For the month of October, Collingwood Public Library is showcasing the artwork of recent Murray Clerkson Award winner Rachel Thomas. The 2012 winner is displaying her collection titled Remember: Forget from Tuesday, October 2 to Tuesday, October 30, 2012.
The exhibit conceptually explores the frequently conflicted emotions surrounding the will to remember and the drive to forget.
Through her artwork, Thomas investigates pertinent issues including war experiences, racial stereotyping, childhood memories, religious traditions and death.
“This exhibition really has a lot to do with the difficult emotions we face in the act of remembrance and the drive to forget. This body of work challenges its audience to think critically about their own lives and their own memories that are in a state of flux,” says Thomas of the exhibit.
Thomas’ artwork has been described as visually piercing, which Thomas believes is the artworks most beautiful quality. She has drawn much inspiration from her family’s own history, particularly during the Second World War.
“My work tends to depict highly emotional subject matter and my family’s memories have been an excellent source. I know I have something worth sharing when I feel as deeply about the primary source material as I do about the finished piece. There really is a beauty to the darker side of life, and finding it can be truly moving for both the artist and audience.”
Thomas’ body of work includes paintings, drawings, graphic novels and sculptures in a contemporary realist style. Her artwork treats difficult subject matter with dignity and grace. She currently attends the highly competitive Honours Visual Arts programme at York University.
The opening reception for Remember: Forget is on Friday, October 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Collingwood Public Library.