Notes from the Edge

Teri Donovan

About the Artist

Teri Donovan is a mixed media artist with a materially diverse practice that includes painting, drawing, photography, collage, and assemblage.

Her largely narrative-based works address perception, memory, and identity in conjunction with cultural norms handed down from the past to the present. By incorporating repeating motifs and textures, combined with a variety of elements, she aims to create visual dialogues that draw attention to ongoing patterns in contemporary life, with particular attention to those pertaining to women and girls.

Donovan holds Bachelor’s degrees from York University and the University of Toronto, and has studied at The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, the Ontario College of Art and Design, and the Toronto School of Art.

Her work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Peterborough, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Hermes Gallery, Halifax, Hamilton Artists Inc., the Latcham Art Centre, Stouffville, ARC Gallery, Chicago, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Viridian Gallery, NYC, and the Red Head Gallery, Toronto. Her work is represented in corporate and private collections and was featured in Carte Blanche Vol.2: Painting, a survey of contemporary painting in Canada.

About the Works

What is left behind is never truly gone and the return of what was, is forever here and now. These words succinctly sum up the entanglement of the past with the present and future, and set the stage for ways in which identity and social roles are shaped by cultural milieus.

Who is at the center of culture and civilization is ostensibly limited to heteronormative middle and upper class white men. They are like the pebble that when tossed into the lake of humanity pushes all but themselves out into ever expanding concentric circles. Surrounding them is a vast peripheral space filled with movement, hopes, strategies, and ambitions. In that space of concentric circles, some swim nearer the center, while women invariably inhabit the outer edges.

The women in these images never made it to the inner border of their designated circles. Tethered by history and convention, they remained confined to pre-established parameters laid out for them long before they were born. Their struggles for parity, and the resistance they encountered is evident in their faces and ranges from defiance and determination to resignation and perplexity.

Much of the same resistance endures today even in the era of feminist movements, Me Too, LGBTQ rights, BIPOC, and Black Lives Matter initiatives. Nevertheless, the periphery continues its relentless push towards inclusion in the center with hopes and visions for a future that is ultimately decentered, and where boundaries melt into equality.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.
Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.