Department of Global Development Studies


Global Development Studies

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The department of Global Development Studies recently received a painting by Canadian artist Daniel Van Klei, the uncle of Raylea Abbis-Mills, a DEVS 2016 graduate.

Mr. Van Klei donated the painting "Africa", which will be hung in the Leslie Doucet lounge within Global Development Studies, in honour of the teachings that Raylea received at Queen's. "Thank you for teaching Raylea.  It has been great to see her character and perspectives / ideas develop while attending Queens.  I appreciate an environment where critical thinking is developed amongst students, differing perspectives are explored and  innovative/creative endeavours have the potential to flourish! It it feels positive/appropriate to see “Africa” installed within the Global Development Studies Department".

48” X 48”
Acrylic on Canvas
Daniel Van Klei

A painting, like a map, can function as a symbol for complex thoughts, directions and ideas. I approach painting, in part, like I would approach geography.  I think of geography as a very complicated multidisciplinary study which incorporates a holistic approach to research.  This integrated approach to research is it’s strength to understanding complex geopolitical, ecological and other geography relationships.  Approaching painting in a similar manner, with thoughtful researched ideas, is beneficial to the painting process.  Paint becomes the gesture, the language and the symbol for these ideas.

“Africa” was painted with dried paint pieces which were collected over eight years from the remnants of previous paintings.  Each paint piece is chosen, torn and applied by hand to the surface of the canvas.  The individual pieces are carefully considered.  Each piece relates to the colours and textures immediately surrounding it, while relating to the broader colour fields of the whole painting.  More specifically, each piece was selected to suggest certain qualities of the land where it was located.  The colours and textures reflect, in part, the ecology of the land and the diversity of culture in this region of the world.


Daniel Van Klei, Canadian Artist and Marc Epprecht, DEVS Department Head