6 for 7 - Artist Residency at Les 7 Doigts

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of  The 7 Fingers, we invite you to view the unique artistic collaboration that recently took place between The 7 Fingers and The Soulfood .

6 Soulfood artists, inspired by the talented circus artists rehearsing and creating at The 7 Fingers Creative Center in Montreal created large-scale paintings. The residency at The 7 Fingers included: Kathleen Finlay, Sonia Haberstich, Onira Lussier, Holly MacKinnon , RGB Collective and Verona Sorensen. Each artists received a canvas or panel and a dedicated workspace to develop their creation as well as full access to the rehearsal and production spaces. 

The paintings will be exhibited between September 22nd and October 21st, 2022. Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm at The 7 Fingers, 2111 Blvd. St. Laurent in Le Quartier Des Spectacles in Montreal. Proceeds from the sale of he artwork will go towards supporting The 7 Fingers Foundation. Join us and add  stunning original works of art to your art collection and encourage the work of talented Montreal artists.

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Eve Diamond - Aerialist

Kathleen Finlay - Damn Everything But The Circus!

Acrylic and pencil on wood panel

50x60 inches

Kathleen Finlay


 Maggie Chan - Straps Artist with coach Viktor.

As the founder of The Soulfood, Kathleen Finlay is passionate about art. A photographer for over 30 years , her background studying fine arts came full circle with  a photography project she began in 2013 of photographing visual artists in their studios. Inspired by this project, she returned to painting in 2016 specializing in acrylic  on wood panel and created The Soulfood .

Since 2005, Kathleen has often found inspiration in the circus, exhibiting her photographs  of circus artists in several solo exhibitions over the years and culminating her circus exploration in a book and exhibition project about a clown who wants to relight the stars. The residency at The 7 Fingers offers her the challenge of  being inspired by the circus performers that train in the stunning rehearsal spaces and transferring this vision to a large scale wooden panel. 

I have always been in awe of the total dedication circus performers bring to their artistry. Their desire to surpass what the human body can do in often gravity defying acrobatics never ceases to amaze and inspire my own creative vision. 


Sonia Haberstich- Le Moment Nous Surpasse

Acrylic on canvas, epoxy, pigments.  60x72 inches 

Sonia Haberstich

Sonia Haberstich lives and maintains her practice in Hudson, Quebec. She obtained a Master's degree in painting from Concordia University in 2008. She has participated in numerous significant solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. She has also been the recipient of several grants, notably from SODEC and CALQ, and has produced several public works, some of which have been selected as part of the architecture integration program (1%). Her works have been the subject of numerous publications and have been included in several recognized collections in North America and Europe.

Time, again, turns into waiting. Waiting, contemplation, meditation prepare the next gesture, the next stain, the next color. The whole is not, cannot be premeditated. Each gesture generates the next. You just have to be present. 


Onira Lussier - Envolée

Acrylic on wood panel. 60x60 inches 

Onira Lussier

Onira Lussier completed a master's degree in visual arts at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi (2016) specializing in drawing. In recent years, her practice has led her to approach the trace of the drawing in a sculptural way, forming, through the hatched line, matrices which can then be recovered for a future composition, using digital tools. Onira has received various grants and recognitions. She is currently pursuing her research on the circus world at La Tohu where she is presenting an exhibition in the fall. 

In collaboration with The Soulfood, I lent myself to the game of producing a large format inside The 7 Fingers creation space in Montreal. This Circassian bird was born from an observation of the bodies of athletes who trained in front of me. Our two universes were strangely in dialogue in a form of repetition and assiduity each in our respective discipline.


Holly MacKinnon - Glide/Ever

Acrylic and oil on canvas. Diptych : Each panel 30x40 inches  Total size: 60x40 inches

Holly MacKinnon is a visual artist in Montreal, Canada. She is mostly known for her oil paintings,  She received her BFA from NSCAD University in 2015. Holly’s practice centres around an emotional sensibility; her invented spaces and characters touch on ideas of youth, loneliness, femininity, mental health, and nature. She also writes poetry. 

I used my time at The 7 Fingers to observe and photograph the circus artists, most of whom were incredibly strong women with amazing control and quiet strength.  They seemed to me like they were swimming in air.  There was a creative energy in the space that crossed disciplines; all of us trying to communicate something innate and honest, in our own language.  What resulted was a project of fascination and collaboration.




RGB Collective -7 Doigts x 3

Mixed media (Acrylic, spray paint, japanese and metallic paper, collage, sharpie, pencil, glitter marker and photoshop)

Triptych : Each panel 36x36 inches  Total size: 108 x36 inches

RGB is a multi-artist group from the Montreal area playing, either live or in studio, with paint, stencils, collage, drawings and much more. As part of their identity , they prefer to remain anonymous and let the work speak for itself. 

No fancy costumes or creative makeup, no spotlights or amazing decors. No uplifting music or artifacts. Nothing but purity. Best front row VIP tickets ever to the show that no one will see. Exclusive behind the scenes access! An amazing choreography of performers seeking, over and over again, for the perfect balance between agility and creativity. Thank you for welcoming us into your colourful and magical kingdom. Truly inspiring. 


 Amie Patching


Verona Sorensen  - Daydream Circus 

Mixed media on canvas . 72x60 inches 

Verona Sorensen

Caoliang Wang

Montreal-based artist, Verona Sorensen was born in Montreal to a Filipino nurse and a West Coast Nordic painter. Her earlier years were spent between the Eastern Townships and Mexico. After completing her Bachelor in Fine Arts, she was invited to apprentice with the ‘Dormice’ art collective in Austria and Italy. Her technical approach of blending wax, sand and oil into her paintings matured in Mexico, where she studied encaustic painting. Sorensen currently lives and works in Montreal.

The 72” X 60” acrylic painting entitled, Daydream Circus, is an amalgamation of sketches I had made of The 7 Fingers dancers, as they dynamically rehearsed alone and together, in the space. The collage elements found in this painting are largely influenced by a colourful, urban street billboard that I happened across one day, with torn peeled posters and stickers, revealing layers of complimentary and contrasting imagery. As well, a visit to the Matisse art exhibition at the MOMA in New York City contributed to both the collage quality of the painting, as well as the shift in focus from my usual style of abstraction to the study of the figure. This painting was, in some ways, my opportunity to pay homage to one of my favourite painters.  Together all these components add up to a painting that speaks of tenderness and compassion for each other, as we fall and fly through space….through a weightless dreamscape of wonder and hope.

 Les 7 Doigts is an artistic collective created in 2002 with the idea of ​​redefining contemporary circus from its essence and exploring the infinite possibilities offered by the mixture of artistic disciplines.  In 2018, the company opened its own creation and production center, located in the heart of Montreal's Quartier des spectacles. This sees the germination, birth and growth of all the dreams of the company under one and the same roof.

The Soulfood is a collective of rotating artists created in 2018 by Kathleen Finlay, herself a painter and photographer and offering an alternative platform to established and emerging visual artists invited to participate in events organized in different cities and places.  The Soulfood's goal is to create site-specific events with collections that encourage interactions between artists and collectors in a growing network of communities.

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