JUST BEING THERE  by Judith McKay 30" x 40" Acrylic on Canvas

JUST BEING THERE by Judith McKay 30" x 40" Acrylic on Canvas


Solo Exhibition of paintings by Judith McKay


November 8 to November 30 2018

Artist Statement

Hiraeth (here-eye-th)

Hiraeth is a Celtic word that means a wistful longing for a place that you cannot return to. A place that perhaps never was. 

The desire for a sense of peace and belonging are emotions I seek to capture in my work. Such desire can often turn to frustration when the real world doesn’t live up to fantasy, and so I depict trees, firmly rooted yet dancing in the wind, to symbolize resiliency as we continue to seek our true home, despite adversity. 

For this exhibition, I chose a vibrant palette and the use of high gloss medium and reflective paints to create an ethereal effect, as if awakening from a beautiful dream that quickly evaporates and eludes us. The pieces selected for display are meant to truly express what Hiraeth means to me. 


Judith McKay is a Toronto artist, who explores fantasy as a means of finding peace in a frenetic world. Trees are her allegory for the endless pursuits of modern life: rooted, yet branching out to reach the sky.

Largely self-taught, Judith’s style is free-flowing. She uses both thick impasto and fluid colour to achieve movement and boldness. Fearless about colour, she uses a vibrant palette, applying interference and irides­cent paints to achieve surrealistic effects. Her style is constantly evolving via frequent participation in workshops and exhibitions, as well as studying the techniques of other artists.

Recent Toronto exhibitions include Art Escape at the Super Wonder Gallery, the ETA Awards, Visual Arts Movement juried exhibition, FUSION, and a shared solo show with Moses Sali­hou at the Freedom Factory Gallery. She is also a regular exhibitor at the Artusiasm Gallery. Her work can be found in private collections across Canada, the US and overseas.

Judith is also on the board of Artscape, a Toronto-based not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. She also is honoured to have recently joined the Art Toronto 2018 Opening Night Committee.