Field Notes

A pencil drawing of rose stems   A colourful pencil drawing of plants


January 21, 2023, to June 2023

Organized by the Varley Art Gallery of Markham
Featuring the work of F. H. Varley (1881-1969) and Winnie Truong
Curated by Anik Glaude

Field Notes brings together historical sketches by F. H. Varley with contemporary animation and drawings by Winnie Truong. Although their bodies of work and approaches to art making are vastly different, both artists share a desire to engage with the natural world.

The artworks presented in this exhibition derive from personal observations and intimate impressions of nature, and range from concise sketches of alder trees and rose stems, to colourful renderings of otherworldly flora. Both artists used pencil and paper to express their interpretation of nature, whether to challenge existing ways of studying and understanding it, or simply to celebrate its beauty.

Can't visit the show in person, visit our virtual gallery to explore the works on display.

About the artists

Winnie Truong is a Toronto artist working with drawing and collage to explore ideas of identity, feminism, and fantasy along with a digital art and animation practice that includes public art and community engagement. She has exhibited across Canada, the US, and Europe with solo presentations at Volta New York Art Fair, Pulse Miami Art Fair, and Art Toronto and is a 2017 recipient of the Chalmers Arts Fellowship. Her work is in the collection of The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas, Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto, Bank of Denmark, and EQ Bank.

Associated Programs


Saturday, January 21, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Meet the artists; enjoy curator talks, gallery tours, and a hands-on activity for all ages at the opening reception of the Varley Art Gallery's 2023 winter exhibitions.

Lunch and Learn

These virtual monthly artist talks provide our community members with the opportunity to learn about current and future exhibitions, as well as hear about ongoing curatorial research happening at the gallery. This program also supports emerging and established artists by providing them with a forum in which to present their work. We would like to thank the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham for their ongoing support of our Lunch and Learn speaker series.

Winnie Truong
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
12:30 to 1:30 PM
Presented on Zoom, Registration is required

Toronto-based artist Winne Truong sheds light on the Varley Art Gallery's current exhibition Field Notes, which features sketches by F. H. Varley from the gallery’s permanent collection, and contemporary works by the artist. Winnie will reflect on some parallels between her work and those in the collection, touching on the labour of drawing and the creation of botanical forms from both observation and imagination. She will also examine the process of creating Meadow II, a large scale cut-paper wall installation, and The Trade, a recent stop-motion animation.

Images: [1] F. H. Varley, Rose Stems, Creston, n.d., graphite, and charcoal on paper, 37.1 cm x 29.4 cm. Collection of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham. Deaccessioned from the Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift of Mrs. Donald McKay, 1979. 2020.04.269 [2] Winnie Truong, Like Forms with Undefined Ambitions, 2021, coloured pencils and cut paper collage, 104.8 cm x 74.93 cm. Courtesy of the artist and VivianeArt Gallery. [3 to 5] Installation view of Field Notes, Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2023. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

A view of the exhibition Field Notes. An installation of paper plants and flowers are pinned on a white wall.
Various objects, including sketch books, pieces of charcoal, a box of watercolour paints, and paper flowers, are laid out on a white table.
A view of the exhibition Field Notes. The wall on the left has been painted with a green rectangle and framed works are hung on the painted area. On the right wall, two works by Winnie Truong are on display on a white wall
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