Members’ Gallery

Venus Underhill:
conversations within the void of myself

MAR 3 – APR 7, 2023
Reception: MAR 31, 2023, 7 - 10 pm

Nichol Marsch. Fall (2022), print. 


A poet at their core Venus is a multi disciplinary artist with a current fixation on thread bound zines and collage work as labours of love attune to the slow repetitions of learning to care for oneself. Utilizing creation as a form of transmutation to give their intense, often intangible emotions form; their work explores themes of alienation and identity as a performance through the lens of their experiences as an autistic, gendervague and mad mystic.

Originally from St.Catharines, Venus relocated to Hamilton in 2016 for a brief stint in film school, since dropping out they have expanded their practice studying at the prestigious former Shithouse, Bayfront park and most notably, their bedroom. Though they are currently lacking a website, they can be found overstimulated and trying their best tabling at monthly Artcrawls.

exhibition description

Utilizing found objects collected wandering the alleyways and polluted Hamilton shores I aim to illustrate the visceral nature of healing through collagework and accompanying poetry. Conversations within the void of myself as a body of work that confronts my experience of standing at the precipice of transformation, seeing all that needs change; feeling overwhelmed by the work and distrusting of my own capability to create lasting, meaningful growth. The struggle to lessen my attachment to an identity built of suffering, and the familiar maladaptive coping mechanisms that support it. How I am learning to dance with the discomfort of recovery;

         two steps forward
one step back,

                                                      four steps forward,

three & half steps back,
                  one step forward.

How in punishing myself for my own resiliency I become a self fulfilling prophecy, internalizing anger meant to direct me towards the systematic failures that need to change. How trauma has become complex, compounded through generations of neglect and snake oil quick fixes, that continues to spread as do invasive plants, resilient too when not pulled out by their roots. How care can be the antithesis of capitalism.

I cannot provide any concrete answers, it would be arrogant to assume I know any better how to heal than you, but I’ll leave you with a truth- that healing ripples outward the same way as harm. I see that you are trying and recognize that trying looks different for all of us, and though we can always try harder there will be times when we can’t and that’s okay. Sometimes just existing is enough, and for all those little moments where you recognize and decide to do better- I am so proud of you, and I hope you find space to be too.