Aurora Quinlan | In Movement

Materiality and Connection; The Intertwining of Meaning through a Multitude

During my final year at Emily Carr, I began exploring my work through the connection and materiality each piece has in relation to the pieces around it. Though I work mainly with painting, I felt as though materiality and the inclusion of many kinds of materials were important for my final year. Every artwork has a relationship to the artist and its audience, but also with the works which accompany it on the wall and the materials in which they are all created from. While my original intention was to be able to explore the connection different works have when in conversation on a wall, the connection of these pieces has morphed and grown, even without their intended installation form. This display, while not what I had originally envisioned for my final piece, has been able to create connection and new meaning through the circumstances.

The Connection of Individuals

The Connection of Individuals shows the beginnings of what was intended to be my graduation piece, but due to the unforeseen circumstances we have all had to face, it has become a project all of its own. I now see it as the beginning of a new way to think through painting in my practice. In this, I am focusing on not only each individual piece but on how they interact and connect with one another, through material, colour and installation. While I was unable to fully explore the installation portion of this collection, I will continue to investigate these ideas in future projects, and I am grateful for what these pieces have taught me. The connection between art and ourselves will always be there, no matter the circumstances, and I intend on continuing my pursuit of this connection.

In Movement

In Movement is a diptych, which was intended to be connected with most, if not all, of the pieces from The Connection of Individuals and installed in order to create a conversation and collaboration, and a final unified piece. Due to the circumstances, and the lack of installation ability, this project grew apart from The Connection of Individuals, and into something separate from its original intention. This diptych has changed and developed into the expression of the feelings of abruptly finishing a degree, moving back to my childhood hometown, and leaving a life I was not prepared to leave. Just as many other people, my life was quickly uprooted and I had to readjust to life in my childhood hometown, far from everything I had grown to know in my adult life. The circumstances in which myself and many of my peers experienced prompted me to finish these piece in relation to the situation, rather than try and make them what I had originally intended them to be. The making of these pieces began before any of us knew what was about to happen and finished in a different province and in a changing world. Though In Movement is not what I originally thought it would be, I feel these works changed and grew into what they needed to be, as did I.


Aurora Quinlan grew up in Alberta and moved to Vancouver in order to attend Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She is now one of the BFA graduates of 2020, who majored in Visual Arts and minored in Art and Text. She is working towards receiving her MFA in Visual Arts. Quinlan aspires to be a university professor in the Visual Arts field as well as maintaining her own art practice so that she can continue creating her own work while teaching and encouraging aspiring artists to pursue their passion.