Curated Contemporary Art Since 2003
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ARDEA THURSTON-SHAINE "Walking Away From Myself"
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ARDEA THURSTON-SHAINE "Walking Away From Myself"


40 x 60 inches

Oil on canvas



Ardea Thurston-Shaine is an interdisciplinary artist living in Waterloo, Ontario. Raised between the Pacific Northwest and the wilderness of Alaska, she grew up surrounded by natural beauty. She has always had a penchant for abstract philosophical reflection and began contemplating her own awareness of individual moments as a small child. Today, her art still reflects the combination of observed natural wonders with philosophical and spiritual reflection. Another early influence on her artistic perspective was Buddhist retreats in the tradition of Vietnamese teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

Ardea received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in 2018. There, she discovered a love of oil paint and rekindled her relationship with ceramic sculpture. She began using photographic references combined in photoshop to create complex abstract images from realistic elements.

Ardea has been actively exhibiting her work since 2012. she has participated in juried group shows across North America, including shows in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Toronto, and New York City. In 2021, her work was included in the London Art Biennale. Ardea is currently a resident artist at the Globe Studios in Kitchener, Ontario.


In my art, I try to capture the occasions when I feel the world open. Day to day, my mind encloses and flattens the space around me. The images I create strengthen my belief in the reality of space, possibility, and peace.

The depth around me often doesn’t seem real. There is a screen separating me from the open spaces. Believing in depth involves breaking this screen to forge a connection between myself and the other. I create worlds in which my self and the other are opposite sides of one fabric. By visualizing two-sided folds, my art identifies a closeness that has been lost.

I also visualize double surroundings. My mind extends to surround the other. My body surrounds everything I see, with its boundaries at the corners of my eyes. Images of what I see are stored and remixed inside me. My art shows bodies encircling outside spaces. But the world also surrounds me with its mix of space and more solid matter. I know that my body is small.

My influences include Buddhist practice, western philosophy, and mental health work. I am interested in the relationship of Buddhist ideas of “one-ness”, Gilles Deleuze’s theory of “folds”, and solutions to anxiety and depression. I want to help other people expand their own mental spaces in order to be kinder to themselves and others.


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