Magdolene Dykstra is a second generation Egyptian-Canadian. After studying both biology and visual arts in undergraduate studies, she received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Magdolene has participated in residencies at the Medalta Historic Clay District and the Watershed Center for Arts and Crafts. Magdolene has been awarded several grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, including Research and Creation Grants, Exhibition Assistance Grants, and Arts Abroad Grants. Recent exhibitions include a site-specific installation at the Gardiner Museum (Toronto, ON). Upcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Jane Hartsook Gallery (New York, NY). She is also the founder of SWAG, a group dedicated to supporting womxn artists in the Niagara region, where she is a passionate artist-educator, teaching at secondary and post-secondary levels. Magdolene is currently serving as the Visiting Artist in Residence at Concordia University (2020/2021).
Inspired by microbiology, my work meditates on the unfathomable multiplicity of humanity. My artistic lineage connects back to the Romantic artists of the 19th century who used their paintings to evoke the sublime by reminding the viewer of their diminutive status in relation to grand landscapes. In contrast to macro landscapes, I site the sublime in microbial terrain. In a time of environmental endangerment, my aesthetic of cellular accumulation references the vast numbers of the human race, consuming more and more of their host. At the root of my practice is the question: what is the role of the individual within the horde? Within these works, each individual is absurdly insignificant except for its interconnectedness to everything around them. Gathered en masse, the microbial lifeforms become a force, overwhelming the structures upon which they grow.