New Dimensions 2024 | uOttawa X Wall Space

Élie Crighton
Emma Gauthier
Chris Glabb 
Bella Laflamme 
Erin Szturm

Jul 13 - 27
 Saturday, July 13 @ 3 - 5 pm

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Wall Space Gallery is proud to present the inaugural New Dimensions exhibition in collaboration with the University of Ottawa's BFA program, featuring works from Élie Crighton, Emma Gauthier, Chris Glabb, Bella Laflamme and Erin Szturm.

Working across painting, animation, video, sculpture, printmaking, and their intersections, these five artists unravel the underlying mechanics of (dis)comfort. Their respective approaches find common ground through their complex relationships to the concept of ‘Home’, and through feminist and queer perspectives on the objectification and mythologizing of the self.

New Dimensions 2024 Catalogue

Self-portraits mark the basis of Erin Szturm, Élie Crighton, and Emma Gauthier’s works. Szturm centers herself within surreal home environments painted in murky browns and acidic yellow-greens, their interiors in a state of disrepair or abandon. Casting herself amidst chimerical beings and tarot and religious symbols, ‘Home’ becomes enveloped in a sense of mysterious unease.

"I am an artist as I am a person: an observer, collector, and researcher into the pleasures, horrors, 'nones,' and 'alls' of human experiences. My interests in the Home are considered through Feminist and Surrealist narratives. Fractured realities on hard, ephemeral surfaces come to life via frenetically applied oils. Results reveal humorous, disgusting, spiritual, and used aspects
overlapping our mundane world. Myths devoid of reason and folklore without moralities
reconcile as variations of myself converse and play. I hope viewers come to gnosis here."

- Erin Szturm

In contrast, Crighton’s mutli-panel animation uses the moving image to unearth the truthfulness in the mundanity of the everyday, and the things we learn about ourselves amidst the repetition of routine. Gauthier uses her own body as the meeting point for conflating the mediums of painting and ceramics. From a feminist perspective, she collapses the space between the sensual and the representational to question the distance between the concept of ‘a body’ and ‘an object’.

"I am a queer Franco-Ontarian artist whose work mainly focuses on oil painting and ceramics. My practice explores themes of femininity, the self, the body, and the objectification of the female self. I am fascinated by the relationships between Craft and Fine Arts, oil painting and clay, and body and self. I use form and colour to question what it means to objectify oneself as an art object in patriarchal structures."

- Emma Gauthier

Chris Glabb and Bella Laflamme, bring focus to the social and physical structures around us that influence how we understand value creation and self-determination. Glabb, working in printmaking, pieces together fragments of lowbrow pop culture imagery into gritty and darkly-ironic narratives of Queerness and Indigenousness.

"This work is a fragment from a larger work which showcases 7 red shoes from film. These films include the cult classics, horror flicks and an X-rated video. Each panel represents a facet of myself. The other works interrogate topics of mental illness and fashion, this one asks the viewer: Are you a ‘Friend of Dorothy’? Friend of Dorothy has been, since before homosexuality was legalized in the United States, a euphemism for a gay man. The connection to the death of the Wicked Witch of the East to provide the slippers to Dorothy cannot be overlooked. So, are you a Friend of Dorothy?"

- Chris Glabb, on Untitled (Fragment from 7 Red Shoes)

With a similar twist of humour, Laflamme’s video work, paintings, and construction-material sculptures playfully dissect materialistic-value and use the field of construction as a metaphor for (in)stability in personal and interpersonal relationships.

These five artists find the chasms between the clearly defined; the spaces where culturally prescribed definitions of ‘home’ and ‘self’ are deemed unreliable and insufficient. Crighton, Gauthier, Glabb, Laflamme, and Szturm reveal how the homescapes and bodies meant to provide us security can be ambigious spaces of meaning.

- Tiffany April

Élie Crighton

Élie Crighton (she/her) is an Ottawa based emerging artist and a recent graduate of the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts program at the University of Ottawa. Her practice focuses on oil painting, animation, and illustration. Élie creates detailed and colorful figurative work as she experiments with distortion, exaggerated perspectives, texture, and reflection. Her work, highly introspective, centers on themes of domesticity, familiarity and routine, and allows her to detail her personal experiences. She explores the home as a place of comfort, as she strives to find some depth and a source of interest in the dullness of day to day life.

Emma Gauthier

Emma Gauthier (she/her) is Queer French-Canadian artist based in Ottawa, Ontario. She completed her BFA (minor in English) at the University of Ottawa in 2024. She will begin her Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa in the fall of 2024.

Gauthier is a multi-media artist, focusing on oil painting and ceramics. She explores how to make these mediums meet to create dialogues of the self, the body, the feminine, and the objectification of the female self.

Gauthier will be featured in the upcoming exhibition, New Dimensions 2024, at Wall Space Gallery (Ottawa, ON). She was previously featured in Means of Abundance (Ottawa, ON, 2024), Happy Goat Evening Gallery (Ottawa, ON, 2023), From Our Hands (Ottawa, 2022), Portr4it5 (Ottawa, 2022), and Young at Art (Ottawa, 2019). Her work was published in the Means of Abundance exhibition catalogue (2024).

Gauthier has received the Edmund and Isobel Ryan Scholarship in Painting (University of Ottawa, 2024), merit scholarships from the University of Ottawa (2021-2024), the Special High Skills Major Valérie Gonneau Award (ESC Béatrice-Desloges, 2020), and the Principal’s Award (ESC Béatrice-Desloges, 2020).

Chris Glabb

Chris Glabb (b. 2000) is an emerging Métis & Indigenous artist. He aims to make accessible the themes of Fine Art through lowbrow referentiality, irony, a dry sense of humour, and the explicit appropriation of existing images. Their work relates to issues of hierarchy, intersectional Queerness, and Indigenousness. With a Post-Pop Art sensibility, Chris aims to redefine relationships between moments in culture through image manipulation, AI-Generation, and printmaking. The inspiration behind many of his works include video games, fashion, and non-objective painting.

Bella Laflamme

Bella Laflamme is an emerging artist from Ottawa ON and completed the Bachelors of Fine Art program at the University of Ottawa in 2024. She works across multiple mediums including oil painting, sculpture, and installation. Her interests in construction, ruin, and machinery can be traced throughout her work as she uses it to construct understanding within herself and the people around her. Her fascination with these themes is always intensifying
and constantly evolving.

Erin Szturm

Erin Szturm (she/her) is an emergent artist who embraces oils as her favoured medium due to their forgiving nature, which allows hours of frantic reworking and patient detailing of pieces. The artist often combines rural scenes with urban and personalized contexts as she herself was uprooted from Northern Ontario, and her hometown of Thunder Bay, to the political-cultural hub that is Ottawa for her BFA. This shift from observing the wilds of forestry, farming, and freshwater to traversing galleries, museums, and parks invigorated her mind. This invigoration allowed fuel for the research that provided new perspectives on familiar sites/sights evolving in
her practice. No matter the setting, she seeks someplace quiet to reflect on all she has taken in.

Her love of natural sciences, varying histories, and man-made fictions (no matter on screen, in fine works, or within literature) contrast and combine as Szturm examines relationships between
existence and created realities. Inspirations she draws from range from artists like Zdzisław Beksiński, Edward Povey, and Margeaux Williamson; movements like Realism, Romanticism, and Surrealism; books like Danielewski’s House of Leaves to Dante’s Inferno; internet “Unfiction”; and the work of skillful directors such as Ari Aster, Brea Grant, and Alan Resnick.

Regardless of ever changing and developing inspirations, Szturm will adapt and evolve in hopes to support herself with the art she loves, show in galleries, and teach others what skills she has so
they may live beyond her.