Image courtesy the artist
What does it mean to you to be an artist working in Edmonton?
Working as an artist in Edmonton means being a part of a community of extremely hard working and passionate artists who never take "no" for an answer. The artists I am glad to call my peers in this city continue to make work that is embedded with a deep care for this city, while also pushing boundaries and innovating in their respective fields. Working in Edmonton reminds me to take care with my work, and not settle for easy answers.
Be sure to catch Emmanuel Osahor in The Scene at your AGA in 2021.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Emmanuel Osahor moved to amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) in 2010 to pursue a BFA at the University of Alberta. Driven by this experience, Osahor’s practice unpacks the artist’s preconception of Canada as a utopia and his realization of the country’s colonial legacy and the inequalities found here that are sustained by systemic inequity. His work is centred around the reality that even as utopic visions of progress and development are created and pursued globally, poverty, marginalization and separation continue to exist. His recent paintings depict imagined sanctuary spaces that serve as fictional utopias, which although desired, and brought into existence through the act of painting, remain consistently out of reach. While currently undertaking his Master’s degree at The University of Guelph, Osahor’s practice is rooted in Edmonton where, through projects such as In Search of Eden (2018) and The Valley (2016-2017), he has explored the complexity inherent in the Edmonton river valley, juxtaposing its use as both leisure space and home for marginalized communities
Emmanuel Osahor, I have been thinking of my father’s garden, 2020. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 96”x 69”. Courtesy of the Artist. Installation view of The Scene, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2021. Photo: Art Gallery of Alberta.