Mandy Espezel is a Canadian artist originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta. She holds a BFA in Art & Design from the University of Alberta, and MFA in Art from the University of Lethbridge. Espezel has spent the last 3 months as Artist in Residence with Gachang Art Studio in Daegu, Republic of Korea, and will be Artist in Residence with TAiR from April – June. Based in Lethbridge, Espezel teaches sessionally in the Art Department at the University of Lethbridge.
“During my residency with TAiR, I will explore how touch, sensuality, and empathy manifest through intuitive material process. These works will be responsive and site-specific in their development, making use of local materials and environments, and may include series of works on paper (paintings, drawings, writing, collages), sculptural installations, and video/performance elements. My work engages an intersectional feminist-phenomenological discourse, emphasizing the power and necessity of vulnerability. Through a painterly process of subjective reflection and material engagement, I utilize context and site-specificity within aesthetic and tactile choices.”
Mandy’s recent work is engaged with ideas around body and touch contextualized within the social de-bodying of states of being. She has started to explore an idea of body longing/grief, and a question of whether humans will mourn for a state of bodiment that we will no longer inhabit. The anxieties of this de-bodiment are tied to consumption and transformation of daily experiences into moments of technological transaction, where intimacy, vulnerability, and sensuality are eroded. The spaces, objects, and experiences Mandy creates are from this place of sensual material understanding being at the core of bodily knowledge, as she attempts to explore the complex simultaneity of both being and non-being.