Gareth Bate

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2009 Review: Yearly Update


Highlights of 2009

Over the last year I've been focused on creating two new bodies of work in painting, a large set design installation for a dance company in Montreal, teaching painting and launching my web design business.


Moments: My Current Work

I decided to make a change and go from working huge to working really sma1l -- only 8 to 10 inches square. The result is what I feel are my best paintings to date. The Moments series depicts vast open land beneath ominous stormy skies. These imagined landscapes have an intimate scale yet represent an epic space.

Grouped together in sequences, they create a sense of shifting time and mood. The paintings depict the "spiritual" impact of the landscape, rather than its appearance. They embody human emotions and psychological states. Imagery emerges from flowing and pooling paint without reference to actual places.


Deep Field: Storm Fields

2009 was devoted to two bodies of work in painting. The first isDeep Field”  which has two aspects that are intended to be exhibited together. The first is imagined landscapes inspired by my annual trip to rural Prince Edward Island.

These fields and skies seem archetypal. I find the blowing grass and gathering storm clouds mesmerizing. I see stars once a year. For me, they represent a profound sense of longing for a world I rarely experience in Toronto.


Deep Feild: Cosmos

Deep Field: Cosmos is inspired by the photograph known as the, “Hubble Ultra Deep Field” taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. For 18 days it shot a long exposure of a section of sky that appeared completely empty. The result was astonishing. At first the image appears to be filled with stars. On closer inspection one realizes that these are in fact thousands of GALAXIES!

Every galaxy contains millions of stars, many of which are just like our sun and could have orbiting planets. It is estimated that the universe contains about 125 billion galaxies. Deep Field is a meditation on our ultimate scale in the universe.


Corps Intérieur Set Design

The installation / set design for Corps Intérieur(Inner Body) was a collaboration with David Pressault, a Montreal choreographer. The experimental contemporary dance was performed at the Monument National Theatre in Montreal in Jan 09 and then remounted in Dec. 09.

The immersive 200-foot multi-level environment allowed the audience to wander freely in a glowing underworld reminiscent of an ancient cave or pulsing inner body. The show was very successful. I was featured in articles by Aline Apostolka in Montreal’s La Press, and


Recent Exhibitions: Part 1

In the summer I was part of a four person show called “Between Reality and Fantasy” at Toronto’s Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects curated by Deborah Wang. I showed 4 photographs from my Plastic Paintings Series.

In the fall I donated a photograph of my Urban Honey Installation to “BeeCause” a fundraising auction for bee’s colony collapse disorder in London Ontario.



Recent Exhibitions: Part 2

I was part of two shows in Oakville’s World of Threads Festival. The first featured Penance in the “Common Thread International Juried Exhibition” at B42 Gallery. The second was “Threads that Bind” at The Gallery at Sheridan Institute. This featured my Plastic Paintings: Self-Portraits installation. The festival exhibition coordinator was Dawne Rudman.

Penance was screened at the "Arts for Social and Environmental Justice Symposium" at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music on in May 2010.



My New Studio: The Before Shot

In 2008 I had a studio at 401 Richmond that I’d won for a year from OCAD. Since completing that time I’ve moved to a studio in the basement of the building, which I now share. I’m thrilled to be able to stay in such an inspiring environment. I’ve spent a lot of time making it as nice as possible. It was getting out of control. You can see the before and after shots. 



My New Studio: The After Shot

I painted the floor white, covered the dirty sunken windows with mylar, repainted and reorganized. It is a work in progress. Having an orderly and open space has become really important to me. I continue to refine my furniture with discards from the building.

I’m so Zen...

I’m open for studio visits. Studio S17 in the basement orange section of 401 Richmond Street West. Toronto



2010 Cumulonimbus: Year 3
Photography Series

Every year I take the train out east and end up in North Lake, Prince Edward Island for three weeks. That landscape continues to be my most important inspiration. I feel a very deep connection to this place. This year I was most struck by the storm clouds. There is something very special --even archetypal -- about the fields, skies, grasses, red earth, rolling hills and storms of PEI. When I paint that landscape it speaks about something beyond the particularity of the place itself.

View 2009 Cumulonimbus Series.

View other years of Cumulonimbus


Teaching Painting

I continue to teach a course at Central Tech’s adult night school called "Paint The City". It is a lot of fun and I now have a great core group of repeating students. The last two rounds have been particular successful. The focus is on urban painting. I ask students to do on-sight photography and drawing which they bring to class every week.The next session starts starts July 5 and will be a two week intensive day program.I’m also available for private instruction.




I continue to run the Central Tech Art Alumni Network. This winter we had another pub night. I regularly send around updates about shows featuring alumni, staff and students. Central Tech continues to have a vibrant community of artists.

We always meet up for their annual exhibitions opening night on Thursday June 3rd and again at the yearly reunion in the summer.



Gareth Bate Design

I continue to work freelance as a web designer. I specialize in artist portfolios and sites for professionals and creative organizations. I’m always taking on new clients. Recent sites included Nicole Collins, Carolyn Dinsmore, Kendra Sartorelli, Jane LowBeer and Elisabeth Pomès.

Coming in 2010: New sites for John Brown, Howard Podeswa, Sarah Hunter, Hilary Inwood, Sharon Dembo, Jacquie Green, K.M. Hunter Foundation and a redesigned World of Threads Festival site.

View Gareth Bate Design Website...




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