Art Encounters on the Edge

Art et Conjunctures

August 17 – September 17

Bonavista Biennale is a program of 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects and has its genesis in a 136-year old traditional fisherman’s saltbox house in the outport community of Duntara on the east coast of Newfoundland. Many similar houses have stood empty since the collapse of the cod fishery in the 1990’s, many others have vanished. 

Such structures are evidence of European settlement in the area; tangible cultural heritage from past generations. In an effort to save an old house and revitalize a diminishing community, 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects (active 2 Rms link) opened its doors in 2012. Comprised of an art gallery, museum, and artist residency, 2 Rooms is a platform for contemporary art exhibitions, on-site installation projects, and displays of material culture. 2 Rooms programming, including the Biennale, reflects the confluence of historical, natural and cultural conditions that exist interdependently in Newfoundland's outport communities. 

Situated on the Bonavista Peninsula, the Biennale reflects the rise of ‘off-centres’ as viable, desirable places to live, thrive and create. The Biennale is a large scale, temporary exhibition that brings together people of different origins, a shared domain that offers new ways of seeing and thinking about the world around us.

Co-Curator: Catherine Beaudette



ARCHITECT TONIC -  architecturally oriented artworks and utopian structures designed to restore well-being and invigorate the soul. Susan Campbell, Stan Dragland, Mike Gough, Mike Paterson, Margaret Ryall, Stephen Zeifman

Curated by Catherine Beaudette July 9 – August 28, 2016

SUSAN CAMPBELL investigates signs and patterns of urban intensification as played out on development sites, parking lots and public sidewalks. Her work explores physical mapping practices as a means to interpret and reflect on the design dynamics found within the urban landscape, confronting issues caused by the intensification of development. Using codes such as floor plans and clearance zones Campbell re-organizes space into performative zones.

Susan Campbell is an Oshawa-based interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of lens-based media, installation and intervention, and design. She obtained an MFA in Art, Media and Design from OCADU after extensive studies in design and digital media in her native Ireland.


STAN DRAGLAND "I scrounge obscure or discarded materials to make things. I prefer the term bricoleur (a French term for handyman) to artist, though I don’t mind being called a shed artist and wouldn’t be in this show if I hadn’t spruced up a shed. Making do with available stuff works for me as a fashioner in words and things, wordwork being my primary occupation and avocation. My most recent book is Strangers & Others: Newfoundland Essays."

Stan is Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario, founder of Brick magazine and Brick Books, still active with the latter. Those interested in his wall may also be interested in his book, The Bricoleur and His Sentences.


MIKE GOUGH "My paintings explore memories of growing up on the west coast of Newfoundland. They describe places and experiences from childhood triggered through the painting process itself- the path to school, ice fishing with my father, the view from the back patio. This work stems from a growing fear of memory loss due to Alzheimer’s in my family, and acts as a record of my life. The paintings themselves exercise my memory, they are recollections that remind me of home and help to guide me.”

Mike Gough, BFA, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College 2007; BA, Memorial University 2009, MFA, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design UK has exhibited nationally and internationally. His work is included in The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, Humber College, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and numerous corporate collections. Gough won the EVA People’s Choice Award 2015. He is represented by Christina Parker Gallery in St. John's NL where he currently lives.



MIKE PATERSON Drawn to the honest style of local furniture and buildings, Mike Paterson has studied and engaged in furniture making, architectural millwork and the restoration of Newfoundland vernacular structures.  Mike enjoys the peace and creative space of his workshop. “I make things out of wood to pay the bills so I can make more things out of wood.“

Mike Paterson lives with his family in Upper Amherst Cove, the location of Paterson Woodworking Ltd. and Bonavista Social Club. As well as being a woodworker, Mike is an avid gardener and apiarist. 






MARGARET RYALL explores the precarious beauty of ordinary things. Her subject matter consistently links nature, culture and the effects of the passage of time. Her recent work moves from 2 dimensional representation of discarded artifacts and debris from old buildings to low relief constructions using found materials gathered on the Bonavista Peninsula. Compositions in Time continue a tradition of building using simple materials prevalent in outport Newfoundland construction, adding contemporary interpretationsofwhat is left behind.  

Margaret Ryall shares her time between St. John's and Duntara NL. Since the early 2000’s she has participated in over 50 solo and group exhibitions.  An ardent advocate for visual artists, she has served on the Boards of Visual Artists NL and CARFAC (Canadian Artists Representation /Le Front des Artistes Canadiens). 



STEPHEN ZEIFMAN has been looking at the landscape and architecture of rural Newfoundland, considering how its simplified forms reflect the manner in which people live and the essential nature of their values and concerns. Taken by the force and beauty of the terrain and how people adapt to and impose themselves on the landscape, Zeifman has painted the architecture with a reductive representational process to reflect what he sees. Cezanne reduced the Aix-en-Provence landscape to essential elements and forms as the true beginning of Modernism. Zeifman believes rural Newfoundland to be a living embodiment of this modernist argument.

Zeifman is a visual artist and author originally from Toronto who now makes Port Rexton NL his permanent home. He is founder/director of Mill Road Studio where he conducts drawing and painting workshops. Zeifman has exhibited since 1979. His recent work of non-fiction THE WAY OF ART is published by Exile Editions. 


Off Site Project Curated by Catherine Beaudette: