I paint and make collage because I love the interplay between figure and ground. The surface of a canvas has often been referred to as a window, but it shares more properties with a screen – a space that contains both information and sensation. I am interested in contemporary visuality, digital overwhelm and how artists have continuously developed new languages to describe how society affects the human being and vice versa. Recently I have developed a process that combines painting and collage, which allows me to respond to images that already circulate in society. I work with fashion magazines, tearing out random image fragments and adhering them to the canvas like a puzzle. Each composition is developed through a spontaneous, intuitive process. The surfaces I create look abstract yet they are full of fault lines, crevices and folds sampled from images of the female body and architecture. Through my work, I aim to destabilise strongly editorialised content and question how we view and process images today.
CV & Education
Born Canada. Lives in London, UK
MFA in Fine & Media Arts, NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
BA Honors Art & English, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Graduated with Distinction
2014 A Public Signature, The Invisible Line, London, UK
2013 The Occurrence of You & Me, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Grimsby, Canada
2013 Self-Similar, Cape Breton University Art Gallery, Sydney, Canada
2012 Self-Similar, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, Canada
2011 Self-Similar, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, Canada
2008 The Pink House, Centre des arts actuels Skol, Montréal, Canada
2007 The Pink House, Gallery Connexion, Fredericton, Canada
2005 The Pink House, Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Canada
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Contemporary Masters from Britian. Curated by Robert Priseman. Jiangsu Art Museum, Nanjing, China; Artall Gallery, Nanjing, China; Yantai Art Museum, Yantai, China; Tianjin Academy of Fine Art, China.
TBD, group exhibition. Curated by Anna McNay. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London, UK
Dear Life. Curated by Shauna McCabe, Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Phantom Limb, Remington Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Contemporary British Painting, Quay Arts Centre, Isle of Wight, UK
Vai e Vem / Back and Forth, VISA Gallery, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada
Vai e Vem / Back and Forth, Museu de Arte de Joinville, Joinville, Brazil
Contemporary British Painting, St. Marylebone Crypt, London, UK
I AM NSCAD, Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Canada
Activating the Archives, Hackney Archives with Banner Repeater, London, UK
Orbits and Occults: It Won’t Be the End of Things, Gerald Moore Gallery, London, UK
Avoidance of the Real, Gallery Jones, Vancouver, Canada
Plaskett Ten Years, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
The Travelling Light, The New Gallery, Calgary, Canada
My Mother's Alphabet, six hour performance for Nocturne Art at Night, Halifax, Canada
The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Contemporary Painting in Canada, curated by Louise Déry and Julie Bélisle, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, Canada
Lieux Échafaudé, Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal, Canada
Summer Exhibition, Florence Trust, London, UK
Stellar Living, Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada
Some Kind of Wonderful, 4th Kitchener-Waterloo Biennial, curated by Nancy Campbell, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Canada
Reciprocal, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Canada,
Plaskett: The First Five Years, Emily Carr University, Vancouver, Canada
Traces, with Tinka Bechert & Marcia Harris, Skew Gallery, Calgary, Canada
Kära Ragna, Babel Art Space, Trondheim, Norway
Habituation, with Michael Lewis, Forest City Gallery, London, Canada
CAFKA.07: Haptic, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener & Area, Kitchener, Canada
Transparent, The Granary, Fiskars, Finland
Art on paper, Dale Smith Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Annual Juried Exhibition, first prize winner, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Grimsby, Canada
“Hello Dolly!” SPIN Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Impassé, with Adrienne Spier & Jeremy Drummond, Truck Gallery, Calgary, Canada
Sticks & Stones, SPIN Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Panorama, SPIN Gallery, Toronto, ON Canada
Nice to meet you, Muger Gallery, Ulsan, Korea
2016 Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence (Toronto, Canada)
2014 The Expansionists (Whitstable, UK)
2012 Fiskars AIR (Fiskars, Finland)
2011 Musagetes in partnership with Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (Guelph, Canada)
2010 Florence Trust (London, UK), London Metropolitan University (UK)
2007 Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder (Trondheim, Norway)
2006 Guest artist: Open Studio (Toronto, Canada)
2004 Informal Architectures, organized by Anthony Kiendl, The Banff Centre (Banff, Canada)
VISITING ARTIST ACTIVITIES
Panel speaker in Collaboration, Universities Art Association of Canada Conference, NSCAD University (Halifax, NS)
Visiting artist lecture at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS)
Symosium speaker in The Immediacy of Paint: The Role of Painting in the Digital Age, University of Suffolk (Ipswich, UK)
Conference speaker in Motherhood and Creative Practice, London South Bank University (London, UK)
Symposium speaker in Painting/Position/Place, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver, BC)
Visiting artist lectures at Cape Breton University Art Gallery (Sydney, NS), St. Francis Xavier University Art Gallery (Antigonish, NS), NSCAD University (Halifax, NS), OCAD University (Toronto, ON), Sheridan (Toronto, ON) , Grimsby Public Art Gallery (Grimsby, ON), Galerie de l'UQAM (Montréal, QC)
Visiting artist lectures at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery (Halifax), NSCAD University (Halifax)
Visiting artist lectures at MacDonald Stewart Art Centre (Guelph, ON), University of Guelph (Guelph, ON), McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)
Visiting artist lectures at Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, NB), Toronto School of Art (Toronto, ON)
Visiting artist lectures at McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton, ON), University of Guelph (Guelph, ON), Visiting artistic lectures at Centre des arts actuels Skol (Montreal, QC), St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School (Oakville, ON), Gallery Connexion (Fredericton, NB)
Organizer & Speaker, Shotgun Artist Talks (Guelph, ON)
Visiting artist lectures at Brock University (St. Catharines, ON), McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)
Sessional Instructor, Level IV Special Topics in Painting, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Instructor, Introduction to Drawing, Fall, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, ON
Individual Course Appointment, Introduction to Studio Drawing, NSCAD University, Halifax, NS
Instructor, Portrait Drawing, Winter, NSCAD University Continuing Studies, Halifax, NS
Teaching Assistant, Intro Visual Culture (F. Dorsey), NSCAD University, Halifax, NS
Instructor, Saturday Children’s Art Class, gr. 1-3, NSCAD University Continuing Studies, Halifax, NS
Instructor, Teen Drawing Studio, gr. 7-9, NSCAD University Continuing Studies, Halifax, NS
Instructor, Portrait Drawing, Spring session, NSCAD University Continuing Studies, Halifax, NS
Individual Course Appointment, Level III Studio (Special topic): Think, Build, Draw, NSCAD
University, Halifax, NS
Teaching Assistant, Intro Visual Culture (S. MacEachearn), NSCAD University, Halifax, NS
Artist in Education, Ontario Arts Council, various elementary schools, Toronto, ON
Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Painting (G. Ferguson), NSCAD University, Halifax, NS
Instructor, Saturday Children’s Art Class, gr. 4-6, NSCAD University Continuing Studies, Halifax, NS
Artist in the Schools, Toronto District School Board, Toronto, ON
Artist in Education, Ontario Arts Council, various secondary schools, Toronto, ON
Artist in the Schools, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto, ON
SELECTED GRANTS & AWARDS
Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
Travel Grant, Canada Council for the Arts
Long-list, East London Painting Prize, Bow Arts & Legacy List, London, UK
New Creative Markets, Space & European Regional Development Fund, London, UK
Patrick Hamilton Studio Bursary, Florence Trust studios, London, UK
Visual Art Project Grant: Production, Canada Council for the Arts
Artist’s Access to Art Colleges, Arts Council England, London Met University, London, UK
Visual Art Project Grant: Research/Creation, Canada Council for the Arts
Chief Organiser, Shotgun Artist Talks in Guelph, Ontario Arts Council, Government of Ontario
Emerging Artist Grant, Ontario Arts Council, Canada
Travel Grant to an International Artist Residency, Canada Council for the Arts
Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award, Vancouver/Toronto, Canada
Residency Scholarship, Informal Architectures, The Banff Centre, Canada
Joseph Beuys Memorial Scholarship, NSCAD University, Canada
Travel Grant, NSCAD University, Canada
Graduate Scholarship & Teaching Assistantship, NSCAD University, Canada
Artist in Education Grant, Ontario Arts Council, Canada
Artist in Education Grant, Ontario Arts Council, Canada
Humanities Medal for Special Achievement, McMaster University, Canada
Graduating Scholarship for Leadership & Achievement, McMaster University, Canada
Lorna & David Somers Award for Artistic Achievement, McMaster University, Canada
1997 - 2000
Dean’s Honour List, McMaster University, Canada
Robert Priseman. Contemporary Masters from Britian. Jiangsu Art Museum, Jiangsu Arts and Crafts Museum and Yantai Art Museum, China. Digital publication, 2017.
Ehryn Torrell: Self-Similar. Monograph. Co-published in Canada: Saint Mary's University Art Gallery (Halifax), Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (Guelph), Cape Breton University Art Gallery (Sydney), 2014.
Laura Schneider. “Review: Ehryn Torrell at Nocturne Art at Night.” Magenta Magazine (Spring 2014).
Elissa Barnard. "Nocturne playful, transcendent - and very magical." Halifax Chronicle Herald (Oct 20 2013).
Julie Bélisle et al. The Painting Project. A Snapshot of Painting in Canada. Montreal: Galerie de L'UQAM, 2013.
Shannon Webb-Campbell. "Urban Visionary: Ehryn Torrell finds life in crumbling cityscapes." Visual Arts News, Spring 2013.
Peter Van Hiel. “A mother's final message.” Grimsby: Grimsby Lincoln News (8 October 2013).
Bill Clarke. “Family valued.” Exhibition essay. Grimsby: Grimsby Public Art Gallery, 2013.
Lizzy Hill. “Ehryn Torrell at SMU Art Gallery.’ Halifax: Akimbo (18 September 2012).
Lizzy Hill. “Construction sight.” Halifax: The Coast (23 August 2012).
Paul Bayley & Colin Perry. Florence Trust 2011 Summer Exhibition. Catalogue. London: Florence Trust, 2011.
Rob O’Flanagan. “Exploring the fragility of the built environment.” Guelph: Guelph Mercury, front page feature, 22 February 2011.
Nancy Campbell. Some Kind of Wonderful. Catalogue. Kitchener: Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, 2009.
Clint Roenisch et al. Carte Blanche Vol. 2: Painting, Toronto: Magenta Foundation, 2008.
Sally McKay et al. Reciprocal. Catalogue. Hamilton: McMaster Museum of Art. 2008.
Anthony Kiendl, ed. Informal Architectures: Space and Contemporary Culture. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2008.
Plaskett: The First Five Years. Exhibition catalogue. Joseph Plaskett Foundation. 2008.
Andrew Sheil. "In places, empty spaces." Zephyr Magazine, Issue 1, vol 1 (Dec 2007).
Karen Furlotte. “An Alice in Wonderland-like adventure.” Fredericton: The Aquinian (13 Feb 2007).
Karen Ruet. “Ehryn Torrell’s little pink house.” Fredericton: Telegraph Journal (17 Feb 2007).
Carol-Ann Ryan. “The pink house.” Exhibition essay, Fredericton: Gallery Connexion, 2007.
Alex Mason. “Clutter.” Sounds like Canada, CBC Radio (22 February 2006).
David Collier. “Local building provides inspiration for NSCAD MFA student.” Halifax: St. Mary’s University Journal (18 January 2006).
Elissa Barnard. “Demolition delights.” Halifax: Halifax Chronicle Herald (3 December 2005).
NUMEROUS PRIVATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS