Hanan Abbas, Santosh Chandrasekar, Wen Li, PauTheRebel (in collaboration with pak)


Launch Party and Awards Ceremony: February 5 from 2:00-3:30pm EST via YouTube livestream

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce the 10th annual Ignition Award for Distinction presented to graduating students in the McMaster and Waterloo visual art programs. Since 2013, Ignition has provided a platform to ignite emerging artists' careers through a professional exhibition and dedicated mentorship. Congratulations to this year's award recipients, Hanan Abbas, Santosh Chandrasekar, Wen Li and PauTheRebel (Paula Rebello), on their outstanding work!

Ignition 10 Programming:

Online Artist Showcase: February 4 – March 12, 2022

Launch Party and Awards Ceremony, featuring INC.spots artist talks by each of the award recipients:  February 5 from 2:00-3:30pm EST via YouTube livestream 

Click here to watch the awards ceremony

About the Artists:

Hanan Abbas is an Iraqi-Canadian multidisciplinary artist based in Mississauga ON, and is currently completing her BFA at McMaster University. Her work is conceptually driven and aims to explore how digital and cultural identity collaborate. Thanks to her grueling screen time, she has been interested in investigating the colloquial nature of the digital and understanding its modes of communication. To learn more about Hanan, check out her website hananabbas.com and Instagram @0hunnaa.

Santosh Chandrasekar is a visual artist from Waterloo, Canada, pursuing Fine Arts and Visual Culture at the University of Waterloo. He employs a range of media from performance art and painting, to sculpture, bringing them together using light as a universal medium. Born in India and brought up in Oman, his approach is grounded in his multicultural identity and his immigrant experience. He has exhibited work in the Youth and Emerging Art Exhibition (Hamilton Arts Council), as well as the Artery Gallery. He also participated in FINE 307: Performing life, an online event, and is the recipient of the Pat Hurley Memorial Award. To learn more about Santosh, check out his website https://thetinteddiary.com/ and instagram @thetinteddiary.

Wen Li is a multi-media artist who is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. Working with line and shape alongside the unintentional and the unpredictable, Wen incorporates these visual elements into gestural and chance-oriented making procedures. Her work explores the concepts of contingency and uncontrollability in relation to the body, the unconscious, and the physical properties of materials. Wen originally trained and worked as an engineer in China. She combines her cultural background and Western fine arts training in the creation of abstract paintings, drawings, prints, and artist books. To learn more about Wen, check out her website https://www.wen-art.com/.

PauTheRebel (Paula Rebello) is a Brazilian-Canadian interdisciplinary artist living in Oakville, Ontario and also has a new home on the internet. Their practice consists of drawing, illustration, painting, mixed-media, sculpting, and digital animations. PauTheRebel’s current body of work is inspired by lived experiences that are re-experienced through a nostalgic lens influenced by the internet and digital space. This is paired with an understanding of their own trauma, sexuality and gender using characters that reflect themself and those who can empathize. PauTheRebel attended Sheridan College for Arts Fundamentals in 2017 and is currently in their graduating year at McMaster University for their BFA. To learn more about PauTheRebel, check out their instagram @pautherebel.

PauTheRebel worked alongside their collaborator, pak, for this exhibition.

pak (Nathan Chang) is a multi-instrumentalist music producer and computer programmer who immigrated from Caracas, Venezuela in 2010. He currently resides in Oakville, Ontario pursuing a degree in Software Development and Network engineering at Sheridan College. He spent his teenage years learning music as well as playing guitar. While Pursuing his degree, he became a session guitarist playing for multiple small acts in Toronto. In 2020 he switched his studies to Software Development at Sheridan College and he began taking music production and writing more seriously, learning various instruments during the pandemic. To learn more about pak, check out his instagram @natechang99.

About the Award:

As an artist-run centre, Hamilton Artists Inc. strives to support artists at all levels of their careers by empowering artistic expression and research. Established in 2013 by former staff member and McMaster graduate, Reg Gilmore, in association with the Studio Art Program at McMaster University, the Ignition award honours exceptional graduating students with a professional exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc. In 2021, the Ignition award grew to include the University of Waterloo Fine Arts Department, bridging cross-institutional connections and fostering regional arts discourses. 

Hamilton Artists Inc. would like to acknowledge its exhibition partners: McMaster University, School of the Arts and University of Waterloo, Department of Fine Arts.