Em McDonald

Em McDonald is one of the current Resident Artists participating in the City of Mississauga’s Resident Artist Program at the Living Arts Centre.

Two semi-circle shapes of glass.

Em McDonald

About the artist

“My work is focused on the interaction of the mind and body. I seek to create sculpture that visualises the experience of living in the world, at once the most personal and universal of experiences. My work examines these ideas with a variety of techniques, using glass as my medium to help me tell this narrative through texture and symbolism. I highlight the ability of glass to appear as rock, ceramic, or stone, to reference the body. Being materials of the earth they are a grounding force, opposed by the areas of pure polish and translucency which represent the ethereal spirit of the mind. I interplay these features in my work to begin a conversation about identity, body dysphoria, injury, and experience.

My ‘Androgymals’ series is about my relationship with my own identity as a queer androgynous person. The relationship of the mind and body extends far beyond the pure physicality of living in the world and has drastic impact on how a person can see themselves and others. More recently my work has begun to explore this in my own view of my “otherness” and seeks to visualise it, giving a space and form to the feeling. By taking the classic glass form of the female figure and attaching a visibly male animal head, such as a moose, I create a sculpture that informs a sense of disconnect and strangeness. By forcing this feeling on the viewer I begin a conversation about it and the underlying ideas of identities, bodies, and how we view ourselves.” – Em McDonald