RBC Artist Incubator Lab

Meet Emerging Artist in Residence Alex Close

February 22nd, 2023

We are pleased to welcome Alex Close to the RMG as part of the RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program. To learn more about Alex’s artistic practice and her plans for the incubator lab, visit her profile and read her blog post below!

Hi! My name is Alex Close and I am excited to come back to my hometown of Oshawa this February as the next emerging artist in residence at the RMG Gallery.

I have recently been focusing on the ways we navigate through layered experiences that inform our sense of place. In the past I spent a lot of time thinking about how we can lose our ability to pay attention or even visualize for ourselves when we constantly participate in immersive or engineered experiences. From this, the idea of trust became a big theme for me, and I have been thinking about how this applies to large public events and spectacles, where immersion and movement of crowds can be physically seen. For example, being lulled into a comfortable and pleasant experience in a mall can encourage you to stay there longer. I am interested in the ecology of big public events or places, the characters that come up (like predator and prey) and the movement patterns from center to edge.

During my residency I will be working on a series of large-scale paintings that are informed by experiments with a few different avenues of abstraction; sound bites, animations, drawings/prints, and small-scale maquettes. I will be focusing on the theme of navigating public events and recalling memories that develop our sense of place. The process of navigating a new or challenging environment can almost be seen as a scavenger hunt – finding fleeting moments of thrill or an intuition of what might be next. I am interested in the emotions that come up in this state of navigation and the process of orientation in general – interpreting the reality around us and the trust in well-worn paths including our own memory.

When I travel back to Oshawa, I will also be reflecting on my experience living abroad for the last year in Eastern Europe where I started to get used to different codes and customs to navigate everyday life. This has gotten me to think about the idea of “home” and how I define it, as well as mobility and my own journey into orienting myself when going from a certain set of communication norms and into another.

I am so excited to get to work at the RMG artist incubator lab and am looking forward to meeting new people while I am at the studio so please feel free to drop by or get in touch!

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