Exploring first journeys in life through art

School of art student Cecilia-Sif Thompson hosts first solo exhibit

In her first solo exhibit, student and artist Cecilia-Sif Thompson displays the art pieces that have shaped her journey at the School of Art. The exhibition, entitled My First Journey, showcases Thompson’s progress from her first year to her time as an honours student.

While this is Thompson’s first time displaying her artwork in a solo show, she’s had plenty of experience showcasing her artwork at other events such as Nuit Blanche and First Fridays in the Exchange. She has gained additional experience curating two prior shows as well. 

Thompson told the Manitoban there was a difference between the two processes for her. “I feel like when I was curating other exhibitions, I kind of had to think about what other people might want to show, not necessarily what I want to show,” she explained.

“This time around I could choose myself what I wanted to show, even if it’s not something other people want to see.”

Thompson said she’s very excited for people to come and see her artwork and to showcase her evolution and progress she’s made as an artist. 

 “It’s a way to show how I evolved as an artist,” she said. “I’m very proud of it.”

Throughout the exhibition, visitors will find pieces that explore themes like anxiety and mental health, distance, connections and the human body. 

Of all her pieces on display, Thompson says her favourite is one she created during her time as an honours student called “Unprotected and Exposed.” 

The piece, which is a self-portrait of Thompson, is tucked into the right hand corner of the room upon entering the space and features beadwork sewn into the canvas to imitate teardrops falling from the eye. 

For Thompson, the piece represented her “vulnerable side […] expressing that through art.”

Thompson has also displayed five years’ worth of art in the gallery, and there are many eye-catching and captivating pieces. 

Her first ever piece, and one of the first displayed once you’ve entered the gallery, is a map of Iceland cut out onto wood and mounted atop a purple background entitled, “Home.” 

The second is called “Family Ties” and features two painted canvases side by side, with space in between them, connected by strings.  

The exhibition, which runs from Jan. 24 to Jan. 31, had its opening reception on Jan. 25 and welcomed visitors with some light snacks and refreshments, including Icelandic crepes, homemade by Thompson’s mother. 

In some closing remarks on the gallery display, Thompson said, “I love sharing my art […] I want to share my art with the world and people, so I’m using my resources with the student gallery.”

My First Journey is on display in the School of Art Student Gallery, Taché Arts Complex, until Jan. 31.