Teri Donovan is a visual artist based in Toronto. She holds a Fine Arts degree from York University and a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto. She studied at The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, the Ontario College of Art and Design, and the Toronto School of Art. She is represented by The Red Head Gallery in Toronto.
Donovan’s practice spans painting, drawing, and photo-based work. She is interested in patterns that shape thoughts and behaviours and how they impact perception, collective and individual memory, and female identity. Using imagery sourced from photographs, wallpapers, and digital references, she juxtaposes elements to create visual dialogues that address these themes, along with ways in which the past informs the present and future.
In expressing ideas about the entanglement of the past with the present, Donovan refers to Simon Critchley’s assertion that, “We might think we’re done with the past, but the past isn’t done with us”1, Thus, what is absorbed and internalized in childhood is spoken and performed, consciously and unconsciously, in adulthood.
Donovan explores this in her series of paintings on Mylar in which she traces a variety of influences that contribute to self-image and socially prescribed gender roles for girls and young women. These, she contends, are designed to guide girls into a culture conforming social construct that perpetuates age-old parameters.
In addition to these paintings, are works highlighting the performance, negotiation, and blurring of gender roles in the domestic sphere, where in spite of recent progress, entrenched patterns persist while values and expectations are challenged. Domesticity is further addressed in Donovan’s flocked and ghostly assemblages of traditional, ”girls” toys.
In addition to The Red Head Gallery, Donovan's work has been exhibited at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Hermes Gallery, Halifax, Hamilton Artists Inc., Hamilton, The Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, ARC Gallery, Chicago, and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Teri Donovan’s work is in corporate and private collections and was featured in Carte Blanche Vol.2: Painting, a survey of contemporary painting in Canada.