Just as the contemporary mass media blurs the boundaries between the real vs virtual and the 2-D vs 3D realms, I explore similar tensions in the medium of paint. Using the colors, shapes, and raw materials of the mass media, I exploit paint to capture the psychological tensions of our time. We are currently living with an unprecedented amount of images in our daily lives – posters, billboards, digital pop-ups, and ads in every media. What would happen if we stripped away the representational images of our mass media culture, reducing it to color and form? How might such forms capture the sense of vertigo, disorientation, or intoxication brought upon by constant visual stimulation?
Where as the slick and manicured images of advertising culture work on the viewer through representation and idealization, my works seek to reverse this process. Designed to work on the viewer at the gut level, my pieces explore the processes of deconstruction, inversion, magnification, play, and distortion. To achieve these effects, I create immersive works that interact with the architecture of a room, such as paintings that merge the walls and floors or paintings that seem to slide right off the wall.
Through a sustained interrogation of the physics of painting, I am keen on plunging the viewer into unfamiliar territory, where the senses are activated in unexpected ways. I believe in the potential of paint to open up a greater awareness of our visual field and the profound effects it bears upon the human psyche.
Wendi Copeland takes an interdisciplinary approach to her work incorporating components from painting, printing, photography, sculpture and media. Cross-pollinating these disciplines has created an exploratory practice, which has inspired her to research and investigate the ordinary, mundane and often unnoticed patterns in our everyday surroundings.
Copeland was first attracted to the forms and patterns of deterioration she observed on sidewalks and road surfaces while studying in Chicago at The Art Institute. These organic and abstract forms often found on roads, glass, water, and the studio floor continue to inform her practice. Copeland says, “I am interested in playing with the ordinary, and the familiar and elevating these often ignored and undervalued images to the gallery wall”.
Recently, Copeland attended a Residency at The Vermont Studio Center developing a series of painting and sculptural installations. She graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC Canada.
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, B.C. – Bachelor Fine Art
School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. – Sculpture
British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, B.C. – Business
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. – Communications
University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France. – French
2016 The Art Students League of New York, USA
2015 Vermont Studio Center, USA
2013 Vermont Studio Center, USA
2012 The Art Students League of New York, USA
2011 Vermont Studio Center, USA
2011 Toni Onley Project, Canada
2007 The Banff Centre, Canada
2016 The Art Students League of New York, Vytlacil Artist Residency,
Ruth Katzman Fellowship
2015 Vermont Studio Center, Artist Grant
2013 Vermont Studio Center, Artist Grant
2012 The Art Students League of New York, Vytlacil Artist Residency,
Ruth Katzman Fellowship, two month residency
2011 Joseph Plaskett Scholarship
2011 Vermont Studio Center, Artist Grant
2010 Arts Council of Surrey, Painting – First Place
2009 Arts Council of Surrey, Sculpture – Second Place
2005 British Columbia Arts Council – Senior Award
2005 Brissenden Scholarship – Sculpture and Painting
2004 Alvin Balkin Memorial Scholarship – Innovation
2003 Helen Pitt Award – Outstanding Artistic Merit
2003 Carter-Begg Scholarship – Artistic Achievement
2017 Inspired by The Masters, Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
2015 Hanging by a Thread, The Cultch, Vancouver, B.C.
2014 Lest We Forget, Foster Eastman Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
2012 Elizabeth V Sullivan Gallery, Sparkill, New York
2012 Sans Brush, Cityscape, North Vancouver, B.C.
2010 Arts 2010, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, B.C.
2010 Expressions Northwest, Port Townsend, Washington
2010 Painting on the Edge, The Federation of Canadian Artists, Vancouver
2010 Graduation Exhibitions, Emily Carr University, Vancouver
2009 Also Showing, The Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver
2009 Emergence 2009, The Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver
2009 Painting on the Edge, The Federation of Canadian Artists, Vancouver
2009 Arts 2009, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, B.C.
2009 Terrain, Brow Gallery, Emily Carr University
2009 Moving Image, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University
2008 The Art of Food, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University
2008 VanDusen, Brow Gallery, Emily Carr University
2007 Shift, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University
2006 Mirror, Mirror, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C.
2006 Mirror, Mirror, Millennium Gallery, Whistler, B.C.
2005 Adrift, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University
2005 Pedestrian, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University B.C.
2005 Intimacy, YoYo Gallery, North Vancouver, B.C.
2005 Reframe, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
2005 Exquisite Corps, Three Walls Gallery, Chicago, Ill
2005 Infusion, solo show, TeaGschwender, Chicago, Ill
2004 Emergence, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University
2010 The Now Newspaper, “Surrey Arts 2010”
2010 Emily Carr University, “Surrey Arts 2010”
2010 The Vancouver Sun, “Catch a rising artist at Emily Carr grad show”: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Catch+rising+artist+Emily+Carr+grad+show/2973893/story.html
2009 Surrey Leader, “An eclectic collection”
2008 The Globe and Mail, “You art what you eat”
2008 The Vancouver Sun, “Food without Borders”
2008 City TV, Breakfast Television, “The Art of Food”
2008 Preview, “The art of Food”
2008 City Food, “Art + Food”
2008 West Ender, “The mature student”
2006 CBC Radio, On the Coast, “Art school confidential”
2006 Pique Newsmagazine, “Light falling on Landscapes”
2006 The Question, “Mirror/Mirror: Eight artists with a common thread”
All measurements for artwork are approximate