still/life – Ian McKinnon at ARTsPLACE


Artist Website

Ian McKinnon still/life
May 5 – June 16, opening Sunday, May 5, 1 – 3 pm
ARTsPLACE Gallery, 396 St. George St., Annapolis Royal
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still/life will comprise approximately 130 drawings. The small panels will be installed so as to suggest a tessellation of the gallery wall/s. The exhibition will include a 4-week residency in the gallery space itself where the artist will continue to make daily drawings of objects brought by members of the public.

McKinnon describes these drawings as his “visual theology”: the highly rendered objects expressing time, space, light and shadow as we understand it in the created order. To the thoughtful eye, this high realism is inconsistent with the iridescent gold that holds it. The gold iridescent “ground” is God, Glory, and the infinite – all which is not created.

still/life will invite the viewer to engage contemplatively with the drawings and to ponder why we seek out such spaces, seek out art – and why we make it; and to reflect further on the vocabulary of transcendence and healing we so often use to describe our experiences with art. These quiet works speak of stillness, of being fully here in the present and presence of grace – of life, still.
Ian McKinnon is a Halifax based artist and educator. He has a BFA from NSCAD (1980) and an MFA from Concordia (1994.) A part-time faculty member, Ian has taught drawing at NSCADU in the Foundation Division since 2003. After course work at the Atlantic School of Theology (2005/6), Ian transferred to the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College (University of Toronto) where he completed a Master of Theology Studies (2011). His thesis, “Mutual Illumination and the Artist: Dispossession, Disinterested Love and Making Other” is an exploration of and argument for the necessity of theology and contemporary art entering a dialogue. In 2011 Ian resumed his part-time teaching at NSCADU. March 2014 to December 2016 he was Parish Artist-in-Residence at St. Paul’s Anglican Church (Halifax, Nova Scotia) where besides pursuing his own work in a studio graciously provided by the church, he also established a program exhibiting and writing about other artists’ work, within the church itself.

A series of large abstract paintings titled “Fragments of Glory” was generated during his residency at St. Paul’s Church. Currently Ian is nearing the end of 15-month project that has culminated in a drawing series, titled “Still/Life,” comprising over 130 pieces.