In Every Direction

December 8, 2016 – March 12, 2017
Jessica Hein, “The colour of there from here E’N”, 2013, graphite on paper, 130 x 130 cm

In Every Direction
Jessica Hein and Sylvia Matas
Janice Laking Gallery
December 8, 2016 to March 12, 2017
Curator: Renée van der Avoird
Reception: Thursday, December 8, 7 to 9 pm

The artworks of Jessica Hein and Sylvia Matas resemble maps: symbolic depictions of relationships between spatial elements. Like cartographers, both artists observe, interpret and chart natural phenomena. However, where a mapmaker strives for objective accuracy, Hein and Matas pursue a more subjective goal: to explore the crossover between psychological landscapes and the natural environment. In Every Direction brings together works on paper by these two Canadian artists whose maps, though neither navigational nor to-scale, invite contemplation on the complex nature of human experience.

Jessica Hein’s large-scale drawings are informed by her immediate perceptions and experiences in the landscape. Using cloud patterns as navigational cues, she depicts billowing expanses evocative of the Earth’s topography and meteorological systems. She brings the choreography of walking in urban and rural settings into her studio, translating her physical journeys into quietly beautiful compositions that record her own movements and those of her materials. Sylvia Matas explores our perceptions of natural phenomena, with a particular interest in celestial cycles, wind conditions and arboreal forms. Her bookwork and graphite drawings portray scenes viewed from multiple perspectives to illustrate the difficulty of mapping these unpredictable patterns. Rendered with expert technical skill and formal restraint, her works, like Hein’s, open new possibilities for imagining the world around us.

Jessica Hein studied visual art at NSCAD University in Halifax and received her Master of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto in 2013. She has exhibited her work across Canada at venues including the Khyber Institute of Contemporary Art, Halifax; Musée des beaux-arts de Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Québec; Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, Ontario; and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. Originally from Sudbury, she currently lives in Toronto.

Sylvia Matas is an interdisciplinary artist from Winnipeg. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the Chelsea College in London, England in 2008.  Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg; AKA Gallery, Saskatoon; Útúrdúr, Reykjavik; MKG127, Toronto; and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.