ON VIEW AT THE BLUFFS GALLERY: Christine Demore’s RECOVERY
Featuring works by Christine Demore
Curated by Christine Demore
Exhibition Dates: August 15 to September 14
Artist Meet and Greet/Reception: September 6, 3 PM–5 PM
Bluffs Gallery at Scarborough Arts
1859 Kingston Road
RECOVERY presents artwork created by Canadian artist, Christine Demore. Demore’s exhibit explores self-expression and living with mental illness through the combination of themes relating to art therapy, lived experience, and personal reflection. Demore’s work is marked by bright, multi-layered colours, sometimes layered with line and stippling to create dimension. Her abstract pour technique is creative, modern, and refined as it creates optical illusions and invokes a unique emotional response.
“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.” – Hannah Gadsby
At the cusp of a breakdown, words failed me. When I was no longer able to read or write about what was happening inside me, acrylic pour painting became my outlet. My art is an attempt to express and work through the abstract emotions that accompany life with mental illness, healing from developmental abuse, and seeking paths of recovery. Acrylic pouring is a messy and unpredictable form of painting that lacks the precision of hyperrealism, therefore creating space for a multiplicity of interpretation.
My painting practice is rooted in mindfulness and is therapeutic. For me, painting is a grounding act while I mix, pour, spill, wipe, blow, drip, or splatter paint. These physical experiences help reconnect an often disconnected mind and body. Many final pieces are reminiscent of the physical body like brain synapsis, or the earth such as geodes or minerals. The canvas is a place where I allow myself to make and explore mistakes. Making mistakes in a safer space helps to challenge my debilitating perfectionism and teaches me to find beauty in the unintended.
Sometimes my work opens the door to words again. I am always looking for the language to express, explain, and move through my experiences of abuse and mental illness. The canvas is a new way to clear a path to that language. What comes out on the canvas remains abstract while writing about the painting experience crystallizes my own understanding of recovery. In this way, my work rejects the stigma surrounding mental illness and abuse recovery and calls on others to seek support and be kind with themselves.
— Christine Demore, August, 2018
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Christine Demore was born in 1982 and grew up in Picton, Ontario. There she observed local artist and artisans draw on the surrounding pastoral landscapes and provincial park beaches to recreate their natural beauty. As a young artist, Christine practiced floral and landscape watercolour but was disappointed with her lack of passion for realism. Instead, she found herself drawn to impressionist, cubist, and abstract artists in her high school art history classes. Unfortunately, without encouragement to continue her work, Christine abandoned visual art and focused her energy on academic writing. As an academic she achieved her B.A in Psychology as well as Women’s Studies and Feminist Research from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, followed by a Masters in English and Film at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
After a decade in academics, Christine decided to leave, excited for new opportunities and modes of expressing herself. She calls this time “detoxing” from academia. During this time she shifted her writing to personal essay while sometimes picking up a paintbrush, again trying to recreate reality but feeling like she fell short. This period is also marked by her need to address underlying mental illness that Christine now needed support to address.
In the wake of a debilitating depressive episode in 2017, Christine stumbled across an online video about acrylic pour artists. Depression and anxiety had reduced her ability to express complex emotions, so she was drawn to the abstract painting practice as a way to work through her mental illness. Before she knew it her apartment was taken over with canvas and a rainbow of paints!
When she isn’t painting, Christine is writing about developmental abuse struggles and recovery, living with mental illness, as well as feminism and LGBTQ+ activism.
Christine has exhibited her work in group shows in Ottawa, participated in live painting events, as well as the Scarborough Arts’ Birkdale Art in the Park 2018. She resides in Toronto, Ontario with her partner and cat, living the urban life a small town girl always dreamed about.
CONTACT THE ARTIST