Exhibitions 2023 - 2024

Oh, is this your first life, too?

Kayla St-Pierre

Kayla St-Pierre is a painter who is in her last semester of the Studio Art program. Her work focuses on memory and experience. She has exhibited her work at the Zavitz Gallery, the Boarding House Gallery, and Lalani Jennings Contemporary Gallery. The following is her artist statement from the show:

My girlfriend lives in New York City. With roughly 500 miles of separation between us, my life over the past six years can be summarized through the trips we’ve taken to see each other, both here and there, and the long stretches of time that crawl between them. I’ve always been preoccupied with documenting fleeting moments; a stroll through the Botanic Gardens; a glimpse back at Manhattan while the subway speeds along the bridge into Brooklyn; watching a playful puffin diving in and out the water as a crowd circulates; a foreboding sunset as I catch a late flight out of Laguardia airport that marks the beginning of another end. The photos I took were not intended to be painted. At the time, they were a supplement to my limited perception and my unreliable memory. They were a collection of cherished moments.

This semester I’ve filtered through thousands of photographs and picked the ones that called out to me. The dull colours of the original cell phone photos were warped out of the realm of reality and into a saturation that matches my intense feelings more faithfully. The unintentional emergence of reflections – plane windows, aquarium glass, pond water – has grown into an important aspect of the series. It expresses a reflection of a moment; a time that you can’t return to, but one that can now be unlocked and revisited in a new way. Forever mediated, altered, and changed; accessible, but only in a new format. These paintings act as portals to resurface details and emotions that get muddied over time. What are we, after all, but the culmination of our memories and experiences and the feelings that they have left us with? I have become an observer of my own life as I attempt to place roots into a ground that doesn’t belong to me and is constantly ripped from under my feet, only to be returned to me in full on some unassuming, sunny day.