Ella Dawn McGeough

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Curriculum Vitae




My artistic practice pursues relays as assemblies of contact, communication, and influence. I work expansively across multiple media to explore myths, histories, and narrative devices that scaffold modes of relationality. The politics of collectivity and participation are critical. Recent collaborations include projects & conversations with artists Helen ChoPatrick CruzStefana FratilaJessica Groome, Faith La RocqueKatie Lyle, Sarah Nasby, and Dustin Wilson; curators/writers John Goodwin, Jacqueline Mabey, Lillian O’Brien Davis, and Daniella Sanader; plus the ongoing artist publication Moire -- established with Liza Eurich and Colin Miner in 2012.

I was raised an hour outside the city recently-named Vancouver on the unceded territories of Coast Salish Peoples who have lived with this land for over 10,000 years, specifically the Kwantlen|qʼʷa:n̓ƛʼən̓, Katzie|q̓ic̓əy̓, Semiahmoo|SEMYOME, and Tsawwassen| sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ Nations. I grew up speaking these Nations’ names, names adapted to designate colleges, malls, ferry terminals, without knowing what they meant or to whom they belonged.

I currently live in the area known as Toronto/Tkaronto on land cared for by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat.  By acknowledging Indigenous Relations, I recognize the violence that makes my presence as a settler of European descent on these lands possible, along with my responsibility to confront the enduring impacts of colonialism.

Dancing with Tantalus, 2021
School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba
w/ Katie Lyle and Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill, curated by Lillian O’Brien Davis

Consider the Greek myth of Tantalus, who stole ambrosia, nectar, and the gods’ secrets of immortality for his people. As punishment for his crime, Tantalus was made to stand in a clear pool where water receded before he could drink, underneath trees laden with fruit that forever escaped his grasp. Touching leaves traces, often more lasting than originally imagined, but the absence of touch builds both anticipation and desire.

Dancing with Tantalus engages qualities of contact—between people, surfaces, and objects—to examine haptic intimacy and explore the causal relationship between artworks and the many structures that make contact with them—physically, intellectually, emotionally, institutionally, and historically.

This exhibition develops from Greener than Grass at Susan Hobbs Gallery in 2020.

My works in the exhibition expand upon the ongoing “_~form_” series to a selection of throw pillows and blankets  (dream~forms_idle) and copper sheets (space~forms_currency).

Further Reading:
Clean Hands, Lillian’s exhibition text.

Greener than Grass, 2020
Susan Hobbs Gallery
w/ Katie Lyle, curated by Lillian O’Brien Davis

This two-person exhibition engages qualities of contact—between people, surfaces, and objects—to examine haptic intimacy and explore the causal relationship between artworks and the many structures that make contact with them (physically, intellectually, emotionally, institutionally, historically). Over two-years, Lillian curated the project through a series of collaborative conversations orbiting around desire and reverberations of touch in its various manifestations.

My sculptural works expand upon the ongoing “_~form_” series to include castings of my basement’s uneven concrete floor (site~forms_foundation); a selection of throw pillows and blankets as markers of cessation (dream~forms_idle); and copper sheets that record impressions developed during transient gatherings of many entities (space~forms_currency). Each finds temporary support through various found materials.

A subsequent iteration of the collaboration entitled, Dancing with Tantalus will include work by Gabrielle L'Hirondelle Hill and be presented at School of Art Gallery, Winnipeg from January - March 2021.

Further Reading:
Stranger Within, Lillian’s exhibition text.
FrameWork 11/20, a beautiful response by Simon Fuh.

Memorial for the present is the future of the past (3 pools), 2019

NEXT|WAVE - Varley Art Gallery, Markham -- curated by Charlotte Gagnier