Elevate & Holon
Nikki Middlemiss and Peter Tucker
March 18 - May 1 2022
opening reception: Friday, March 18 7-9 PM
watch artists' talk and panel video below
Documentation of Elevate & Holon at the Art Gallery of Regina. Photos by Don Hall.
Some of Saskatchewan's best-known artists - Agnes Martin, Art McKay, and Bob Boyer - have been abstract artists. Although popularly assumed to be purely formal and free of content, abstract artworks, historically and today, are a new language to convey what is beyond words. The process of creating an artwork is a ritual that brings artists into contact with metaphysical truths. Nikki Middlemiss and Peter Tucker continue the sensitive work of their artistic fore-bearers,
Middlemiss' large-scale drawings from the Elevate series are collaborations with her materials, the fortuitous magic of vellum and liquid media authoring the work as much as the artist. The thin membranes of translucent paper buckle, pucker, dimple, wrinkle in response to the application of diluted ink and oily pigments while folding or sanding crisscross the surface with pale scars.
Drawing for Middlemiss, however, is not about depicting but about process. The delicate textures of her weightless drawings trace a sensitive record of their creation (and deterioration), leading viewers to ultimately reflect upon the fragility, resilience, and unpredictability of our lives.
Tucker's single, monumental sculpture Holon is not a hulking monolith but a gentle spiral comprised of dozens of oblongs of different varieties of wood. Holon, the artist notes, means a group, such as a school of fish, that moves as a single entity. Tucker united scraps of wood, both precious and ordinary, in his sculpture that optimistically imagines a diverse group moving as one. Tuckers' care is apparent in each hand-smoothed piece of wood, the size and shape of the hollow that forms between cupped hands. His craftsmanship is evident in the feat of balancing and suspending this 9-foot tall structure so that it soars rather than menaces.
Abstraction is often perceived as encoded with the worst elements of toxic masculinity emerging in the mid-twentieth century: disconnected, unfeeling, chilly intellectualism. Middlemiss and Tucker give form to the deeply felt and inexpressible in the spare essentials of abstraction: line, mass, and material.
About Nikki Middlemiss:
Born and raised in Regina, Nikki Middlemiss received a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Ottawa in 1999. Her art has since been shown in galleries and artist-run centres across Canada, including solo exhibitions at the Kelowna Art Gallery (2017) and Montreal’s
McClure Gallery (2021). Nikki has lived in Montreal since 2000.
Nikki Middlemiss a obtenu un baccalauréat en arts visuels de l’Université d’Ottawa en 1999. Son travail a depuis été exposé dans plusieurs galeries et centres d’artistes au Canada, y compris à Montréal au Centre des arts actuels Skol, à la Galerie B-312, à la Galerie McClure, et dans le réseau des Maisons de la culture. Nikki vit à Montréal depuis 2000.
Nikki Middlemiss acknowledges the support of Conseil des arts et des lettres de Québec.
Exploring the tension of identity, Peter Tucker’s work plays with the movement between fragmentation and connection, disruption and continuity that creates (and recreates) the wholeness of a human life. As a biracial, interracial adoptee, his work is the search for home and self, a negotiation of presence in the restless no man’s land between worlds.
Peter discovered art as a child, and at age seventeen attended the Ontario College of Art. He studied at Mount Allison University for a year then moved to British Columbia where he apprenticed in woodworking. In 1996 Peter returned to painting, and began exhibiting in 1998. He has continued to show his work since then, in Vancouver, Montreal, and Saskatchewan.
Peter moved to British Columbia in 1990, dividing his time between the rural forests of the west coast and the studio spaces of downtown Vancouver. In 2001 he relocated to Montreal. In Montreal Peter was commissioned for both paintings and furniture, but eventually his woodworking skills began to transform into a renewed interest in sculpture. In 2012 he moved to Saskatchewan, returning to the prairie space where, as a boy, he first discovered his interest in drawing and building.
His landscapes play the infinity of land and sky against the fragmentation of human activity working across its surface, while his sculpture, created from reclaimed wood, is also concerned with the process of fitting together fragments and layers. Since moving to Saskatchewan, Peter has been following a new creative course dealing primarily with identity, both cultural and personal.
About Peter Tucker:
Artist's Talk and Panel Discussion with Nikki Middlemiss, Peter Tucker and Holly Fay, moderated by Sandee Moore
Watch online after Saturday, April 2, 2022.
exhibition audio tour:
transcript of exhibition audio tour:
self-guided tour pamphlet:
Talk of the Town. Reported by Lisa Peters, Access 7, Regina, airs March 23-29, 2022.
Global News Morning. Reported by Kimberley Fowler, Global Regina, airs March 28-31, 2022.
Neis, Kayle. Photograph of Elevate & Holon, exhibition at Art Gallery of Regina. Regina Leader-Post. March 21, 2022, https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/in-photos-art-in-the-abstract. Accessed March 22, 2022.
Frigon, Raphaële. L’abstraction : un langage au-delà des mots. Ici Saskatchewan, Radio Canada. March 19, 2022, https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1870226/nikki-middlemiss-peter-tucker-sandee-moore. Accessed March 22, 2022.
Eiserman, Hannah. "What’s going on at the Art Gallery of Regina?." The Carillon, March 24, 2022. https://www.carillonregina.com/whats-going-on-at-the-art-gallery-of-regina/. Accessed April 28, 2022.
The Art Gallery of Regina is grateful to Sk Arts and the City of Regina for their core funding.