Studio Sixty Six
Amanda Gorman  

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman is an Ottawa-based oil painter with curiosities of the human body— particularly with its ability to self destruct with the onset of disease. She represents figures in a realistic sense, focusing on skin tone to draw attention to the depth and complexities of the body, while typically leaving the backgrounds minimal. Amanda graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2014 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and was recognized with the Edmund and Isabelle Ryan Painting Scholarship for painting excellence. Since then she has been practicing her skill by using various mediums, including watercolor and oil to emphasize her devotion to form and use of color. She has been concentrating on commissioned works, and a few local exhibitions in which she has partaken.

ARTIST STATEMENT 

My insight of my life perpetually changed with the announcement of my paternal grandmother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis when I was in my early teenage years. This event, followed shortly with a similar diagnosis for my maternal grandmother, was sure to alter how I thought about my own mental health— and the possible deterioration of it. For years I toiled with the idea that I, too, could have a similar fate as the matriarchs in my family. This realization fabricated concerns of a loss of memory, reasoning, and motor function in my future, but also peaked an interest of how these factors could be represented visually for others to experience my worry.

I wonder what it would be like to cling onto the last fragments of a memory, and what would stand out about it—the smell? The taste? The colour? When reminiscing about the most significant moments in my life I can clearly visualize bursts of colour as a main source for recall. For example, when told about my grandmother’s diagnosis, I remember the teal-blue sweater she was wearing at the family meeting around the dinner table. The vibrancy of colour in my work is important for this reason.

I often question if moments of my wandering ideas, my forgetfulness, or even my clouded thoughts are hints of what it would be like to be infected with the disease. During these times of daydreaming I repeatedly visualize my brain floating above my head, not attached to my body, suggesting a complete disconnect of mind-to-body function similar to the disease’s symptoms. I imagine viewing my body’s movements in slow motion, as if being intoxicated by the disease that would destroy visual coordination.

Day Dreamer
Slow Motion