Tiffany April is a contemporary painter born in Montréal, QC and raised in Ottawa, ON. and Bracknell, Berkshire, England. April completed her BFA with honours at Concordia University in 2014, followed by a three-month artist residency in Berlin, Germany at TAKT A.I.R. in April 2015. She is currently pursuing her MFA full-time at the University of Ottawa. As an extension of her research, and her interest in illusion and virtual space, April completed an internship at the Great Canadian Theatre Corporation in set design. Her current explorations in materiality include light, sound, and reflective surfaces to create her own extended language of painting.
The figures and environments in my paintings dissipate and emerge from the residue of dissolving paint, layered and wiped away. Through my photographs of urban window spaces, as well as those constructed in my studio, I examine the illusionary quality of light and its ability to transform our bodies through reflections; where we remain recognizable yet depicted as grotesque and fragmented apparitions.
From a phenomenological viewpoint, we are intertwined with our environment and gain all knowledge of our reality through sensory experiences; which in our contemporary time is increasingly intertwined with digital technologies. My research into how visual perception informs our sense of self now encompasses broader social dynamics; including our relationship to light in a world of RGB screens, the effects of perceiving ourselves as pixelated self-representations, and a collective identity crisis linked to the rapid evolution of AI.
Repetition has become important in my practice. The uniqueness of each new rendering is a testament to both the fallibility of human perception and the constant transformation of imagery from reality to screen and back again. My source material always begins with human perception, which is captured through either photography or iPad and smartphone sketches, subsequently photoshopped and either printed, projected, or re-photographed and painted. Each translation into different mediums results in a significant loss of information and development of a series of characters with ambiguous identities and motives.
The viewers’ awareness of their own bodies and the space they inhabit has become a concern of mine. The necessity of the viewer’s immediate presence in my work contrasts the temporal and spatial ambiguity of the virtual landscapes we immerse ourselves in daily. In my practice, light and reflectivity transform images and heighten viewer’s consciousness of their participation in painting through optical perception and the influence of their physical form. They become akin to my characters through their distorted mirrored-self.
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