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Visual Interview: Trevor Kiernander

Answering both in words and images, Trevor Kiernander thinks about the ways in which his work translates as a sort of architecture, moving through a self-contained space: the canvas.

Name: Trevor Kiernander
Occupation: Artist, painter
Where you were born: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Where you live now: between Montreal, Quebec and London, UK


What are you currently working on?

I have just relocated to Montreal from London to focus on painting full-time and prepare for a solo exhibition at Galerie Art Mur in September. Although I haven’t set up in a studio yet, I’m currently working on a series of drawings for the show and a few new paintings in the apartment.

photo 1(not yet titled), paper towel, tape and oil paint on paper, 2014, original image for The WILD

What is there too much and too little of?

photo 2original image for The WILD

What are your investments in monochromatic works?

I have never really thought of my works as being monochromatic. Even with the limited palette I tend to use (white, dark brown, and earthy reds), there are often moments of colour and subtle transitions throughout. I guess an investment in the monochromatic could be attributed to my interest in architecture; however, it’s the relationship of these forms to the colour palette that gives the work more.

What was your first experience of art?

Looking through my grandpa’s art books, although I was always drawing as a kid.

How do you represent movement?

Movement is represented in my work through different ways of painting and my understanding of gesture. My previous studies at Sheridan College in Ontario gave me invaluable training with regards to drawing and painting from the model, especially the gesture. When I work on compositions now, the gesture is always in my mind when thinking of the surface of the canvas, however, there are other elements at play that cause tension, halting movement.

photo 3Cause and Effect, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 165cm x 140cm (65” x 55”), 2014, original image for The WILD

How does negative space function in your work?

I like to think that negative space functions just as importantly as positive space does. I don’t begin my paintings by covering the canvas with white gesso because I feel that is your first statement: “I’ve just painted a white rectangle.” This way, each mark or gesture I make with the painting relates to the next from the blank canvas, and the canvas itself becomes activated into the overall painting.

What is your next challenge?

To make a go of painting full-time!

What is your WILD Wish?

See above!

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Trevor’s work will be on view in a solo exhibition, Uncommon Ground, at Art Mur in Montreal. September 11 through October 25, 2014.  Get more information on the show here and visit Trevor’s website here.

text by: Michael Valinsky

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