Sunday, May 17, 2015

Susan Tooke
blue stream tangled wood, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48"

Tooke's abstraction of the landscape is based on response to the energy of the environment around her. Beginning with an underpainting that sets a powerful tone to the work, she develops a shorthand for dealing with the elements of the landscape translating the dynamics of the landscape into a visual image. Lines of energy, sweeping forces of wind and the dynamics of water are interpretive and expressionistic.

With influences stemming from Anne Meredith Barry and Emily Carr, her palette exaggerates and simplifies the existing colours found in nature, substituting bold contrasting colour to emphasize elements in the composition.  Forms are delineated with complimentary colour; the image is flattened.  Patterns create the textures of the rocks, earth, waves and their inhabitants to express the ‘soul’ of the landscape. 

Susan Tooke was chosen for a media arts scholarship by the Centre for Art Tapes (2014-15), and is currently working with sound, video and animation to create virtual environments based on threatened wilderness spaces.

As a member of the multimedia collaborative team Motion Activated, she continues her partnership with Véronique MacKenzie (dance/choreography) and Lukas Pearse (interactive composer and multimedia designer) using computer manipulation of video and photography to further explore ideas of time and motion as related to the human figure.

Her continuing studio practice in painting, illustration, and digital montage inform her work in media arts, employing stop motion animation, drawing and painting incorporated into video clips of the dancer.

Ms. Tooke received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and graduate studies in Media from the New School for Social Research in New York.  She is a three-time winner of the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration.  Her studio paintings are represented by The Sivarulrasa Gallery, Almonte, Ontario.



June 2016                    Terroir: A Nova Scotia Survey of contemporary art, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
April/May                    Bloom: Sivarulrasa Gallery show of 4 artists, Almonte, Ontario.
November 7                 Established Artist Recognition Award—Visual Arts.
October 2015               Trees and Tides: (solo exhibition) Gallery Page and Strange
October 2015               Nocturne: 3B:Backlands/Badlands/Burbs (Tooke) and Grain by Grain: Live drawing
                                     projection with dance and sound, collaboration with MacKenzie and Pearse.
August 2015                White Rabbit Arts Residency & Festival, Upper Economy, Nova Scotia.
July 2015                     Industry Growth Investment, Communities, Culture and Heritage: Motion Activated
April 2015                   Nova Scotia Art Bank purchase of painting: Dry Stream Bed, Fishing Cove Trail.
February 2015             3B: Backlands/Badlands/Burbs: issues surrounding development of ecologically
                                    rare environments, (video,audio,animation), Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax.
August 2014                 Media Arts Scholarship awarded by the Centre for Art Tapes.
April 2014                    Woodlands and Watersheds, solo exhibition, Gallery Page and Strange
April 2014                    Lasso the Wind: Aurélia’s Verses and Other Poems, shortlisted for the Libris Award.
June 2014                     Lasso the Wind: Aurélia’s Verses and Other Poems: text by George Elliotte Clarke, 

                                     artwork by Susan Tooke, Nimbus Publishing, The Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award.
September 2013           Woodlands: solo exhibition, Gallery Page and Strange
September 2013           Motion Activated: ArtsPlace, Annapolis Royal, multimedia installation with Véronique
                                     Mackenzie and Lukas Pearse.
June/July 2013             Motion Activated: multimedia installation with Véronique Mackenzie and Lukas Pearse, Saint
                                    Mary’s University Art Gallery, curated by Robin Metcalfe.
April 2012                    Depths of Sorrow: Titanic 100- Motion Activated-Multi-media.
January 2012                Kinetic Studio: Motion Activated(page two) with Veronique MacKenzie/Lukas Pearse.
October 2011                Nocturne: Motion Activated (page one) with Veronique MacKenzie and Lukas Pearse.
August 2011                 Transformation: exhibition of recent paintings, Gallery Page and Strange, Halifax.
May 2011                      Professional Development: media, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
May 2011                      Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration: The City Speaks in
                                     Drums, written by Shauntay Grant.
February 2011               Creation Grant, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
February 2010               Residency, Leighton Artists’ Colony, Banff.
Feb-Mar 2010               Up Home: Original paintings,The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, opened
                                     by Her Honour Mayann E. Francis, ONS, DHumL, Lieutenant Governor of NS.
Sept-Nov 2009              Up Home: Original paintings,The Black Cultural Centre for NS.
April 18-June 14           Up Home: Original paintings, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
April 2009                     Up Home wins The Best Published Book Award, Atlantic Book Awards.
April 2009                     Up Home wins the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award.
May 2008                      Free as the Wind: Saving the Horses of Sable Island, winner Alberta Children's/Young Adult

                                     Book of the Year Winner.
June 2007                      Industry Growth Investment, Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
June 2007                      Brave Jack and the Unicorn, winner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award, Bruneau
                                      Family Children’s Literature Award.
July                               October 2005 Brave Jack and the Unicorn, original paintings, Government House,
                                      Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Fall, 2005-2007            This is Our Land, Images of America and the World, touring exhibition of the United
                                     States, Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.
September 2005            Enduring Community Photomontage: Metepenagiag Heritage Park, Red Bank, NB.
June-Sept. 2003            Beyond the Letters: A Retrospective of Canadian Alphabet Books, National Library of Canada. 

June 2003                      Nova Scotia Arts Council, creation grant.
May 2003                      Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Book Illustration, HRM, Full Moon Rising.
February 2003               Lillian Sheppard Memorial Award for excellence in Illustration (Full Moon Rising).
October 2002                Almost Normal: collaboration with Véronique Mackenzie, Ariella Pahlke and Sarah 

                                      Bonnemaison, Sir James Dunne Theatre.
February 2002              Atlantic New Dance Festival: Palimpsest of an Interior Elevation with an Inhabitant 

                                      collaboration with Véronique Mackenzie, Ariella Pahlke and Sarah Bonnemaison.
Sept 2000-Jan 2001      A Seaside Alphabet, original paintings, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS,
                                      curated by Virginia Stephen, solo exhibition.
July 2000                      Point Pleasant Park: Artists’ Response, Nova Scotia Provincial Archives, curator,
                                      Gary Castle.
1999                              Parks Canada-Monument Lefebvre National Historic Site, NB.
1998                              Ryan Premises National Historic Site, Bonavista, NL, (digital photo montage).
1997                              Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (paintings,illustrations,digital montage).
June 1996                      Face Value: Nova Scotia Portraiture collaborative multi-media work with Véronique
                                      MacKenzie, AGNS.
Sept. 1999- Jan. 2000    Artists as Children, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Virginia Stephen,
                                       AGNS Deputy Director, curator (touring).
1999                               Nova Scotia Arts Council, Travel Grant
2000                               Nova Scotia Arts Council, Presentation Grant.
1998                               Manhattan Arts International 1998 7th Annual Competition, NYC, NY- Artist Showcase Award.
1992                               Subject Matter: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture in Nova Scotia, Art
                                       Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Robin Metcalfe, curator.

2011-present                  Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council.
2015-present                  CARFAC National: President and National Spokesperson
2009-present                   Past President, CARFAC Maritimes.
2011                               Juror, Governor General’s Award for Illustration.
2006                               Juror, Governor General’s Award for Illustration.
2003                               Juror, Governor General’s Award for Illustration.
1999-2000                       Chairperson, Visual Arts Nova Scotia.
1995-1996                      Artist in Residence, Saint Mary's University Art Gallery Media Centre, 1995-1997.
1994, 1995                     Juror, Nova Scotia Art Bank Purchase Program.
1993-1996                      Member, Advisory Committee for the Canada/Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement
1993-1995                      Member, Board of Governors, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.


1977                              New School for Social Research, New York City: postgraduate, Media Studies.
1972                              Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia: B.F.A.

Susan Tooke