Artist Talk with Claudia Mandler McKnight



Saturday, April 1st 2023

2 PM  – 3:30 PM

Free entry

Would you like to delve deeper into Claudia Mandler McKnight’s work? Are you curious about the path she took and the meanings behind her paintings and installations? 

Join us on Saturday, April 1st at 2 PM to learn about her methods, her studies, and ask questions from the woman herself! Explore her beautiful works in Quest Art’s Upper Gallery on the Second floor of the MCC building, and join us to know more about each piece.

If you’re an aspiring artist this is a great opportunity to learn from a successful, professional artist! All ages are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided. 

Artist Statement 

My paintings and photographs are visceral responses to first-hand experiences of nature, and to the physical energies of the forces which shape a site. Research methods include sustained contemplation, expressive drawing, meditative walks, long boat rides and keen observation of what I can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. I am interested in what a specific place feels like emotionally, rather than rendering its outward appearance in topographic detail. Moreover, my intent is to communicate my sense of this site to the viewer.

The concept of biophilia, which posits that life has a mysterious inner dynamic, a life force of its own, is fundamental to my practice. Contrary to the narcissistic notion that human beings, by virtue of their intellect, are in charge of the world, biophilia views the human to be a living creature among countless life-forms. This awareness of interconnection in the network of life, and of the vitality of matter, guides my choice of subject matter and art processes.

Through gestural mark-making with thick oil gesso, I generate irregular surface textures on wood panel. This underpainting lays down the basic composition. Subsequent layers of cold wax and oil pigment, thinly applied in transparent glazes, overlap and fuse to create abstract, ephemeral landscapes which simultaneously dissolve and reorder chaotic elements into a surreal, blurred and compressed space.

My photographic images simultaneously distill and augment the painted panels. The lens-based work has been a bridge between observations made on site, and the translation of colour and contour into visceral mark-making in the studio. I find beauty and meaning in conveying the immaterial through floating essences and elusive luminescence.

Installation elements of on-site sound recordings, and natural materials sourced from Bone Island, Georgian Bay, seek to evoke textured memories, inflection points, and conversations between the shoreline and the art materials.

-Claudia Mandler McKnight, March 2023

Registration is recommended.

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