August Features: Erin's Gallery Picks

With the long, drawn out heat of late summer upon us, days seems to blur and mingle in their slower pace of relaxation before the inevitable cacophony of Autumn bustle appears. This season for me has brought with it a rejuvenating feeling, and I’m feeling my creative energies ignited and malleable. This flare for new artistic journeys and productivity is my inspiration for my August Picks. 

Claire Desjardins,  Time Travel , acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60"

Claire Desjardins, Time Travel, acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60"

Claire Desjardins’ abstraction in her newest body of work, summerCRUSH, allows space for the viewer to reflect on their own memories and emotions of the Summer season. Juxtaposing feelings of hope and nervousness at a seemingly endless flow of adventure and new potential create butterflies that rise deep from the gut and into fumbling throat, biting at the chance to make grand declarations, to feel invincible. 

Lori Richards,  Lakeside Ramble , acrylic on panel, 48" x 36"

Lori Richards, Lakeside Ramble, acrylic on panel, 48" x 36"


A brief summer roadtrip to Ontario’s Prince Edward County had me revisiting the varied flora and rural magnetism of the province’s south-eastern region. This attraction to the quilted farmland and dynamic ecosystems makes me recall the respect and admiration Kingston-based artist Lori Richards feels for her surroundings and how she brings that to life in her paintings. Richards uses the viscous texture of acrylics to apply many thin, yet lively, layers of colours and shapes mimicking the verdant fields of milkweed, lobelia, asters, and wild grasses. 

Paul Wing,  Blueberry Kiosk , photograph on rag paper, 11" x 11"

Paul Wing, Blueberry Kiosk, photograph on rag paper, 11" x 11"

Continuing on the theme of roadtrips, Paul Wing’s Polaroid-like shot of a highway blueberry and pie stand shows quintessential iconography of youthful Canadian summers. Ontario fruit growing seasons are so brief, you could blink and miss it entirely, just like this sunny shack on the side of the road.

Dominique Normand,  The Flow of Life , acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"

Dominique Normand, The Flow of Life, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"

Normand’s work evokes familiar, yet powerful, imagery and builds on these scenes with vibrant contemporary colour palettes. I find her work both refreshing and humble in their representations of her surroundings in the Laurentians of Quebec. Dominique Normand is a Metis member of the Maliseet First Nations band, and her subject matter ranges from landscapes, portraits, and abstract works reflecting the beauty in her surroundings.  

Brian Harvey, Dundas St. E., oil on panel, 40" x 30"

Brian Harvey, Dundas St. E., oil on panel, 40" x 30"

To me, this piece shows the multitude of feelings that exploring a city can evoke. In every sign, brick, doorway and street there are overlapping histories of hundreds of voices, some familiar, some to be never known but that contribute to how we grow individually and collectively nonetheless. 

Summertime 2016 at WALL SPACE Gallery

Summer has made its presence known, and we have great exhibitions on offer to get you out of the heat and into the gallery!

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Stop by this week to experience the envisioned psychologies of local, multi-media artist, Mat Dubé, and bold urban landscapes by oil painter, Stewart Jones.  Read more about the shows here, and check out available works by Dubé and Jones.


FROM JUNE 29 – JULY 20th, 2016


In her latest solo exhibition, The Secrets We Keep, Quebec abstract expressionist artist, Claire Desjardins, bares all in gestural paintings featuring animated brush strokes and her signature bold and lively palettes. Each of the paintings is personal and unpredictable, guided by feelings identified in a specific moment, sentiment, or reaction. Viewers can identify with the artist’s expressions that serve as a replacement for lost words. You can read more about Claire Desjardins on the events page or read her latest feature in Ottawa Citizen Style Magazine.

Opening reception, June 29th from 5-7 PM.
Artist's talk, July 6th, 5:30-7:30 PM, at WALL SPACE Gallery in Westboro. RSVP to:

Here is a sneak peek of some of the upcoming paintings:



Kingston ceramicist Marney McDiarmid explores a new type of captivating vessel in The Garden Growing On Within Us. McDiarmid creates striking pieces out of porcelain with lush, graphic imagery and finely crafted details. A narrative emerges, influenced by concepts of growth, decay, and regeneration. In the artist's words,   “A garden can overtake you, nourish you, or provide a place to hide.”


NEW Artworks & jewellery

In addition to some great shows, new works have arrived from Erica Hawkes, Stephen Frew, Peter Colbert, Lirical Jewellery, Tai Knots, and Kathryn Rebecca! Visit the gallery to see all of the beautiful new offerings.


Exhibition Dates: May 12 - June 5. Opening & Featured Performance: Thurs, May 12, 6-8:30pm


“I am interested, not in the conclusion, but in a half told story.” – Nava Waxman

"Mother of Void #1", Photography, edition of three, 20" x 30"

"Mother of Void #1", Photography, edition of three, 20" x 30"

The deep royal purple and black tendrils of a painted foliate form sweep across the white surface of artist Nava Waxman’s studio wall. The painting is exquisite, beautiful, a work of art. The artist places a chair in front of the wall. She places a heavy piece of pink Himalayan salt in front of it. Waxman performs in front of the wall, moving her body in a dance that expresses the ideas she is processing through her art. She captures her performance and her painting through video and photography. And then she paints over the wall

This is the fleeting reality of the series of works making their premier this month in the exhibition Untitled Wall , May 12 – June 5, at Ottawa’s WALL SPACE Gallery (358 Richmond Rd.). Large scale photographs by Waxman capture and present the artist’s ephemeral in-studio wall paintings and performances, acting as the only tangible result of these laborious works. The series is the product of three years of philosophical inquiry. Waxman has leapt into the void separating the permanent and the ephemeral – questioning what art is and what it can be, with poignantly beautiful results.

In the artist’s words:

 I am interested, not in the conclusion, but in a half told story. I explore the distinction of “Painting” vs “Painted”.
In this body of work, I address and question the traditional method of painting and to think about the process itself; detaching my actions from the last stage of the work, the physicality of the object-painting.
I began the documentation of my process at the very beginning of this series. Using photography and high resolution video to analyze the process as it unfolds, I began to truly discover and engage with this work in many new and exciting ways. Through these media it was possible to capture this creation, in itself, as the art, and to celebrate the process.

A long time resident of North York, Waxman was born in Israel, where she received her BA in social science and communication from the University of Tel-Aviv . Layers of philosophy and the subtleties of language underpin her work. The many meanings Waxman hopes to evoke through her art are always in harmony with the visual forms she creates, however, rather than forcefully overlaid afterthoughts. Waxman's artistic practice as a whole is characterized by flowing and sinuous lines, and references to the human form. Time and space are also important features in her recent explorations of repetition, identity, and the ability of the body to convey ideas through movement. As she has developed performances an photographic works, employing gestures of the body more directly, in her paintings overt references to the body found in earlier works have fallen away in favour of abstraction.

"Aphrodite," Photography, edition of three, 23" x 17"

"Aphrodite," Photography, edition of three, 23" x 17"


 In addition to photography, painting, and video content, Untitled Wall will feature a site-specific installation and performance. Waxman will paint one of the gallery walls during preparations for the exhibition. This painting will be completed with a live performance by the artist during the 6pm exhibition opening on Thursday, May 12th. We anticipate an event unique to the Ottawa arts scene, and not to be missed.

At the conclusion of the exhibition this untitled wall will once again be painted over, leaving us to consider impermanence and the nature of art.


-          Natalie Rathwell, MA

Curator, Untitled Wall

IN DEPTH LOOK - A Fuller Description of Waxman's Series

Waxman’s is an organic and visceral practice utilizing metaphors and allegories. Through these she constructs her performances and her ongoing research on how to capture expressive events that are comprised of various elements such as painting, objects, space and gesture. Her work does not involve obvious self- representation and beyond her perspective as the creator and physical presence in the process, she does not consider her oeuvre as completely autobiographical.

Waxman’s aesthetics are referential, and through the use of traditional media in combination with new ones she transforms her ideas into a ritualistic theatre. She conserves in her editing process a continuum between things past and gone, and things yet to come. …

The transitory nature and duration of the artworks coincides with Waxman’s evolution as a visual artist…Capturing the random, the magical, the thoughts and the feelings, made this wholeness tangible. In a way it is a struggle; Painting versus Painted. 

These works assemble and epitomize this ever changing act of looking. Most importantly, her solitary monologues, which have only ever taken place in the privacy and isolation of her studio, are now accessible to the viewer. This exhibition marks the public nature and premiere of these series. 

According to Nava, Life is an accumulative formation. The Untitled Wall stands as a monument of Now,where time, space and feelings are interconnected. The way we perceive the momentum or the future is eminently affixed to our retention of the past. … In this modern era when everything has existed in the past, images are disposable and the meanings misinterpreted, Nava Waxman’s endeavor is to question these circumstances and reconstruct the [ definition of ] Vision. 

- Artist Statement [Excerpts]

Updated 3:01pm, May 7th

The Great Escape

Landscapes by Erica Hawkes & Laura Culic are glowing on the gallery walls in our exhibition The Great Escape (January 16 - February 7).

Culic's use of cold wax in her newest collection have a matte, velvety texture evoking the warmer autumn days spent hiking in Algonquin park. 

Laura Culic, Chikanishing, Cold Wax and Oil on Panel, 40 x 40.

Laura Culic, Chikanishing, Cold Wax and Oil on Panel, 40 x 40.

Hawkes' works approach the landscape from another perspective. Paring light and shade down to their essentials, while incorporating Art Nouveau and Haida influences, the artist creates vistas in which sky, land and water form an inseparable whole.

Erica Hawkes, "Sky Fall", Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 48"

Erica Hawkes, "Sky Fall", Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 48"

A selection of excellent sculptural works are also currently on display at WALL SPACE Gallery. Here are a few examples