Brian Hoad is a visual artist originally from Port Hope, ON. After receiving training as Canadian artist David Blackwood’s studio assistant, he completed a BFA (Honours), Visual Art, minor Art History at Queen’s University and MFA, Visual Art at University of Regina. Maintaining his studio in Kingston, ON, Hoad is the Technician Supervisor and Paint & Drawing Technician for the Fine Art (Visual Art) Program at Queen’s University and has been an Arts Educator at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Recent projects have been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, and RBC Emerging Artist Project.
Landscapes are organized chaos; untamed, sprawling life forms, recognizable on the two-dimensional image plane as line, speckle, smudge, and void. Working in mainly painting and printmaking, my artwork responds my personal experience coming-of-age in Ontario, demonstrating a connection with nature fuelled by nostalgia and an interest in how people have connected with wilderness spaces throughout history. At University of Regina, my graduate thesis Handrails connected Michel Foucault’s conceptual heterotopia space to my own experience attending and working at an Ontario summer camp from 2001-13.
Intrigued by age-old, historic processes, applied in contemporary contexts, printmaking has the greatest influence on my practice as I consider mark-making, compositional choices, and diversions from artistic tradition. A growing desire to experiment with a more visceral execution, approaching abstraction, in addition to considering my own familial history of making resulted in my current artistic inquiry. During a recent artist residency at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery I created a series of paintings that combined dramatic quilt-block patterns and surreal narrative scenes of environmental interaction. Displayed at the McLaughlin as Wild Braid, the exhibition referenced personal connections to the landscape, in addition to transforming an object typically associated with comfort (the quilt) into something sublime.