JoEllen Brydon was born in Toronto and grew up in the farming community of Cavan township, Ontario, Canada. Her vibrant paintings, in oil and acrylics, tell the day to day stories of people she meets as well as tales of her ancestors rooted in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and in her beloved Cavan hills, Ontario. Through out her career Brydon has worked on paintings and installations that explore buried stories and long forgotten local histories.
As well as her many paintings, Brydon has designed and created two large scale mixed media installations. These documents of our history have been used in academic research and referenced in history books. One of her installations, Lost Histories; the Gypsies of 1909, was referenced in a recently released textbook, Writing the Roma, by Cynthia Levine-Rasky, sociology professor at Queen’s University, Canada.
The work’s broad appeal is indicated by its many locations from private collections on both sides of the Atlantic, to the Art Bank of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History. Brydon has exhibited in both publicly funded and commercial galleries in Canada, the US and Ireland since 1985 and has given many artist talks to accompany exhibitions. She has won several awards and grants over the years, most recently first place winner in the Acrylic/Oil category at the 2016 TWAC/Canadian National Exhibition Juried Show.