Full bio

Artist Statement

My practice dwells onthe (un)familiarities of home and what happens when its sentiment becomes disconnected, dislocated and ambiguous. I navigate the threshold of when commonplace becomes anomalous in my ongoing transient displacement; not being without a home, but rather the feeling when a traditional idea of home is suddenly dismantled.

My drawings are a documentation of my ongoing time spent in various places and spaces since abruptly leaving my family home. In August 2016, my partner and I had the opportunity to temporarily work in Newfoundland and in the same week, my family announced that they would be moving, leaving the home we grew up in. After arriving in Newfoundland and initially feeling out of sorts and displaced, the concept of home became something that has continuously pondered and pieced together: the people with me and away from me, the objects we brought and the objects we deemed important enough to store, and the place we resided in and our homes far away.

I explore how one can be comforted by the notion of home when its conventional state becomes physically no longer present, how it can endure and evolve within people and objects, and what its existence beyond spatial and temporal boundaries may be. What is left is an uncanny encounter with the once familiar and intimate, negotiated by interpretations and memories.

The drawings construct an indulgent moment of quietness and reflection where the absence of words presents the opportunity to simply look. In their fragmented state that exists between the real and remembered, they are intimately preserved to create a mapping of sorts – a rendering of the once familiar. They drift between the deconstruction and adoration of things and people in an attempt to (re)familiarize and fit myself into a new understanding of what was, or still could be, home.


Michelle MacKinnon is an artist and educator from Tichborne, Ontario and currently based in Corner Brook, NL. MacKinnon graduated with an MFA (2015) and BFA (2013, Honours, Cum Laude) in Visual Arts from York University. She has participated in residencies at The Banff Centre for the Arts (Banff, Alberta), The Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia), and Spark Box Studios (Picton, Ontario). She has exhibited in various galleries across North America and Russia and is a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.

MacKinnon is currently a Sessional Instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Grenfell Campus, and has previously taught at York University (Toronto, Ontario) and Algoma University (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario).


Thalia Magazine: The Ritual Issue - Dec 2018