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Sarah Tompkins + Katie McDonald


06.08.22 - 10.09.22


Z Art Space is delighted to present its summer exhibition featuring two Canadian female painters Sarah Tompkins and Katie McDonald. Sharing a common interest in process-oriented practices, Tompkins and McDonald evoke through their work the beauty of ambiguity and the thrill of the unknown, while revealing an array of emotionally-charged abstract landscapes. Beneath the lyrical brushstrokes and the layers of painted surfaces are each artist’s quest to unravel the complexities of the human psyche. 

In her new series of oil paintings, Tompkins employs an action-response method of composition, where each layer of the work is a conscious response to an earlier, unconscious layer of painting. For the artist, such a superposition of alternating concentric frames dictates a rhythmic fluctuation of control and release - a mere liberation from intuitive constraints. No Longer, Not Yet #6 (2022) illustrates this notion beautifully, where the enchanting hues of blue and cream intertwine to achieve compositional and impulsive balance. 

McDonald’s process-driven paintings are imbued with earthy references to nature to address states of being and co-existence. Using elemental symbols such as mountains, waves, flames and fog, McDonald explores ways in which ‘we carry external environments and events in our bodies’. The notion of transparency is also eminent in her work, as seen in Diagonal Light (2022), to illustrate the fluidity and purity of her creative process. A constant dance of push-and-pull, the gestural strokes of Tompkins and McDonald respectively weave in and out of one another following a predestined path. 




Sarah Tompkins (b. 1990, Ottawa) completed her BFA in painting and printmaking at Queen’s University and is currently pursuing her MFA in painting at the University of Ottawa. She has exhibited previously at Skeir Gallery (Toronto), SAW Gallery (Ottawa), Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston), as well partaken in group exhibitions in Venice, Barcelona, and London, UK. Tompkins is currently based in Ottawa.  

Katie McDonald (b. 1988, Vancouver) received a BFA in Sculpture from Concordia University in 2014 and is currently completing her MFA. Her past exhibitions have been held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, VAV Gallery (Montreal), and Egret Egress (Toronto), and others. In recent years, she has been part of several performance collectives such as ORANGEY, Kim Love and Persons. McDonald lives and works in Montreal. 

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