Artist Statement 2021

Bernadette Peets AOCA, is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design where she majored in Drawing and Painting.

Bernadette’s final year of study at OCAD was spent in Florence, Italy as part of the Off-Campus Florence Program. While in Italy, she immersed herself in a study of the art and art history of the Italian Renaissance.

Her work in theatre as a scenic painter, set designer, prop maker and costumer from 1988 – 2007 has informed her studio practice and has had a lasting impact on her choice of subject matter and its presentation in a variety of visual idioms.

Bernadette is an active member of the Akin Collective in Toronto Canada where she rents her studio at the Dupont location.

Bernadette's latest body of work has been directly influenced by her experience of the pandemic and follows the tondo format. These intimate, carefully curated still-lives represent small narrative dioramas of objects found in her studio or from local thrift shops.

She is perpetually learning and exploring as she works. She is happy when she reaches a new skill level, discovers a new way of making art, or finds a new material to work with. 

Her circular canvasses are peepholes through which the audience can peer at the paintings of carefully constructed, still-life tableaus that she has created using thrift-store objects. The objects stand in for characters and the purposeful arrangement of them suggests a narrative or theme that is open for interpretation.

While the stage is intentionally set, the story itself is fluid. Bernadette seeks to create a dialogue between the viewer and the work, inviting the viewer to find their own story within.

Using Format