Georgia Mathewson, Canada

Residency Period: 1 May 2015 - 31 October 2015


Georgia Mathewson is an Ottawa, Canada based artist working in the fields of painting, mixed media, drawing, installation and, most recently, sound poetry in the group the Quatuor Gualuor. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art in 2008 from The University of Ottawa and has since been working in groups, collectives and through a solo practice.

Working from a meticulous process, her method is built on both intuitive and rational ways of thinking. One allows for ambiguous and fantastical imagery to unfold, while the other requires decisions to be made according to the boundaries and specifications of her materials. Her upbringing on a farm in rural Ontario informs her work, and she uses this experience to reflect on what it means to be a ruralist living in an urban environment.

On-hiatus Proposal Summary

Upon graduating from art school, Georgia enjoyed a period of fulfilling productivity with a group of other artist friends with whom she formed a collective named "Focus Group." ( She recalls that there was a great deal of optimism within the group during this period and it was easy to get caught up in the art making process, forgetting that they were all dirt poor, recently graduated, struggling, working artists. The group has since disbanded yet she looks back on these days fondly as one of her most creative periods in her life, and when she felt clearly a sense of purpose and a reason for making art. She has continued to practice art since then yet has carried a feeling that she has been on a kind of hiatus ever since her collaboration with the group ended. Furthermore, even though she continues to define and consider herself an artist, she admits a sense of disillusion towards her career path; there is so much pressure to achieve success, and this profession is all consuming, not allowing one to pursue other interests and desires.

Combined with these feelings was a belief that she should be fixing up her family's run-down farm that has been neglected for years; the same one where she taught herself to paint and where her creativity was nurtured. During her residency at RFAOH, Georgia will spend time raising funds and repairing this farmhouse, preserving a heritage site that just so happens to be her childhood home. She hopes that her on-hiatus project will allow her to leave behind her disillusionment and find a path of purpose again, with a little push and motivation from RFAOH.

Final Report




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An almost detour – AA Report- Day 66

Thinking about my art practice today. I’m not sure if I should be. Does that make this a confession?  

Yesterday when I was on my way to the train station (heading back to Ottawa after spending some time working at the house),  we passed a series of brightly coloured round objects on the side of the road. They looked like Christmas balls. Three of them. I caught myself thinking how nice it would be to have them and to incorporate them into an artwork. I haven’t worked with objects like this in a long time, why don’t I anymore?  I was very close to asking my driver to turn around so that I could go and collect them. Would it be wrong to pick them up? I had a brief dialogue with myself: “We’re early, it would only be a little detour and they are just garbage at this point, I would be doing the community a service.” I wondered and we passed them by. 

In my third month on hiatus I haven’t thought as much about my art practice as I am today. I suppose I did enough of that before going on hiatus. Thinking. Thinking about why I’m disillusioned and why I wanted (needed) this hiatus. A social media stream from my last art show also appeared today, popped up unexpectedly. A reminder of a period not that long ago. I remember, but I’m not tied to this memory. Here I am now thinking about making something new. Is it wrong? Within this thought stream I am also asking myself:  Is there something special about an artist’s brain, that I would want to create something with such mundane objects? Or maybe my brain has been trained to think this way. After years of art school and working around artists is it now impossible for me not to think this way?  Is it formula or instinctual? The artist’s curse? Geesh, when did not making art become so complicated? 

(An almost detour – A(rt) A(nonymous) Report- Day 66) 


                                                            Image from Google Images


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