Erin Armstrong

Erin Armstrong

February 28, 2016

Some would argue that art is about representing reality and senses as we see or feel them, portraying scenes through an array of tiny details and both intentional and random mistakes. Given that the definition of art is a rather subjective thought, this argument couldn’t be further away from the truth for Erin Armstrong. Although she visits everyday situations in her acrylic-based paintings, the young Canadian artist displays a mixture of realities and dimensions, giving her works a dreamlike property. With many exhibitions already under her belt and more on the horizon in the near future, she is one of the artists to pay a close attention to in the current art society.

Armstrong displays a mixture of realities and dimensions, giving her works a dreamlike property

Erin Armstrong
Erin Armstrong - Malwai Bring Down (detail), 2015

Where Realities Meet

Based in Toronto, Erin Armstrong creates paintings that truly stand out in the contemporary art scene. Regardless of her young age, she portrays a world far more vivid and complex than the one we experience, giving the viewers a chance to take a glimpse into this “unreal reality” that shares certain aspects with the everyday scenes we see. Her acrylic based images display people in situations all too familiar while adding a nuance of the unreal, creating a moment that exists on the verge of a dream.

Assisting her in creating this dream-like state are not just the colors, it’s the way she liberally uses the brushstrokes to paint the silhouettes that avoid clean lines, almost merging with the background. Securing that her characters don’t tip over into the ethereal, Armstrong adds elements like plants and water in order to ground the narrative to an extent.

Erin Armstrong
Left: Erin Armstrong - From Behind the Yellow Wall, 2015 / Right: Erin Armstrong - Chikku Balance, 2015

The One to Watch

She may be young, but it seems like graduating from Dalhousie University in 2012 with a BA and enrolling in a continuing studies program at OCAD University is enough for the naturally talented Erin Armstrong to be featured in numerous online art-related publications and more. In 2015, she has been selected by Saatchi art as their "one to watch" artist, as well as one of "20 emerging artists in the world to follow," giving her the recognition that she deserves. Her inventive creations are not going unnoticed, and she displayed her work in many exhibitions already, showcasing it in Canada, the United States, China, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Her works are often void of strict lines, soothing any eye into the omnipresent world of dreams

Erin Armstrong
Erin Armstrong - Stand Still Passing, 2016

Enter the Portal Into the Unknown

The paintings of Erin Armstrong are very unique. Intrigued by the duality of realms that surround us ubiquitously, ones perceived and ones hidden, she portrays and transcends the everyday scenes and shares with us the world as she sees it. Creating images that border with reality, she invites the viewers to take a look into the “portal” of the canvas and see through the veil of familiarity. Her refreshing style produces works often void of strict lines, soothing any eye into the omnipresent world of dreams. With many paintings and exhibitions already written down in her repertoire, the artistic future for this young artist is looking bright.
The artist is represented by the Arusha Gallery.

Erin Armstrong lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Featured image: Erin Armstrong. All photo credits
All images used for illustrative purposes only.