Running throughout the month of November, Hiraeth is thesolo show featuring stunning and colourful contemporary landscapes and “tree portraits” presented by JUDITH McKAY at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East in downtown Toronto.The Toronto artist explores fantasy as a means of finding peace in a frenetic world. Trees are her allegory for the endless pursuits of modern life: rooted, yet branching out to reach the sky.
Largely self-taught, Judith’s style is free-flowing. She uses both thick impasto and fluid colour to achieve movement and boldness. Fearless about colour, she uses a vibrant palette, applying interference and iridescent paints to achieve surrealistic effects. Her style is constantly evolving via frequent participation in workshops and exhibitions, as well as studying the techniques of other artists.
Judith (below L) was joined by her husband Rob Sylvester (below R), and her daughter Shannon (below C) came in all the way from New Jersey to celebrate the big opening reception!The gallery looked bright and welcoming on such a grey Saturday – and soon the guests started pouring in, admiring all the canvases….
ARTIST’s STATEMENT: Hiraeth (here-eye-th) is a Celtic word that means a wistful longing for a place to where you cannot return. A place that perhaps never was. The desire for a sense of peace and belonging are emotions I seek to capture in my work. Such desire can often turn to frustration when the real world doesn’t live up to fantasy, and so I depict trees, firmly rooted yet dancing in the wind, to symbolize resiliency as we continue to seek our true home, despite adversity. For this exhibition, I chose a vibrant palette and the use of high gloss medium and reflective paints to create an ethereal effect, as if awakening from a beautiful dream that quickly evaporates and eludes us. The pieces selected for display are meant to truly express what Hiraeth means to me. ~ Judith McKay
I had the opportunity of chatting briefly with Judith prior to opening the doors of the gallery and she kindly shared with me her process and inspirations, especially for this collection….
If you would like to see Judith’s gorgeous, lush paintings, visit www.urbangallery.ca for gallery hours and directions, and follow Judith on her Instagram account: @judithmckayart
Hiraeth runs now until Nov. 30th at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto.