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




recent comments

Getting into it-AA Report- Day 64

Something to note before I get into it

Days late (did I really not write a report in June?),  I apologize to the co-directors Matthew and Shinobu for making them wonder if I was still in this! I wrote to them yesterday to assure them that yes, I am indeed still in this! Time does seem to be passing by rather quickly though. It reminds me of when I was a child and school would let out for the summer, summer always flew by and here we are now already in July! I’ll start my second report by giving a brief update on June. 


A lot happened and I can honestly say that I’ve been writing in my head for the entire month but for some reason not writing things down- the words are mostly lost now. It seemed easier, I guess, to just work through everything without taking the time to sit down and write. It’s funny because I found myself speaking to a lot of people about how wonderful the writing aspect of this residency is; that it enables the residents to be creative in other ways. Writing is something that I’ve always enjoyed but I don’t spend much time doing, with the exception of writing some poetry (here and there) and an artist statement, bio etc. I’ll be watching myself more carefully this month, making sure I take the time to physically write. It’s a fantastic way to process thoughts. I believe I have a whole chapter in my head right now about how I’ve been negotiating being an artist on hiatus while working in an art gallery, so look for a report about this in the future! June also presented me with the obstacle of how to find a place within the artworld as an artist on hiatus while not comprising my hiatus status. More about this later too. 


Yesterday I went with my mom to pick up a building permit (it cost $100). I didn’t know that this would be a requirement to do work on the house. The house is owned by my family so why would we have to pay the town to renovate it? It turns out that that’s the law. Watch for it- there might also be a report coming about bureaucracy. 😉

The building permit covers the right to build as well as the right to demolish (take down). We’ll be taking down a balcony and another part of the house where the fire was and building around that. The balcony this summer, the other part I’m not sure when, time is limited. Interior work will be done as well.

Yesterday my partner, mother and I also spent time clearing away wild grape vines that have overgrown, growing over and around the house, suffocating the clothesline and a telephone wire. The removal of brush from around the house is integral to the prep work; before doing anything to the exterior brush must first be cleared away. I’ll be focusing on this for the next little while as well as figuring out how to bring a large balcony down! (see photos for more)  

Closing notes

Reading other residents reports has made me recognize how much of my own project is tied into memory/history, and so I would really appreciate some direction from the co-directors (readers too) about whether they would like me to write more about this. 

Until next time! 

 (Getting into it- A(rt) A(nonymous) Report-Day 64) 


                      Covered Clothesline                                    How do we approach these?



            The grapevine attached itself by tendrils that seemed to mimic the wire of the clothesline



                                          Getting a closer look at how the porch is attached


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