i feel fine, spray foam on painted wall, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2016
Part of the Images In Our Heads exhibition


Artist Bio


Andrew McPhail is a Canadian visual artist. He was born in Calgary Alberta in 1961 and studied at York University where he received his MFA in 1987. Living in Toronto in the 1980’s and 90’s his work focused primarily on drawing, often with pencil crayon on a polyester film called ‘mylar’. After moving to Hamilton in 2005, his interest shifted towards three dimensional work and performance. In  his accumulative, craft oriented practice he uses ephemeral disposable materials such as  band aids, Kleenex and post-its to create epic, monumental sculptures and installations and performances . He has exhibited nationally and internationally and in 2013 was the recipient of the Canada Council International Studio in Paris. He is also co-founder, with Stephen Altena, of the Hundred Dollar Gallery and a founding member of The Assembly in Hamilton, Ontario.


Artist Statement


My recent three dimensional work began about eight years ago when I started making
band aid covered objects. Before that I had worked primarily with drawing. At first I was just wrapping objects in band aids, a tedious and compulsive task. Then I began making shapes with the band aids that were more organic and less identifiable and installing them in mounds and piles. This work has culminated in a lace-like veil, large enough to cover me completely as a burka or shroud. It acts as a second skin, an artificial barrier that both conceals and reveals.


Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.04.28


This objects brings up a lot of issues for me, about health and hurt, and the kind of
obsessive hypochondria that I sometimes get, living with HIV, particularly around blood-work time. There’s a kind of escalating attention to my body that I get when my blood cells are being counted. Every slight symptom is magnified into a more serious condition; minor skin irritations acquire a more threatening presence. Making the flesh like surface of the band aid form also evokes issues about contact and protection and the perception and revelation of identity. It’s labour intensive creation questions the use of our limited time.


Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.04.42
Textile Museum of Canada, street performance, 2011


‘all my little failures’ is currently varying between 40,000 and 70,000 band aids
depending on gallery configurations. It is usually been displayed on a mannequin and
often includes a performance component during the opening reception, or sometimes,
spontaneously in public spaces.  My current work is moving towards exploring these issues through textiles and performance, often with ephemeral materials such a Kleenex, tears and hair, that allude to the fragility of the body.


all my little failures (Textile Museum)
Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.03.27
Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2010, installation view
Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.02.34
Gallery Connexion, Fredericton, 2011
Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.03.09
Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2010, installation view
Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.02.50
Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2010, installation view
Band Aid Face
Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 15.05.04
Paris, street performance, 2013


You can explore McPhail’s work further by visiting:


All images were kindly supplied by the artist.

Please contact the artist before using them.

Thank you.




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