Human Rights Office

Human Rights Office
Human Rights Office

Tile D3


Christine Pensa, Ontario artist


Artist's Biography

After a successful career as a political assistant to both a federal and provincial cabinet minister in Canada -  Christine was increasingly drawn to creative life. She took an art course and found her true passion was painting - not politics. Fifteen years ago Christine pursued studies in art and continues to find joy in painting and print making.

Figurative work is central to her art. Christine's visual pieces are a reflection of what is germane in her life and therefore revolve around the evolution of spirituality, the practice of yoga - and especially women and their diverse manifestations of beauty. Over the years Christine added print-making to her work - creating and working with lino blocks, etchings, and silk screening allowed her to explore graphic images. I was drawn to print making because of it's joyful graphic nature. Christine says, "Printing feels like shorthand. I love how it communicates clearly at our most primitive level." Lately Christine has created a successful branded line of Art That Moves tea towels, totes and bread bags - on to which she hand prints her original designs.

Christine's fascination and love of so called "primitive or folk art" is reflected in the pieces submitted to the HOME show. "Bright, vibrant, JOYFUL, simple and powerful is how I would describe them."

Christine continues to work on large scale mural projects with children in the elementary school system and to teach adult courses in both lino block printing and silk screening.

She feels blessed to have worked extensively with children and is thankful for these opportunities to help students enhance playgrounds and drab public school hallways with the energy and joy of their own creativity

Artist's Statement

As I began this piece of the mosaic in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Queen's University Human Rights Office I thought about how my own interpretation of women's strength was formed. I grew up in a time of change for women. I remember by Mother bringing home the first issue of Ms. Magazine. I remember her struggle to break out of her role as housewife and into a more prominent role in the community. My Mother was passionate about the rights of women and ultimately served as a Citizenship Court Judge and as a member of many boards and committees in the field of human rights.

As a result of the struggles of the women of my Mother's generation, I have never wondered whether I was valuable or equal. I just know I am.

I feel being a woman is a gift and a blessing. I cherish the connection I feel to Mother Earth/Gaia. I feel that connectedness is my source of joy and of power - and so - the woman in my painting dances  joyfully to the song of Mother Earth/Gaia she feels within her. She knows her own power. The banner she holds says, "To celebrate my Oneness with Gaia I dance the joy and power moving through me". The figure stands grounded on a field of copies of a painting entitled "Amazing Grace" depicting the powerful and graceful leap of a plus size dancer, Alexandra Beller.