Material Nature | CERA, a collective of six artists exploring wax

May 3 – 21, 2017

Material Nature at the Propeller Gallery, Toronto 
an exhibition by CERA, a collective of six artists exploring wax

Dania Al-OBaidi pushes her materials to their absolute breaking point. This boundary pushing and border breaking is realized in dynamic encaustic and mixed media works

Anastessia Bettas is an encaustic painter who is influenced by urban landscapes and cartography. She uses scraping and incised encaustic techniques to create grids that evoke urban erosion and aerial views

Maggie Doswell layers applications of wax and ink, thereby transcribing the transition from reality to abstraction.  Compositions are structured through heat and cold at various stages of production; geometrical shapes and elements of pixelization characterize her current work 

Claudia Mandler McKnight combines cold wax and oils to create contrasting viscosities in landscapes of the heart and mind

Melissa Tseng utilizes multiple layers of transparent pigmented beeswax to achieve visual depth and glowing luminosity. She also paints acrylic, overlaying subtle glazes to achieve the soft radiance  associated with encaustic paintings

Linda Virio employs heated wax to accentuate areas of smooth translucence, juxtaposed with fields of opaque encaustic texture.  Her paintings interpret her rural surroundings

​When an artist conceives of a work of art, she selects the materials that will best convey her intention and desired effect.  Each medium has its own dynamic nature.  A specific construction process will yield a final product, but the result is determined by both the individual workmanship of the artist and the nature of the material used. 

The theme of the paintings is the exploration of wax, its material properties and its nature.  That is, how wax can be transmogrified through hot or cold wax applications, or even replicated through the discerning application of acrylic polymer mediums. In doing so, the material reflects each artist’s intent and informs the completed work in unique ways.

For example, beeswax will melt when heated, but the resulting piece will very much depend on the technique, the process used to heat and the individual nature of the wax.  Cold  wax may be added to alkyd mediums and oil pigments in a series of delicate layers, or may be mixed with oil paints to create rich impastos.  Acrylics may be combined with polymer emulsions to create veils of colour that look like encaustic fusion.    

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

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