What are you scared of?

Bonnie Marin’s exhibition, What are you scared of?, begins Friday, Jan. 18 at the school of art gallery (255 ARTlab) on campus at the University of Manitoba. This will be the collage artist’s second exhibition on campus since 2003.

Hailing from Manitoba with a BFA from the U of M, Marin demonstrates her artistic passion through sculpture, collage, paintings, and artist books. Winnipeg art lovers have previously been able to enjoy her work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Glenbow Museum.

Most recently, Marin participated in the My Winnipeg exhibition, Winter Kept Us Warm. The exhibit was presented in Winnipeg as well as in Paris, France.

What are you scared of? features Marin’s technique of creating art out of contradicting ideas. Her wry sense of humour is evident in her art while she attempts to evoke emotion from the awareness of our inner fears and anxieties.

“My inspiration for creating this body of work was society in general,” says Marin. “I wanted to explore the human psyche. To try and understand why people do the things they do. I think that many of the fears and anxieties displayed in my work are felt by almost everybody trying to function in today’s society.”

Mary Reid, curator for the school of art gallery, chose to work with Marin since—although participating in group shows in the past—she hasn’t had a solo show since 1999. Marin has been the recipient of grants for her work from the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council.

“This is a chance to highlight her work with a greater scope and breadth. [Viewers can] really see a whole body of her work in its own entirety,” says Reid.

Marin’s exhibition is part of a series of exhibitions at the school of art, which aim to feature the exceptional artists associated with the university. These exhibitions have been chosen in light of 2013 being the 100th anniversary of the founding of the school of art.

Marin’s experience at the U of M was a very positive one. She feels fortunate to be able to display her work at the university, where she took direction from teachers she valued.

“Gordon [Reeve] was the type of teacher that always pushed you to try [and] outdo yourself. To learn from each work you did so that the next work would be better,” says Marin, recalling her past instructors. “David [Mcmillan] was always showing us other artists’ work so we were always being exposed to new ideas. They both tried to bring out the best in each student”

For aspiring artists at the U of M, Marin advises to keep making art.

“It will be a hard, long journey, but if it is something you love, then don’t stop.”

Although Marin has been able to show her work throughout her career, she understands that she as well as many other artists necessitates a second job.

Marin’s work has been displayed in numerous cities throughout North America, as well as in collections in London , France, and Hong Kong. Although she has made her mark internationally, Marin’s Manitoban roots remain important to her.

“The best part about being a working artist living in Winnipeg is that this city gives you the freedom to be yourself and make the kind of art that you want to make,” says Marin.

Although she is proud to have her work displayed internationally, Marin feels that her artistic development “comes from within.” She strives to make art that she herself would like to look at.

What’s next for Marin? A graphic novel is in the works, one that, unlike her previous artist’s books, will have a complete storyline.

“The book will focus on a character called Babs Sugarloaf as she undertakes a surreal journey trying to discover the meaning of life and death.”

The ARTlab will feature an exhibition tour and talk with Marin on Jan. 30 from noon to 1 p.m., and the work will remain on display until March 1.