Fiona Chinkan

Fiona Chinkan

Brooklyn, NY, United States

About Fiona Chinkan

“Starting” is my favorite part of the artistic process. It can be argued that my entire journey to create a piece is “just starting” because each mark is determined in relation to the previous mark. My drawings are completely free handed, meaning I do not pencil it in ahead of time. I feel decisions are best made through the act of creating as opposed to pre-planning because I believe too much planning will rob an artist of their creativity. My colour palette is also decided as I work. I make a choice about one, maybe two colours, then I will pick my next move after I finish those layers.

This way of improvised working creates a dialogue between myself and the work. I listen to my instinct, energy and emotion. There is also a sense of self in that I don’t worry about a mistake. I only react to what I see, knowing that anything can be adjusted and reacted to. To me, it’s improvisation and trust that are the basis of how I create. This really allows me to enjoy what I do and fully invest myself into the work.

I’m often asked where the symbols in my work come from and if they have any meaning. The origin of my mark making comes from a time when I was learning lettering from a graffiti artist. He told me that people would normally add a symbol at the end of their name to give an identity to their signature, such as an exclamation point or a star. With that idea, I started adding my own symbols, (triangles, circles, etc.) around the words I was graffitiing. Eventually, I dropped the lettering altogether and focused on expanding my own “abstract language” using those different types of shapes. I became obsessed with filling pages upon pages with these shapes. In regards to the meaning of the marks, I prefer to think of them as a tool. Individually, the marks do not mean as much as they do together, as an entity. Their density, movement and scale can all change to convey emotions I’m feeling around a certain subject or thought.

I’m fascinated in how something may make you feel. For instance, I’m deeply moved by images of outer space from the Hubble space telescope, but I do not try to recreate those photographs in my work. What does not exist in those photos, is how they may make us feel. This is why you won’t see any “realism” in my art. When we send astronauts to space, they can discuss factually what is happening, but what truly moves human beings is when astronauts describe how they felt while they were there. So, I choose to express how I feel, as opposed to illustrate what I see.

Education

Hartford Art School
BFA: Graduated Cum Laude 2007
Major in visual communication design with minors in photography and art history
Study Abroad: Central Saint Martins in London 2006

Events

RESIDENCIES

Trestle Art Space, Brooklyn, NY, July-Dec 2019

Saint John Arts Centre, New Brunswick, Canada, July-August 2019

Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Inverness, Canada, July-August 2018

Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton, NJ, April-May 2017

Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Inverness, Canada, June 2016



ARTIST TALKS, WORKSHOPS & PANELS

Panel Discussion Saatchi Art & Sketchbook Project present: “Women in Illustration”, New York City, NY, November 2018

“Artist Talk: Shared Energies: Cells, Stars and the Fluidity Between”, Inverness, Canada, August 2018

“Artist Talk: Introduction to myself and the Shared Energies Project”, Princeton, NJ, May 2017

“Communiversity Event Open Studios”, Princeton, NJ, May 2017

“Workshop: Sketchbook Collaborations”, Inverness, Canada, June 2016

“Workshop: Artist Collaborations”, Inverness, Canada, June 2016



AWARDS

“Best Design” during Rockaway’s Artist Alliance presents “ArtSplash 2018”, New York City, NY, September-October 2018

Recipient of the “Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence”, Princeton, NJ, April-May 2017

Exhibitions

- Trestle Gallery 2019 Residency Exhibition, New York City, NY, December 2019

- First Friday Holiday Event at Strong Rope, New York City, NY, December 2019

- Pleiades Gallery: Beauties & Beasts, New York City, NY, November 2019

- Juried The Other Art Fair New York City, NY November 2019

- Gowanus Open Studio Event, New York City, NY, October 2019

- Shoebox Art Tour, Kyoto, Japan, September-October 2019

- Solo Show: “My Colourful Universe”, New York City, NY, June 2019

- Juried Small World Coffee: Featured Artist of the Month, Princeton, NJ, June 2019

- Juried The Other Art Fair, New York City, NY, May 2019

- Pleiades Gallery presents “It’s a Mad Mad Mad World”, New York City, NY, March 2019

- Juried La Bodega presents “small/MIGHTY”, New York City, NY, December 2018

- Juried The Other Art Fair, New York City, NY, November 2018

- Juried Rockaway’s Artist Alliance presents “ArtSplash 2018”, New York City, NY, September-October 2018

- Residency exhibition “Shared Energies: Momentum”, Inverness, Canada, August-September 2018

- Juried Clouds Art & Coffee present “The New Yorker’s Show”, Tokyo, Japan, July 2018

- Juried Pleiades Gallery presents “Small Works”, New York City, NY, February 2018

- Juried The Other Art Fair, New York City, NY, November 2017

- Juried Small World Coffee: Featured Artist of the Month, Princeton, NJ, September 2017

- Residency exhibition “Shared Energies: Cells, Stars and the Fluidity Between”, Princeton, NJ, May-June 2017

- Juried Greenpoint Gallery's First Salon Show of 2017, New York City, NY, January 2017

- Juried David&Schweitzer Contemporary presents “Making the Future”, New York City, NY, September-October 2016

- The Set presents “Live Art Exhibition”, New York City, NY, August 2016

- The NY Grind presents “Art Warehouse Showcase”, New York City, NY, July 2016

- The Set presents “Blacklight: A NY Fine Art Show”, New York City, NY, July 2016

- Leaders of the Youth Art Festival, Waterbury, CT, June 2016

- Juried Mad Gallery Show, New York City, NY, June 2016

- Residency exhibition “Shared Energies: Cells, Stars and the Fluidity Between”, Inverness, Canada, June 2016

- Juried “PINK! Show”, Hartford, CT March 2016

- “Our Greatest Generations: Untold Stories of Jewish War Veterans”, Hartford, CT, November 2007

- Juried VCD Senior Exhibition: “Resolution”, Hartford, CT, May 2007

- “Tapas & Art”, Hartford, CT, February 2007

- “Sobriety”, Hartford, CT, February 2007

- “Mix06”, Hartford, CT, February 2007

- Juried Annual Goldfarb Show, Hartford, CT, February 2007

- “A Petite Retrospective on Intimacy”, Collinsville, CT, November–December 2007

- “A Retrospective on Intimacy”, Franklin Lakes, NJ, June 2006

- “Mix06”, Melbourne, Australia, October 2006
Juried Annual Goldfarb Show, Hartford, CT, February 2006