Jen O'Connor | The Unified Field


The Unified Field, 2020 

Watercolor, Acrylic, Print 

Work pending completion will be complete by October 7th 2020

The horse is a powerful beast. Universally the we see the horse as a beautiful free creature operating without restraint and in their glory. But, through the work of early ancestors we domesticate this useful animal which is undoubtedly why numerous groups of humans have been able to survive in face of an inhospitable natural world. Their labor in building the kingdom of man is what has allowed humans to develop in the industrious and creative ways we have, and can be acknowledged for why we are now blessed with abundance in the developed world. 

In the Old Testament we encounter four men riding the horses of pestilence, famine, war and death. A mysterious scroll, unable to be opened by any beings present in the Holy Kingdom, was released by a seven eyed goat who removed the ribbon with his nose. The horses released are not bringing these terrors by themselves but being directed by riders. 

Since the Neolithic Revolution over 10,000 years ago we have collectively experienced a change that affected all those living at the time and who have come thereafter. Our changing relationship to our environment was supplemented by our ability to harness the energy of horse and later develop machines. Places with more rapid technological advancements have profited from the conquering of territories, farming and the development agricultural systems to support an ever growing population. All advancements and solutions have side effects and our transition from hunter gathers to agriculture societies experienced major changes including the ability to support a larger population, hierarchical arrangements and the practice of slavery.

The second element of this work is pattern. A theory found in quantum mechanics is that of the Unified Field, a theory seeking to understand the subtle vibrations that encompass all of life. The absence of pattern at the center of the work is a channel, one from where we can insert our individuality. A space in which to align ourselves and extrapolate our deepest truths in relation to the whole. In the face of the suffering we need to understand more deeply enter our selves to understand humanity. We must acknowledge our presence as a result of history and work to dismantle personal and collective traumas which only perpetuate needless suffering. 



Garbage Conglomorate Theater // Trash Talk // The Peep Show // How to Destroy Video

I want to add the work that I was engaged in during my last two years at ECUAD. I was developing documentation of my sculptural assemble which uses only garbage and found materials. I returned to painting in order to complete The Unified Field work, but the demo reel found in the link above will give you a better idea of my sculptural and film practice

By limiting my use of materials to garbage I demonstrate the emergent properties of these materials as well as to inquire into the necessity of the continued production of new materials. I animate sets to create video productions that often deal with satirical representations of mainstream media or that question the status quo and customs of society.

Please visit my website for more detailed descriptions of individual artworks.


Haley Bassett

This project was awarded the Opus Art Supplies Graduation Award (BFA), and received an Honourable Mention for the Vancouver Art Attack Award

Haley Bassett is a Métis and Austrian-Russian visual and social practice artist from Dawson Creek, BC. She was born in 1991 to cattle-rancher parents, and now lives and works in Sunset Prairie, BC. She completed her BFA in Visual Art from Emily Carr University, minoring in Social Practice and Community Engagement in May 2020.

As part of her social practice, Bassett founded the Northern Arts – Community Development Program in 2019, in partnership with the Dawson Creek Art Gallery. This program is designed to alleviate barriers to artistic professional development in the Peace Region. As part of this program she writes a weekly arts column, teaches and organizes workshops, as well as curates and organizes art exhibitions in public venues.

Bassett started out as a painter; however, her practice is now focused on sculpture and social practice. Her visual work explores how time, place, family histories and personal traumas converge as formational aspects of the self. She use floral motifs and natural materials, including dried and fresh flowers, to create these coded narratives by drawing on the Victorian tradition of floriography (the language of flowers), the cultural significance of certain plants as well as her personal associations with them. Much of Bassett’s work celebrates the culture and landscape of the Peace Region, and she hopes to make a positive impact on northern communities by representing them authentically in her work.


Instagram: @haley.bassett

Molly Bertheaud | The Ears of An Elephant Look Like a Mollusk

My work melds the classical forms of painting and tapestry with contemporary techniques to tell modern mythologies. “The ears of an elephant look like a mollusk” sets a tranquil scene, a woman peeling potatoes, but in the center of the work, there is an interior drama.

New Craft | Modern Mythologies

I’m very interested in how craft techniques engage with new technology, like computerized knitting. The compositions originate from my paintings on canvas and using my computer and the limitations of jacquard knit programming. The final work is made up of 4 six color knit pieces, assembled like a quilt until a narrative emerges into large scale highly textured tapestry.

Molly Bertheaud...

is a Canadian-American artist, who graduated in 2020 from Emily Carr with a BFA.





Vivien Elizabeth Armour | Carnival, Folklore and Catharsis

This project received an Honourable Mention for the Landon Mackenzie Graduation Award for Visual Arts

About Vivien

Vivien Elizabeth Armour is a multidisciplinary artist from Trinidad & Tobago. Over the last ten years Vivien has achieved degrees in Theatre from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Film Production from New York Film Academy and Vancouver Film School, and most recently a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, majoring in Visual Arts with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement.

Having grown up in the Caribbean, Europe and North America, Vivien’s practice explores her relationship to her childhood home of Trinidad & Tobago and its complex multicultural history. In particular, Vivien is interested in the festivals, folklores, hybrid cultures, and how the history of slavery, indentured labour, and colonialism in the Caribbean are both critiqued and celebrated through a myriad of cultural expressions. In particular, the crossroads of Carnival that separates the modern, glamorous, hyper sexualized embodiment of jubilation and release or “Pretty Mas”, and the dark, rootsy, visceral “Traditional Mas” that take place simultaneously across the country and in the diasporas, and the core that connects them.

Vivien’s work investigates her feelings of displacement and cultural fracture and the relationships between culture, race and geopolitical influences on identity. Through the allegory of misanthropic fictional characters such as the “Jab Molassie”, “Blue Devils”, and “Douens”, Vivien situates her work in a sort of in-between world of belonging and not belonging, exploring notions of personhood, alien-ness, indigeneity, post-colonial trauma, cultural erasure, ethnic hybridity, bodily autonomy and sexuality. Vivien is fascinated with how all of these complex factors influence both personal and community expression and how the arts can be a tool for understanding alternative therapies in a complex, and ever expanding, interconnected world.

In her painting practice, Vivien employs the use of vibrant acid colours to reflect the energy and visceral nature of Carnival and the rituals of masquerade, dance and embodied catharsis. Her works invite the viewer to be immersed and overwhelmed with visual stimuli, incorporating a number of other textures, such as yarn, mud and spices to create a haptic and sensory experience. 

In her ceramic practice, Vivien explores the materiality of clay and the body through figurative representation, traditional firing methods and, in this particular collection, the way a lack of colour and glaze can highlight the raw beauty of the clay bodies, which then, juxtaposed with colourful displays, create conversation between the painting worlds and the grounded sculptures; existing not separate but of each other. 

Vivien will continue to push the boundaries of hybridizing ceramics, painting and installation as she moves back to the Caribbean to explore new techniques and materials and delve deeper into the research and community of these traditional and surreal spaces.



Blue Boys Diptych, 2019, 72” x 48” (approx.)
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Dutty Mass, 2019, 24″ X 36″
Oil, acrylic, turmeric, ceramic slip, on canvas

Dutty Mass, 2019, Detail

Studies, 2020, assorted
Acrylic, oil, pastels, ink, on paper

Blue Boys, 2019, 72″ x 96″ (approx.)
Oil, acrylic, madras curry, turmeric, yarn, thread, on raw canvas

Blue Boys, 2019, Detail

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Unglazed ceramic sculptures, terracotta and stoneware clay

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Unglazed ceramic sculptures, terracotta and stoneware clay

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)

Wine An’ Fling It Up, 2018, 65” x 55”
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Cyah Play Mas If Yuh Fraid Powdah, 2018, 72” x 60
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Hol’ Man Down, 2019, 32” x 32”
Oil, acrylic, ink, on wood panel

Blue Devils, 2017, 48” x 60”
Oil and acrylic, on raw canvas

Bacchanal, 2017, 48” x 60”
Oil and acrylic, on raw canvas



Instagram: @vivien_e_art



Mackenzie Colby | Tantalizing Secretions

This project received an Honourable Mention for the Opus Art Supplies Graduation Award (BFA)

Zappitude (2020)

48” x 48” x 7”

Hand tufted rug circles, feathers, plaster shaped in vintage soap molds, stuffed unicorn horn, foam, yarn, Nanny’s lace, Molly’s sweater, Laurence’s tealight cups, Mom’s corks, Molly’s bath mat, fabric, non-slip grip mat, faux fur, polyfill, spray paint, acrylic, oil, Albertan beeswax, paper mache clay, moldable plastic, cardboard, foam mat strips


In these detail photos, I hope you will get a glimpse of what this painting is like in its true, tangible form. Zappitude is both physically and visually hefty. It’s important to me that viewers are able to search for details and moments that intrigue, excite, perplex or disgust them. Reflecting the process, my paintings desire presence.


Zappitude develops from an organic art making process that relies on my relationship to my materials. I start with a collection of things. Some are given to me by friends or family members; some pieces have lived with me for a decade. I begin with no known ending so that the painting can become something with me. In time, I alter, conceal and transform these things, and they begin to relate to each other, contrasting texture, form and space. As I work, I use plaster and wax to create my own objects that accompany the found ones. Feeling the process, I make unlanguaged decisions that collectively dictate the result.

Nightwalk (2019)

38" x 52"

Thrifted yarns, laces and fabric, polyfill, oil paint, paper pulp clay, homemade oil stick, plaster

Nightwalk Detail (2019)

38" x 52"

Thrifted yarns, laces and fabric, polyfill, oil paint, paper pulp clay, homemade oil stick, plaster


Artist Statement

My name is Mackenzie Colby and I am a recent BFA graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Currently based outside of Seattle, Washington, I am at the beginning of my career as an emerging artist. Making work is important to me as a human-animal who thrives in the experience of life, aesthetics, and expression. My practice is based on material relationships and intuitive decision-making that I recognize as similar to the sentient creative ability of non-human animals. I’m interested in stereotypically feminine/natural approaches to “reasoning” that are historically thought of as invalid in the logic-driven patriarchal system of Western society.


My work is important to me because of its visceral materiality. With so much of our human experience turning to digital spaces I think it’s important to experience curious things first-hand. In my painting practice, I use paints, waxes and mediums to alter, envelope and preserve a fluctuating collection of thingy things. One action leads to another in a heap of subconscious and conscious thought, thriving on the push and pull between medium and maker. There is a slowing down, both in the making and the viewing of my work. Hours of time are dedicated to the layering process. The viewer recognizes my hand in the work: do they recognize the hands that made the objects within? Accelerated capitalism distances us from the labour that results in mass-produced objects. I create paintings with the intention of providing an active space that asks viewers to search, acknowledge, and bask in a moment.


Mackenzie Colby was born in Abbotsford in British Columbia, Canada in 1998. Growing up on the beaches and in the trees of the Pacific Northwest, her love of the organic world flourished. A serial collector, Mackenzie has drawers, bins and bags filled with items that many would call “garbage.” She has a longstanding love for simple, beautiful moments. In time, painting beckoned to her. Mackenzie developed her interests when she opted to take her Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts.

After spending one year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mackenzie finished her degree at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in May 2020. Her efforts in school earned her a nomination for the BMO Financial Group’s 1st Art! Competition, which is currently pending results. During her time in Vancouver, Mackenzie also learned traditional candle-making techniques as a chandler’s apprentice. In her free time, she enjoys contemplative, mesmerizing crafts like sewing, candle making, and rug tufting.

When not creating, you can find Mackenzie giddily peeking under rocks at local Salish Sea beaches or hunting for the perfect slime mold cluster.

Mackenzie’s paintings were featured in a solo show at Emily Carr University in Spring 2020. She has also shown work in exhibitions at Eclectic 47, Schack Art Center, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mackenzie also received a travel grant to study the master painters of Florence and Sienna at the Sienna Art Institute (SART).

Info | | @mackenzie_colby


Thanks for taking a look! (-: