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Riisa Gundesen: Toilettes

Eastern Edge is excited to present our first Main Gallery exhibition of 2023! Join us on March 10th from 6:00-8:00PM for the opening reception of  Riisa Gundesen’s Toilettes. There will be snacks, refreshments, and an artist talk from Riisa! To RSVP to the Facebook event, click here.

“My painting practice examines the performance of femininity in the context of private spaces and activities, particularly as it relates to my experiences of intrusive thoughts, anxiety and depression, and my relationship to gender. In this latest body of work, I deal with the space and rituals of my apartment bathroom, and with commercial products which are marketed as panaceas for stress and mental illness – face masks, candles, bath products, and other ‘wellness’ items. The consumer pleasure of the attractive products is mirrored in the material pleasure of the figurative painting, only for both to be undermined by the abject, the bodily concerns that are tied to the intimacy of the private bathroom: menstrual blood and toilet paper swirl in the toilet bowl, and discarded face masks and beauty paraphernalia uncannily mirror the absent body, resembling shed costumes, empty skins. The paintings explore these object’s position as symbols of collective fears around desirability, aging and death.”


Riisa Gundesen (she/her) is an oil painter based in Edmonton, AB, Treaty 6 Territory. Her practice deals with self-portraiture and still life, exploring topics such as personal narrative, the abject, femininity, and mental illness. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries and artist-run-centres across Canada, most recently in major group shows at Contemporary Calgary and the Dunlop Art Gallery. She has also been featured in such publications as Galleries West and The Capilano Review, and her work is included in the collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the University of Saskatchewan. Gundesen received her BFA from the University of Lethbridge in 2012, and her MFA from the University of Saskatchewan in 2017. She currently teaches painting and drawing at the University of Alberta.


Show Documentation

Photo Credit: Ksenia Korniewska