Lena Sarda FIRST PLACE AWARD WINNER Artist Statement: My artwork explores and reflects upon ideas and themes that are rooted in my everyday reality. The human experience can have profound impacts on one’s sense of self. I was inspired to create these two paintings after the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic was a worldwide phenomena that was a pivotal moment in human history. It ultimately changed the ways that we each interacted with one another and how we responded to what was going on around us. During the pandemic, I remember feeling isolated, fearful and the sense of uncertainty that it had posed on so many of us. Listening to stories and watching the daily news about the loss of so many lives, separated families and restrictions took a toll on me mentally and spiritually. It was not until one of my good friend’s told me that watching and listening to the negativity was only going to take me further down that rabbit hole. She reminded me to look within and to try meditating. Mindfulness and meditation were the gifts that allowed me to reconnect with myself and to tune out the outside “noise.” The daily practice of meditation helped free my mind and allowed me to become more present in my everyday life – something that I had forgotten how to do. The practice of meditation lead to a renewal of faith and provided an opportunity for me to focus inward. During such an uncertain time, meditation allowed me to gently let go of outside distractions and to slow down my busy mind in order to find inner ease. In a sense, it felt like coming home because I felt like I had been away or out of touch with myself for so long and did not realize it. I wanted to capture and conceptualize my personal journey through these two paintings. My artworks reflect the mind-body connection and how one’s outside world is a reflection of their inside world. My paintings illustrate what was happening to me on the inside when I integrated mindfulness and meditation into my life during the pandemic. It helped me tap into my self-awareness and positivity. The juxtaposition of the dark and light colours in both paintings symbolizes how dark times lead to brighter days with the message that we have awakened when we realize that we create our reality through the energy of our consciouness. I realized the significance of looking within for tranquility. The abstract figures in both paintings have been created with some dimension and symbolize my rise during a difficult time and reflection of my inner being. Furthermore, the conscious state that gave colour to my thoughts is depicted through the stream of colour in the black and white painting. In addition, the figure of the butterfly and florals in bloom in the second painting emphasizes the importance of our thoughts and how they can transform and shift our outer reality.
Sarah Terrill SECOND PLACE AWARD WINNER Artist Statement: As a Toronto based visual abstract artist, Art has been a powerful, inspiring influence in my life since childhood and I knew that art would always be a part of who I am. My abstract art has been featured on Residential and Commercial wall spaces throughout the Toronto area. My abstract art explores a variety of colours and textures. Having visions of colours, designs is what makes me want to create my one of a kind art pieces. My vision is for the wold to see my visions come to life through my art. All we need is Love and Art. Sarah Terrill
Brenda McCafferty HONOURABLE MENTION AWARD WINNER Artist Statement: Created primarily in acrylics, Brenda's work occurs on a range from loosely representational to decidedly abstract. The impetus for a composition will often arise from natural scenes (fields, forests, floral patterns), but may otherwise develop from simple delight in colour or composition.The subjects (real or imagined) are rendered as expressions of an emotional response,inspiring her to be still and trust her inner self.