October 13 – November 11, 2023

Allyson Clay


Opening Reception + Artist Talk: Thursday October 12th at 5pm

Workshop: Sunday, October 29th at 1-4PM

More Information + Registration

This exhibition includes a selection of work made through the last 40 years that expresses the breadth of Allyson Clay’s practice. From paintings, photographs, video, and print based works, her work has remained committed to making relationships between images and texts. This small survey shares how this thread is sewn into her work across the years. She is attentive to text as representing a personal voice, in counterpoint to, and as an extension of, the image. Her rule is to not use text as a caption, but as an extension of the possibilities of the image and the total artwork.

Starting out as a painter in the 1980s, Clay moved into more conceptual and text-based works, photography, and video. She has been interested in personal experiences, through movement and thought (particularly feminine), as these approaches garble, and re-invent, alienating modernist spaces such as art galleries and cities. Bodies of her work have also focused on critiquing the notion of “mastery” in art, particularly in painting and traditional art history texts. Currently Clay has been investigating the visual language of resistance and protest in signs and images. Placards and banners are inventive, urgent, and evolving in their use of language and images. We are all implicated, and changed, by the developing forms of calls for action.

Allyson Clay was born in Vancouver, Canada. She has a B.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an M.F.A from the University of British Columbia. Recent group exhibitions of her work include, Entangled: Two Views of Contemporary Canadian Painting, Vancouver Art Gallery 2017; The Street, Vancouver Art Gallery 2019, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 2023; Making Space, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia 2021; Beginning with the 70’s: Radical Change, 2018; What is Welcome, Belkin Art Gallery, University of B.C., 2023; and Look Again, Art Gallery of Windsor Essex, 2023.

Clay is represented in collections across Canada including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. She has exhibited internationally, including at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Yokohama Citizen’s Gallery, Japan, and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan.

The SCAC would like to thank our generous sponsors who make our ongoing work possible: the SCAC Membership, the District of Sechelt, the BC Arts Council, the SC Community Forest Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union.