Canadian Sculptures' Society

Lisa J. Irvine

Artist Statement

Gathering, organizing and filtering through the narrative of my family's history has long been a focus for my work. As a first generation Canadian of Irish decent, I have always felt a longing and a disconnect from my family's place of origin. Over the past couple of years, I have explored the notions of "home" and the differences between the physical and emotional connections we make to specific places. As a child my parents would talk of home - this distant land that we would travel to every couple of years. At school I was taught to see home as the physical structure in which I lived it. These two contrasting ideas created a struggle within me, and it alienated me from feeling connected to either place. In later years it became the impetus for my artwork. "Divided" is a 220 foot knitted scarf comprising of both hand and machine knit components. Symbolically the hand knitted roll represents the passing of traditional crafts from one generation to the next within my family. The carefully rolled centre begins with my mom's hand carefully crafting out the first 24 feet of the scarf. This piece represents my family's origin's in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Slowly it transcends into my hand taking over the process and continuing the tradition of learning to knit from the matriarchs in the family. In essence, the two rolled pieces are like a conversation between a mother and daughter. Over time the roll unwinds and transforms from the careful repetitious hand to the modern knitting machine. Although the machine knitted roll on first look appears more uniform, the artists hand is evident in the unravelling edges and knitted form. It's organic composition and physical weight are rooted in the artist's true home which is here in Canada. Thus the machine crafted role represents my Canadian roots in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The number of stitches that create the width represent my current age. The span of the scarf is determined by the distance it takes to travel between Enniskillen and Mississauga. It alludes not only to physical distance, but also to time and memory as it is played out in the passing on of traditions.

2001 Visual Arts Specialist, OISE/University of Toronto
1999 B.Ed., Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Kingston ON
1998 Hons. BA, Art & Art History, Collaborative Prog., Sheridan College / Uof T, Mississauga

Selected Exhibitions
2012 About Earth, Canadian Sculpture Centre
2011 Pursuit, Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre, Oakville
2010 Square Foot, AWOL Gallery, Toronto
2009 Sculptor Mentorship Project, Burlington Art Centre
2008 Full-Art Salon 2007, Williams Mill Gallery, Glen Williams, ON
2008 Streetsville Arts Fest, Mississauga
2007 A Tale of Two Sisters, Main Street Inn, Georgetown
2007 These Friends of Mine II, Beaux-Arts Gallery, Brampton
2006 Thought Mass, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto
2006 Snowscapes, Gallery Streetsville, Mississauga ON
2005 28th Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of Mississauga
2004 Eclectic Blue III, Springbanks Art Centre, Mississauga
2004 Mistletoe Magic, John B. Aird Gallery
2003 Water Show, Canadian Sculpture Centre, Toronto

2001 The Laurie Pallet Award, Mississauga Arts Council
1999 Duncan McCarther Hall, Queen's University, Kingston ON

2002-4 Loomis & Toles Honourable Mention, Visual Arts Mississauga
2000 The Visual Arts Emerging Talent 2000, Mississauga Arts Council

Irvine is a full-time Arts Specialist with the Mississauga School Board.


website: http://


SSC Member Since: 2004