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well hello there: an introduction

Hello there! My name is Michelle MacKinnon, and I am beyond grateful to be The Gathered Gallery’s March Digital Artist in Residence! I thought I would begin by giving you an overview of my background as it has been increasingly prevalent on my practice as of late:

I grew up in the teeny-tiny town of Millhaven, Ontario (about half an hour outside of Kingston) where my closest neighbours were cows. I moved to Toronto for my BFA in Visual Arts at York University (where I was primarily a painter, only beginning a drawing practice late in the game in third year), moved back to Kingston for two years after graduating (got a studio, made work almost every day and worked at the Kingston Arts Council), and then moved back to Toronto for my MFA in Visual Arts at York University.

After my MFA, my practice shifted a fair bit when I moved to Corner Brook, Newfoundland & Labrador for a teaching gig and I became enamoured with place for the first time in my life.

Since, I have continuously moved around to teach at various universities, living in (and I consider living in to be when I uproot, pack up, and bring everything with me):

Toronto/Tichborne (ON) -> Corner Brook (NL) -> St. John’s (NL) -> Toronto/Tichborne -> Sault St. Marie (ON) -> Toronto/Tichborne -> Sault St. Marie -> Toronto/Tichborne -> Sault St. Marie -> Toronto/Tichborne -> Corner Brook -> Port Union (NL) -> Toronto/Tichborne, -> Corner Brook -> Toronto/Tichborne, bringing us to my current place of residence, Corner Brook

...all in the last four years. As one may assume, moving around so much has greatly impacted my practice!

Within the work I will be exploring in this residency, I am thinking about how the notion of home can endure and evolve, and how it exists beyond spatial and temporal boundaries. I am interested in how longing and sentimentality can persist within seemingly mundane objects, and how they provide nostalgic links to the past that may offer certain comforts and homesickness.

I work primarily in drawing, though I’ll be experimenting with some exciting new ideas this month. Currently, alongside this digital residency, I am the Artist in Residence at the Grenfell Art Gallery, as well as a per-course instructor at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. It will be a busy month as I am leading up to a solo exhibition at the Grenfell Art Gallery in May 2020, and I can’t wait to share it with all y’all!


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