Akin is honored to continue sharing profiles of the remarkable group of artists from our inaugural cohort. We have posted profiles over the past few weeks of some of the artists and will continue until September; you can click here to see previous posts. Today we are happy to share profiles of three of the Year 1 artists, Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Humboldt Magnussen and Adria Mirabelli.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani (b. 1980, Tehran) is an artist currently based in Toronto. She was trained in painting at Azad Art University, Tehran and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, London. Avarzamani’s practice examines the role of experience, memory, psychology, modern rationality and educational methodologies in the construction of knowledge. Considering a range of spaces, structures and devices for interactivity, self-development and play, her work questions the contextual biases that shape meanings and values. Exploring these concerns in relation to growth and erasure, Avarzamani aims to expose the paradoxical realities beneath the surface of society.
Her art practice encompasses a variety of forms, including sewing, needlework, patchwork, printing, ceramics and installation. This craft dimension of her work is combined with research that seeks to discover the socio-historical relevance of these disciplines, as it reflects on her own experience and larger cultural issues.
Humboldt Magnussen is an artist and curator from rural Saskatchewan. Magnussen holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University focusing on performance art and masculinity studies and a BFA from Concordia University from 2011 in Studio Arts. Humboldt weaves in autobiographical elements with larger political and social context to talk about the lack of safety and protection for queer people, even in designated “Safe Spaces”. He is interested in ways to visualize complicated notions of identity and gender / sexuality which can contribute to the growing conversation on these topics in Canada.
His practice is interdisciplinary in nature. Often his work is rooted in performance and includes the creation and use of elaborate masks and helmets. He utilizes elements of humour and glamour to make difficult topics more accessible and to create entry points for people to engage with the work.
Adria Mirabelli graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2015 with a major in Drawing and Painting and Minor in Textiles. Having also studied at Parsons Paris her work is influenced by conceptual themes and narratives alongside art and craft processes. Adria uses a variety of media and practices to create her works, utilizing collage, drawing, textile manipulation, installation, poetry and sculpture. Her works are often autobiographical and explore themes of space + place, temporality, belonging, love, and longing. Her process involves the collection of extensive, rotational archives of physical materials including ephemera, photographs, digital images, and texts, often saved from spaces of lived experience. This ever-developing catalog serves as the inspiration and materials for her final works, which manifest in various physical and digital forms.
Adria strives to create works that explore experiences of fear, desire, and love in regard to personhood, place and nostalgia. She makes work in an effort to create spaces of connection and acceptance through moments of beauty.
Tanya Louise Workman
Tanya Louise Workman is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist, storytelling facilitator and journalist who works with audio, images and text to unravel the relationships between voice and our embodied selves. Her photographic, multimedia and audio work has been exhibited and screened in spaces in Toronto and internationally. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, a post-graduate certificate in creative writing from the Humber School for Writers and a photojournalism diploma from Loyalist College.
Through spoken word, sound, installation, images and writing, I tune in to the embodied experience. My body is a radio, both a receiver and a transmitter; I listen in to make audible, visible and tactile what the body holds – what reverberates between interior and exterior selves, between what is seen and heard.
Tanya is a candidate in the low-residency MFA program at Maine Media College + Workshops in Rockport, Maine, and is one of the artists-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto as part of the inaugural Akin Studio Program at MOCA. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, a post-graduate certificate in creative writing from the Humber School for Writers and a photojournalism diploma from Loyalist College.
She is currently working on her first book.
You can see work by Humboldt, Adria and Tanya from now until–September 8, 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) as a part of An Index. The exhibition An Index comprises work in a variety of media from sculpture, to video, to new wall murals by the first cohort of Akin residency artists who entered the year-long studio programme in September 2018.
While the participating artists’ practices range widely in terms of conceptual approach, style and media; they have also been influenced to some degree by the experience of sharing and conversing within an open-plan studio structure for the last nine months.
We also hope you can join us for MOCA Goes Dark, an interactive art party on August 17 by the artists and curators of the exhibition An Index. Come see MOCA transformed into an interactive art party by some of Toronto’s best emerging artists.