scholarship

In her Waterloo studio: Linda Martinello

Linda Martinello is currently a 2012 Master of Fine Arts Candidate at the University of Waterloo, (Ontario).  She recently received a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Scholarship. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is a federal agency that promotes and supports Masters and PhD research in the humanities and social sciences. SSHRC enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada, and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.

It is rare for a student in a Visual Arts program to receive this scholarship. In conjunction with this, students who are successful in the SSHRC national scholarship competition and study at the University of Waterloo also receive the President’s Graduate Scholarship. A big congratulations to Linda!

More good news: Linda Martinello’s work was featured in this year’s Casey House Art with Heart Auction that took place this past Tuesday, Oct 18.  The piece sold with a very high final bid!

You can view Linda Martinello’s full curriculum vitae on our website.

Don’t miss this stunning work currently on exhibition at the gallery:

"Parnassus l", 2011, oil on Mylar, 42 x 62 inches

Several smaller studies are also available for viewing in the gallery.

Artist Statement:

My work as a painter is informed by my travels to ancient ruins and landscapes. I have developed methods of documenting and recording my impressions of these sites and using them later in the studio. This process springs from my personal journey of tracing my family history, along with the psychic and phenomenal experiences I have had while visiting ancient sites in Italy—the birthplace of my father—and Mexico, the birthplace of my mother. I have recently linked the central theme of mystery to the sublime in art and landscape.

As I travel to faraway, ancient sites—most recently Delphi and Crete in Greece, Ephesus and Cappadocia in Turkey, Palenque and Teotihuacán in Mexico, and the four corners of the American Southwest—I begin the first phase of my process, gathering data on the environment. I collect sound and video recordings of my explorations, take digital photographs of patterns and textures, and make journal notes on color, light, and other details of the moment. This elaborate gathering activity hearkens back to my passionate desire for information.

The second phase of my process occurs when I return to the studio and re-create these environments in the most multidimensional way possible. Surrounded by sound recordings, maps, informational booklets, menus, tickets, and mementos, I translate my travel experiences into hundreds of quick paintings on Mylar, which I favour for its slippery surface that allows me to have a gestural engagement with the work as if it were a single breath.

The visual diary that I create combines with the collected materials to heighten my powers of recollection, much like director Lee Strasberg’s method acting approach, which summons past experience to inform present interpretations. Like an actor, I transport myself into a disembodied state. My work becomes intuitive and unpredictable, like automatic writing with its exaggerated scale and perspective. Extremes between descriptive details and abstracted forms emerge, based on recall and memory, as if I am traveling between two realities. While my consciousness may have forgotten many details of the actual sites, the psychological and emotional connections that I felt return and become the forces that drive the work.

For me, to capture the sublime in landscapes is to capture the psychic phenomenon of the place. I subscribe to German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s thoughts on transcendentalism and introspection: “For something to become an object of knowledge, it must be experienced, and experience is structured by our minds—both space and time being the forms of our intuition or perception…We are never passive observers or knowers.” Hence I expect my viewers to be active participants in my works. The speed, breadth, physical marks, light, and space should provide a flashback to a moment in time for them.

In my work, as it has been in my life, answers are not always provided. Yet I offer clues and openings for audiences to inform my paintings with their own stories and personal experiences.

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