Lorraine Simms’ practice is located in a form of contemporary interrogation and commentary upon nature. Animal forms have appeared in her paintings, drawings and sculptures for over twenty years. Her recent works explore our relationship to the natural world by highlighting the manner in which animals are represented within our society, over the long course of their depiction in still-life painting, as well as in terms of their posthumous collection and scientific understanding.

Her most recent body of work, Shadowland, was started and realized throughout and following her residency at the Museum of Natural History in New York, in the mammalogy department there. She employed the Museum’s collection of the bones and skins of endangered and extinct species to draw the projected shadows of these specimens. The resulting drawings, both accurately realized and manifestly abstracted at once, speak to the loss and empathy we experience, as she catalogues each individual both as such and as representative of their species.

This body of work has been exhibited a number of times in prestigious contexts in solo shows, namely at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, the Illingworth Kerr Gallery in Alberta, the Beaverbook Art Gallery in Fredericton, and the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity in Vancouver, and most recently, in Montreal at OBORO. The magazine Border Crossings has also recently run a full spread of these works in a feature presentation. The artist’s work has been exhibited for over thirty years across Canada and the United States and she has been widely reviewed in recognized art publications. In addition, she was featured in the documentary series SHAPING ART. Her works can be found in numerous important Canadian collections, and she has also contributed to her milieu extensively as a professor and curator since the 1990s, and served on the boards of La Centrale galerie Powerhouse from 1992 to 1998 and Optica from 1998 to 2013. Simms holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal.
Selected artworks
Installation shots