January 11 – 22, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 14, 2 – 5 pm
Online Artist Talks: Sunday, January 22, 2:30 pm

Perspective is often something we hold on to as a part of our conditioning. Who we are, what we are becoming, what we love and what we hate, all stem from how we perceive the exterior.

HOW I SEE YOU is an exhibit put together by Propeller Gallery celebrating the Emerging Artist Members of Propeller over the past year. Collectively the artists are interested in untold stories, whether that be their own, their families, their cultures or those of a stranger, each artist shares how they perceive the world through art. Individuals behind the scenes now come to the surface to showcase “what meets their eye” through a display of artworks by six local Toronto grads:

Sara Andrea Borghi

My paintings are the reflection of my inner self, the struggle between Id and Ego that is vented through energetic brushstrokes, vivid colors, and figures that evoke memories, emotions, and a sense of freedom. I use my rationality to create a structural base for my art, but I let spontaneity take over and develop the base into its true art form. Rationality and instinct play a match to find equilibrium, the perfect balance between the inner and external Ego, the peace among one’s mind and body.

What we see is influenced by what we feel and what we feel is influenced by what we see. Humans’ perception of things is related to the eyes and the heart, what our mind sees, and what our body feels.

I dedicate this exhibition to my dad who passed away last September. After his death, I met many people who went across his path and, it happily surprised me to know the common description that everyone gave to him: The Good Gaint

My dad was one of the most important and essential persons in my life. He was my friend of adventures, the talented chef of the house, and a huge supporter. He left me with many good memories, plenty of light colors, and vibrant shapes. The eyes see and the heart speaks.

Sara Andrea was born in Busto Arsizio, Italy. After attending art school, she studied at Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti in Turin and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Painting. When she was 22, Sara traveled to Canada and was fascinated by its cultural diversity. After graduating from Toronto college in Arts Management she exhibited her artworks in different galleries and participated in various art projects.

Lauthika De

There is always an underlying question of identity and individuality that reflects in her work. With that, her zeal to create a community of like-minded individuals and healing through art shapes her perspective on souls she creates with.

Lauthika De, a 28-year-old from New Delhi, India, has been exploring cultures in Toronto for the past seven years. A mixed media artist currently striving to find herself through experimentation & mixed channels of expression. Her personal goal through her journey has been to compile stories, conversations, and experiences in the rawest and most philosophical way possible. 

Serena Kobayashi-LeBel

Serena Kobayashi-LeBel is a figurative queer artist whose paintings investigate the connection between our natural instincts and social upbringing. Passionate about capturing the fragility and resilience of today’s youth who face an increasingly uncertain future, she hybridizes natural imagery and the human body to represent a subject’s unique life experiences. What inspires her work most is the complex and dynamic relationships young people have with themselves as they learn to navigate their social environment and define their identity. Her style captures a delicate blend of vulnerability and ferality, favouring flowering imagery that charms the viewer only to reward them with a grotesque twist. At the core of her work, she creates strikingly queer pieces that offer insight into the complex emotions and struggles experienced by young adults in a rapidly decaying world.

Based in Toronto, Kobayashi-LeBel graduated with Honours from York Universities Bachelor of Fine Arts program in 2020, and most recently curated the Twenty-Something group exhibition with Propeller Art Gallery and participated in the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair in July of 2022.

Par Nair

Par addresses the transformations and translations of diasporic bodies by reworking and retouching her mother’s passport photograph through oil painting in her series titled, “a mother”. “Letters of haunting” is a way for Par to write labour and care-filled letters to her mother on her mother’s silk saree through hand embroidery. These are letters of love, of frustration, of longing, and of reaching. The presence of the hand in the labor intense process of hand embroidery implies how we may touch or not touch our mothers and grandmothers. The formal qualities of this work refer to themes of hybridity, double consciousness, fragmentation, longing, intergenerational translations, and knowledge transmissions.

Par Nair (she/her) is an Indian-born interdisciplinary artist and researcher who lives and makes in the GTA. Her practice which centers on oil paintings, embroidery, installation, performative work and creative writing focus on dual identities, hybrid cultures and fragmented realities of migrants.

She recently acquired her Master’s in Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design from OCAD University. This year her works were shown at Mayten’s Gallery (Toronto), Project Casa (Montreal), The Public Gallery (Toronto) and Neilson Creative Centre (Etobicoke). She is the recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2021-22), The Career Launcher Prize (2022) and Propeller Gallery’s Emerging Artist Award (2020). Her work celebrates the often invisible, misrepresented, and stereotyped voices and stories of Indian women.

Sarah Okello

این نیز بگذرد
…is a Persian Adage that translates to This Too Shall Pass. The personal view of someone is often influenced with the way we view ourselves and our own lives. From our own shores another may appear far out in the way they are navigating their own journey. In the adage the king requested for something that when he was sad it would make him happy and when he was happy it would make him sad. A piece of comfort for the loss that he had experienced in life. This ring that was inscribed with بگذرد نیز این was by a man who was advised the phrase and came to understand it as he went on his own life. When he gave the ring to the
king he offered a piece of his understanding of life. He offered a way of seeing what he experienced and the act of being seen with an abundant amount of space to feel the lows and highs in any moment of his life.

My practice began through my curiosity of film cameras and the journey to the final shot. What I choose to capture and share are moments on my personal journey that are parts of the shared human experience. I’m a multidisciplinary artist that expresses my wonders of the many ways we connect through the art I create.

Emily Zou

In a visual language that ranges from detailed surrealist illustrations, tableaus of candid characters, colourful dreams, and the obsessive intertwining of hoarded materials, all of Emily’s multi-stylistic works reflect a state of mind punctuated by emotional chaos and melancholy. The art object is born from obsessive labour to channel anxious energy into the material. In an age where mental illness and mental health awareness continues to rise, Emily hopes her work can contribute to this conversation and provide a space for dialogue, connection, and understanding.

Emily Zou is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily with drawing and painting media and found materials. She studied Fine Art at DJCAD in Scotland and is a BFA graduate from OCAD University’s Drawing & Painting program. In recent years, Emily has exhibited her work with Gallery 1313, John B. Aird Gallery, Propeller Art Gallery, Steps Public Art, Florence Contemporary Gallery, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Bloom Festival, Mackenzie Investments, and Art & Mindfulness (a year-long exhibition held at the University of Toronto to raise awareness for mental health).

Special thanks to our community partners, donors, and supporters. 

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