Emmanuel OsahorArtist at Emmanuel Osahor
Emmanuel Osahor’s practice engages with beauty as a necessity for survival, and a pre-cursor to thriving in the midst of today’s marginalization and inequity. His works depict garden spaces as constructed sanctuaries within which manifestations of both beauty and care are present. His paintings are developed from photographic snapshots of garden spaces which are then reconfigured through processes of collage, drawing, and printmaking. They are created through a simplification of the compositional elements, and a delineation of dynamic fields of color. These strategies coalesce into the creation of lush images with nuanced coloration that transcend representations of garden spaces and make a garden experience palpable. It is important to him that the gardens created serve as imagined sanctuary spaces that are inviting for bodies of culture like him and those from other walks of life. By prioritizing an engagement with the beautiful, his paintings offer a space where one can tend to the complexities of marginalization and inequity inherent in contemporary existence.
Born in Nigeria, Emmanuel Osahor lives and works in Toronto (ON). He holds an MFA at the University of Guelph (2021) and a BFA in Art and Design from the University of Alberta (2015). His work has been presented in multiple solo and collective exhibitions, including at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, The Art Gallery of Alberta, SNAP gallery, The Works International Festival of Art and Design, The Art Gallery of Guelph and BAND Gallery. In 2014, Emmanuel Osahor was the provincial winner for the BMO 1st art Competition, representing the province of Alberta, in 2018 he received an honourable mention at the 20th RBC Painting competition, and in 2021 he received the Joseph Plaskett postgraduate award in painting. His work can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of Guelph, Art Gallery of Alberta, Art Bank of Canada, RBC, and TD Bank.