Andrew McPhail has developed a multidisciplinary, layered artistic practice that merges personal reflection with a deeply considered use of materials. Focused primarily on drawing in his earlier years as an artist, McPhail’s interest subsequently shifted towards three-dimensional and performative works after moving to Hamilton in 2005. His craft-oriented pieces reconfigure everyday disposable materials while conveying a broader consideration of personal-social-cultural conversations. As he shares:
“For the past decade I have been producing work which relates to my experience living with HIV and now feel it is time to reframe that conversation for myself. As a long-term survivor of the AIDS epidemic I am now learning to cope with the mundane issues of aging which I never thought I would have to manage. THIS IS NOT AN AIDS QUILT is at once a call to action and an admission of defeat, an attempt to give voice to the sense of vigour and the crushing weariness which coexist in any memorial. The laborious materiality of applying thousands of sequins by hand and the tenacity required for such a futile endeavour satisfies the ambiguity I feel after twenty-five years of living with HIV.”
McPhail was born and raised in Calgary, AB and holds a Masters of Fine Arts from York University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and in 2013 was the recipient of the Canada Council International Studio in Paris. He is a cofounder of the Hundred Dollar Gallery with fellow Hamilton based artist, Stephen Altena, and is a founding member of The Assembly gallery in Hamilton. Upcoming work in 2020 includes projects in Canada and Germany. He currently lives and works in Hamilton, ON.