Collapsible content


For me, painting is a devotional act toward the more-than-human world. Over hundreds of hours, my subjects are meticulously fleshed out in oil paint. The detailed rendering in my artwork is influenced by my experience of the woods. On my panel, the memory of moss becomes velvet; the sheen of a petal, satin. The character of the original subject is maintained but transmuted through my body. First through my fingertips in an initial woodland encounter, and later in the studio, through the movement of my arm and brush. When a physical exchange is not possible or appropriate, such as with fauna, I engage with what I can see or hear: the strange knowing in a hare’s amber eyes, the almost violent beating of a raven’s wings. These material realities fuel my imaginings. 

After a few days of intensive work, I find that I am unable to leave my studio without colour caked under my nails or streaked on my arms and face. On more than one occasion I have emerged from a state of deep concentration only to find alizarin crimson mysteriously smeared all over my studio, on my hands and right elbow. Painting is a bloody endeavour. It marks my body as my body marks the panel. As such, it feels like a sort of ritual exchange, a form of witchcraft. This witchery allows me to create microcosms of impossible ecosystems. Subjects which would not naturally be found together in proximity are merged into one picture plane. The resulting image could be called a natural fiction, the purpose of which is not escapism but rather enchantment. Viewers are invited to engage with flora, fauna, and fungi through a mythological or magical lens: a radical proposition in the face of modernity. 


Elisa Vita is a visual artist based in Montreal, Canada. She has graduated with an MFA in Visual Art from York University (2023) and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University (2021). Awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship in 2022 for her research exploring the relational nature of folklore, painting, and environmentalism, Vita’s work honours the more-than-human world.



Natural Fictions, Special Projects Gallery, Toronto, ON



Fresh Paint/New Constructions, Art Mûr, Montreal, QC

a juncture, a join, a strait, a pinch, Collision Gallery, Toronto, ON


Theatrum Mundi, Gales Gallery, Toronto, ON

MMXX11, Gales Gallery, Toronto, ON


Fragile, BBAM Gallery, Montréal, QC


No.3, VAV Gallery, Montréal, QC

Inversions 1, Productions L’Éloi, Montréal, QC.



Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Provincial Grant

Academic Excellence Fund (AEF), York University


York Graduate Scholarship, York University 2021



Instructor, Painting: Composition and Colour, York University


Instructor, Drawing: Perception, Proportion, Colour, York University