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HomeCanadian NewsOttawa artist's work reveal the faces behind The Ottawa Mission

Ottawa artist’s work reveal the faces behind The Ottawa Mission


“I would like individuals to acknowledge that there are such a lot of individuals who make the Mission a particular place”

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Ottawa artist Karen Bailey didn’t need to look far to search out the topics for her newest venture, Portraits of The Ottawa Mission — they’re her neighbours.

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“I’ve lived within the ByWard Marketplace for 30 years,” says Bailey. “I’ve seen lots of people in want — the homeless, individuals battling alcohol and drug dependancy, individuals laying on the road —  you see all of it.

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“I believe individuals, like myself, move them by and all we see is despair.”

Bailey’s want is that individuals who come to see her new present on the Ottawa Artwork Gallery depart with a way of hope.

“What I didn’t understand was how rather more there’s to the Mission than only a plate of sizzling meals and a mattress for the evening,” she says. “These are big areas and essential, however The Mission has all these different companies that you just don’t take into consideration.”

Initially educated in England within the artwork of calligraphy and heraldry, Bailey has spent greater than three a long time portray in Ottawa. Her work has focused on unrecognized and underrepresented employees, be they medical personnel with the Canadian military in Afghanistan, or the work horses at Cundell Stables within the ByWard Market. It was her pal “Huge John”, a employee at Cundell’s who receives companies at The Mission, that bought her keen on her newest venture.

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Portraits of The Ottawa Mission is on at the Art Gallery of Ottawa until Oct. 16.
Portraits of The Ottawa Mission is on on the Artwork Gallery of Ottawa till Oct. 16. Photograph by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

Bailey spent 14 months engaged on the 31 work within the present. The portraits cowl everybody from CEO Peter Tilley to Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull and Wendy Muckle of Ottawa Inside Metropolis Well being to board member Rev. Anthony Bailey to donors, benefactors and volunteers. There’s additionally Chef Ric Allen-Watson and his kitchen crew, counsellors, laundry employees and Mission shoppers like Luc, a former junior hockey participant who now lives in supportive housing.

A few of Bailey’s acrylic-on-canvas work depict companies such because the Day/Hope counselling program, The Mission’s outfitters and bunk rooms and Dr. Tom Harle and his dental observe.

“You don’t take into consideration that — that somebody on the road can get a toothache,” Bailey stated. “After which what are they going to do? Or perhaps they’re trying to see somebody about housing. Or they need to enhance their life by enrolling in Chef Ric’s cooking program. It’s open to anybody. All you want is the will.

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“I would like individuals to acknowledge that there are such a lot of individuals who make the Mission a particular place. After I consider the Mission now, I understand it’s an entire vary of companies and the hope that it’s offering to its shoppers.”

Portraits of The Ottawa Mission at the Ottawa Art Gallery.
Portraits of The Ottawa Mission on the Ottawa Artwork Gallery. Photograph by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

The venture was executed throughout the pandemic, which made the work harder. In some instances, her topics got here to Bailey’s residence to sit down for portraits. COVID-19 outbreaks typically meant her entry was restricted. One significantly haunting portray exhibits males lined up at a meals truck on a frigid, snowy winter’s day when the Mission was locked down.

The portraits create an intimacy that’s completely different from what you’ll see in {a photograph}.

“Whenever you’re portray a portrait you’re them proper within the eye and asking them questions,” Bailey stated.

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“When individuals have their portrait painted, they’re placing their religion in your palms. Individuals are used to having their {photograph} taken, however they’re not used to seeing themselves on canvas. ”

Portraits of The Ottawa Mission is on show within the Ottawa Artwork Gallery’s third-floor Sky Lounge till Oct. 16. From the gallery’s broad home windows, you may look down throughout Waller Avenue and see the motion outdoors the Mission’s doorways. The reverse is true, too. Bailey relates a narrative from certainly one of her portrait topics.

“It was within the night and he was downstairs — the Mission is simply throughout the road, after all. And he seemed up and thought, ‘Have a look at the work!’ He knew that his portrait was up right here.”

Portraits of The Ottawa Mission is on at the Art Gallery of Ottawa until Oct. 16.
Portraits of The Ottawa Mission is on on the Artwork Gallery of Ottawa till Oct. 16. Photograph by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

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