Our next Artist You Need To Know is April Hickox.
Hickox is a Canadian lens-based artist, teacher and independent curator who has lived on the Toronto Islands since childhood and much of her practice is informed and shaped by her immediate environment. Over nearly four decades, Hickox “has mined the distinctions between personal and public sites through film, video, photography and installation. Her work with objects and the still life is rooted in narrative histories that individuals accumulate through out their lives and the ability of inanimate objects to shape memory.”
Hickox has offered the following about her works of the past decade: “I think in my work, I have always worked with history, place and a sense of self, and sometimes language, communication and voice.”
She studied photography and graphic design in Twickenham College of Technology (London, UK) from 1973 to 1974 and returned to Canada for the 5th year graduate studies program at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, where she obtained an AOCA degree (1974 to 1978).
Hickox is best known as “a landscape photographer who explores notions of the wild and what we know wilderness to be. Over the years she has continued to document over-lapping layers of human and natural histories, to demonstrate how, with our help, nature is reinvented. She has produced numerous landscape series in Carolinian forest areas including Hancock Woodlands, Point Pelee and the Toronto Island” areas.
Hickox is the Founding Director of Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, and a founding member of Tenth Muse Studio, and Artscape Toronto. She is a member of the curatorial board of Art With Heart, Casey House, while also being an Associate Professor of Photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto. She has taught at a number of other academic institutions, including Ryerson University (1997), Canadore College (1989), Art Gallery of Ontario (1985–89), and University of Toronto (1985–90).
Her work can be found in numerous collections, including the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank, the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the Burnaby Art Gallery.
Exhibitions of her work have been mounted at Katsman Contemporary (Toronto, ON), Leo Kamen Gallery (Toronto), the Art Gallery of Windsor (now Art Windsor – Essex), St. Norbert Cultural Centre (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Oakville Galleries (Oakville, ON), Tom Thomson Art Gallery (Owen Sound, ON), Thunder Bay Art Gallery (Thunder Bay, ON), Gallery 44 (Toronto, ON), Presentation House Gallery, (Vancouver, B.C.), La Centrale (Galerie Powerhouse) (Montréal, QC), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, ON), Surrey Art Gallery (Surrey, B.C.), McLaren Art Centre (Barrie, ON), Art Gallery of Hamilton and numerous other spaces. Hickox has also produced a number of outdoor and public art installations, including Dissonance and Voice (1995, curated by Richard Rhodes) and Wind (2018) for the Humber River Hospital Development.
April Hickox has mined the distinctions between personal and public sites through film, video, photography and installation. Her work is rooted in the narrative histories that individuals accumulate throughout their lives and the ability of inanimate objects to shape memory. (from accompanying text to an exhibition of her work at the KWAG)
Much more of Hickox’s artwork can be seen here, with background about her approach and themes that add nuance and depth to the many series she’s produced. Some of the selections we’ve shared here include (in order of their posting on this page Vantage Point – Passing (the groyne), Demarcations (Marker Series), Landscape and Memory Toronto Island, Green Spaces, Vantage Point – Portholes, and Gather : Ashes.