Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Little Squares: The Pixel as Material and Metaphor” at Glenhyrst Art Gallery

Little Squares: The Pixel as Material and Metaphor
Dave Kemp, Thelma Rosner, Mark Stebbins, Shaheer Zazai

Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Brantford, Ontario
Curated by Matthew Ryan Smith

January 18 – March 15, 2020

In this exhibition, artists Dave Kemp, Thelma Rosner, Mark Stebbins, and Shaheer Zazai examine how pixels are used as aesthetic material and metaphors for meaning. Pixels are small squares of colour that form the building blocks of digital images. When combined in a pattern with other pixels, they produce a complete picture. Despite its origins in digital screens, the word pixel now applies to non-digital imagery as well, and can be found in commercial advertising, interior design, fashion, architecture, and visual art. Working primarily in photography, painting, craft, and digital media, the artists in this exhibition approach pixels as visual devices to question our lived reality and experience of the world. While digital technology creeps toward higher forms of resolution, for instance 4k and 5k screen displays, these artists do otherwise—they break down pixilation to its essence, as a series of blocks, grids, or patterns, and employ these to create new works that appear like other media. In doing so, they bridge the divide between abstract painting and HD digital imagery, analog photography and digital photography, rug hooking and digital painting, and mass-produced objects and handicraft. Their work proposes different methods of how images structure memory, time, and place—they articulate the importance of what we look at and how we look at it in a society deeply consumed by pictures.

About the Artists
Dave Kemp is an artist whose practice looks at the intersections and interactions between art, science, and technology. His artworks have been exhibited widely at venues such as at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Ontario Science Centre. They are also included in the permanent collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Canada Council Art Bank. He currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Image Arts program at Ryerson University.

Thelma Rosner has been a professional visual artist for over forty years. She was educated at Smith College and Western University, where she was mentored by Paterson Ewan. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and England. She has received grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, McMaster University, McIntosh Gallery, and Museum London.

Mark Stebbins is an artist who works in painting, drawing and digital media to create images that connect craft, digital imaging and art history. Specific interests include abstraction, memory, quilting and pixilation. His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. He was awarded Honourable Mention in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2010 and has received grants by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. His work resides in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank and the Royal Bank of Canada, as well as numerous private collections worldwide.

Shaheer Zazai is an artist working in painting and digital media. His practice focuses on investigating the development of cultural identity in non-Western diasporas. He received a BFA from OCAD University in 2011 and was the OCAD University Digital Painting Atelier Artist-in-Residence in 2015. A recipient of a Canadian Ontario Arts Council grant, he has since had solo and group exhibitions at galleries including the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Trinity Square Video, John B. Aird Gallery, and Project Gallery.

Glenhyrst Art Gallery acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee Peoples. Brantford is situated on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, which includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

Glenhyrst Art Gallery is fully accessible and includes an elevator and accessible washroom. The main entrance is accessed by a concrete pathway and may be opened with an automatic door opener. For assistance or questions about the gallery, please call us. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

For more information, please contact:
Glenhyrst Art Gallery
20 Ava Rd., Brantford ON
N3T 5G9 (519) 756-5932

“Oblivion Souvenirs” at Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal

Please join me at the opening of Oblivion Souvenirs, my second solo exhibition at Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal. 

Through 14 paintings and 4 digital works — equally encompassing both abstract and figurative imagery — this exhibition explores memory in the context of digital imaging, as well as the recording of experience through hand-labour and textile practices such as quilting. 

Many of the paintings are based on photographs I have taken with my mobile phone, part of my immense and ever-growing archive of photographs capturing moments I barely remember. In converting these snapshots to paintings I have reduced their precision (by reducing the pixel dimensions, for instance) but greatly increased my engagement, spending up to 100 hours per painting to render the them in acrylic. Through different means of altering or degrading the original images, each work suggests some degree of loss, fragility and impermanence.

The digital works (offered as limited edition archival inkjet prints) fuse the immediacy of mobile photography with the slow deliberate nature of quilting, reconstructing quick gestural drawings and digital photographs piece-by-piece from hundreds of scans of textiles, predominantly of my family’s clothing. Figures are rendered simultaneously intimate yet indistinct, as if floating on the cusp of memory. 

Working in a slow, craft-like manner I’ve attempted to slow down time in relation to moments of my life, creating works that embody the tension between speed and slowness, between memory and oblivion, between holding on and letting go.

“Particules bleues” at Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal


Particules bleues

Extension, 2015, acrylic paint/ink on panel, 5 x 5 in.

Marie-Eve BeaulieuCarol BernierMichel CampeauJean-Sébastien DenisCatherine FarishDenis JuneauMark Stebbins, Mark Francis, JoeYan Hui

July 15 – August 5, 2017
Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal

The works in this exhibition will offer, each in their own way, a uniquely microscopic view of a wider world. Minute, predominantly blue, particles will lead the viewer’s gaze into the medium that, at this enlarged scale, will appear strange and disconcerting. 

Brought together here will be works by artists Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Carol Bernier, Michel Campeau, Jean-Sébastien Denis, Catherine Farish, Mark Francis, JoeYan Hui, Denis Juneau and Mark Stebbins.

Chacune des œuvres de cette exposition offre, à sa manière, une vision microscopique unique d’un environnement plus vaste. Ces particules minuscules, à la dominante de bleu, font pénétrer le regard du spectateur dans la matière qui, à cette échelle agrandie, nous apparaît étrangère et déroutante.

À l’occasion de cette exposition, le travail de différents artistes sera réuni : Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Carol Bernier, Michel Campeau, Jean-Sébastien Denis, Catherine Farish, Mark Francis, JoeYan Hui, Denis Juneau et Mark Stebbins.

Matthew Ryan Smith – “Mark Stebbins: Pixel, Paxel, Puxel”

Writer and curator Matthew Ryan Smith wrote about my work in his essay “Mark Stebbins: Pixel Paxel Puxel” to accompany my exhibition As Raindrops Become The Rain  Lorsque les gouttes deviennent pluie at Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal.

Read it here in English or French (pdf format).

Learn more about Matthew Ryan Smith and his many writing and curatorial projects at

Arc Poetry Magazine

Issue 68 of Arc Poetry Magazine is now on news stands and features my piece Division on the cover.  There’s also a seven-page spread showing a variety of my pieces in the middle of the magazine.

Two of the pieces depicted are brand new: a little preview of work that will form part of my upcoming solo exhibition, Glitch-alikes, at Galerie BAC, Bigué Art Contemporain in Montreal.  Glitch-alikes opens September 6 and will be on view through September 29, 2012.

Since its debut in 1978, Arc Poetry Magazine, Canada’s only poetry-exclusive forum, publishes new work by Canada’s most exciting new and established poets, alongside considered discussions of the form through articles, interviews and book reviews.  Each issue also features a showcase on the work of one Canadian visual artist.  Arc Poetry publishes three issues per year: summer, winter, and a themed fall Arc Annual.