I consider the practice of painting to be both obsessive and seductive. Its hold on me stems in part from its elusiveness and open-endedness. The physical engagement with paint, its rich history, and the constant risk of failure are what prompt me to return to it time and again.
For me, the urge to paint begins with a strong compulsion to internalize and organize what I see, and then communicate this seeing. It is a way to order the phantasmagoria of life and the randomness of being.
The meditative and slow act of painting provides me with a means to mirror forms of mental activity, to express desires, anxieties, intentions, and to grapple with that which is inexpressible or ineffable.
Each painting is put through a process of creating, disrupting, and reforming. The layering process extends the compositions, and builds a sense of time into the work. My own personal memories combined with those of others reflect the past, or the idea of remembered time, becoming substance within the layers of paint, engaging and yet distancing the viewer from the original subject matter. Infused with ambiguity, the works operate in the areas between supposed opposite concepts, which are revealed in fact to be inextricably intertwined: history and imagination, abstraction and representation, past and present, the intimate and the social, male and female, and the psychological and the corporeal.
Heidi Conrod was born in 1970 in Montreal. She received her BSc. (Biology) from the University of Ottawa in 1993. She studied printmaking and drawing at the Ottawa School of Art. She has completed her BFA and MFA at the University of Ottawa in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
Heidi Conrod has had solo exhibitions of her work in various galleries across Canada; Studio 21 (Halifax), Espace Odysee (Gatineau), Dale Smith Gallery (Ottawa), Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects (Toronto), Herringer-Kiss (Calgary), and TRUNK gallery (Vancouver). She is the recipient of the Edmund and Isobel Ryan Visual Art Scholarship in Painting (2012), and a finalist for the Jacquline Fry Scholarship(2011).
Heidi currently lives in Ottawa and is a member of Enriched Bread Artists where she maintains a studio.