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant; and Forest City Gallery, London. She was awarded a Shantz International Research Scholarship through the University of Waterloo, and worked with Ireland-based painter Ciarán Murphy in the summer of 2018.

Please join us in celebrating these outstanding MFA candidates.
Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

University of Waterloo Art Gallery
East Campus Hall 1239
519.888.4567 ext. 33575

Ivan Jurakic, Director / Curator
519.888.4567 ext. 36741

Tuesday to Saturday 12:00-5:00 pm or by appointment

263 Phillip Street, Waterloo
East Campus Hall (ECH) is located north of University Avenue West across from Engineering 6

Visitor Parking is available in Lot B across from Engineering 6 or Lot Q for a flat rate of $5

University of Waterloo Art Gallery
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Images (left to right): Zahra Baseri, Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant (detail), 2019. Paula McLean, To Catch A Glimpse of Things(detail), 2019.