Artist Bio

Ali Brown is an artist living and working in Mississauga, Ontario. A current Drawing & Painting BFA student at OCAD University, Brown collaborates with personal archives, memory (or lack thereof) and nostalgic imagery to create work that engages both the mind and body of her and her audience’s inner child. Beyond her studio practice, Brown is interested in and actively involved with arts education and disability arts communities within the university, receiving the Diversity & Equity Excellence student award for her ongoing advocacy. Upcoming and recent exhibitions include Third Year Portrait Exhibition (April 2024), CRIPLab Launch and AS IS.

Artist Statement

Childhood is, in retrospect, a short amount of time that holds a captivating amount of experiences that shape our lives. By exploring the intricate tapestry of memories, nostalgia, and the unique and complex emotions tethered to youth, my artistic practice serves as a portal to revisit cherished moments of play, innocence, wonder, and absent memories or those we wish to forget. 

Artifacts of my childhood become my muse; family photos preserve fleeting moments, home videos capture laughter and intimate conversations, and drawings and writings encapsulate unfiltered creativity. Collaboration with these personal archives through Drawing & Painting on canvas and other traditional supports allows me to honour, reinterpret, and reconstruct the stories and memories (or lack thereof) that have shaped my life. My recent experimentation  with alternative surfaces and interactive experiences such as fabric forts, parachutes, and playground equipment require the audience to break out of the conforms of acting like a "grown-up" and engage in physical play to fully appreciate the work. These two modes of presentation encourage the participation of both the mind and body of the inner child.

Ultimately, my practice becomes a bridge between the child I once was (and am) and the adult I have become. However, it extends far beyond a personal endeavour. It transports the viewer through playgrounds of memory and invites them to feel childhood wonder, freedom, and paradoxically, grief and discomfort at once. It invites them to participate in, and consider the possibilities, of uninhibited play and wonder in adulthood.

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