Andrew McPhail has developed a multidisciplinary, layered artistic practice that merges personal reflection with a deeply considered use of materials. Focused primarily on drawing in his earlier years as an artist, McPhail’s interest subsequently shifted towards three-dimensional and performative works after moving to Hamilton in 2005. His craft-oriented pieces, such as “This is not an AIDS quilt”, reconfigure everyday disposable materials while conveying a broader consideration of personal-social-cultural conversations.
“THIS IS NOT AN AIDS QUILT references the creation of the 54-ton AIDS Quilt which brought together and gave voice to the community of those affected by the devastating loss of loved ones during the early years of the AIDS crisis. It is at once a call to action and an admission of defeat, an attempt to give voice to the sense of vigour and the crushing weariness which coexist in any memorial. Reclaiming a voice as survivors is an important aspect of maintaining visibility and connection within a broader community.”
Andrew McPhail was born and raised in Calgary, AB and holds a Master of Fine Arts from York University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and in 2013 was the recipient of the Canada Council International Studio in Paris. He is a cofounder of the Hundred Dollar Gallery with fellow Hamilton based artist, Stephen Altena, and is a founding member of The Assembly gallery in Hamilton, Ontario. Upcoming work in 2020 includes projects in Canada and Germany.