As a kid I liked history and its stories. I had a train set and built model kits. Ultimately the train outgrew its table, wrapped itself around the room and was overrun by Hot Wheels cars and small soldiers. Today I continue to think about model building―albeit dioramas associated with museums, train sets, dollhouses and pop-up books.
Plays of Nature
Lyube Petrov aims to create an amusing and unexpected visual narrative. He has a fondness for topics that blur the line between reality and illusion, and create an alternative realm where past and future, reality and fantasy become one. This transformation draws upon the artist’s own understanding of the world around him as well as his sense of humour, his attention to the small details in everyday life, and his positive outlook.
State of the Matter
Whether we are discussing matters of state, as in political matters, or we are looking deeply into the states of all matter, our connection to what matters is highly subjective. That which constructs our reality informs our ability to shape and form matter, like an invisible geometry guiding our perspectives, material evidence culminates in myriad emanations, focal points and perturbations. In politics, like in physics, the views and perspectives of some are magnified and rationalized to gain prominence in our collective consciousness, often confusing our own senses in an attempt to create a common sense. This body of work was created with the idea of dismantling some of our commonly held perceptions in an attempt to allow a more fluid exploration of our own senses.
The Age of Fathoms
In the study of ecology, ‘old fields’ refer to the abandoned lands that were once managed by people and used for cultivation. In The Age of Fathoms, Jay Dart uses old fields as the setting for his newest series of drawings in which wayward travelers discover or possibly create strange and beautiful spirits. Dart explores how these fallow places in between the intense clusters of urban communities are appropriate allegories for the parts of our imagination that get abandoned during the transition to adulthood and why it’s important to return there.
"My practice shifts from painting scenes in which haunting visceral floral laden landscapes and still life expressively inform their subjects. These images move toward a form of portraiture that is increasingly locating these signifiers within the subjects themselves."
Baffin Island Bathing Club
In the hinterland between tangled wilderness and tidy civilization is where I place the semi-fictitious narrative fragments which make up my drawings and paintings. These narratives are chronicles of the liminal and construct a loose scaffolding of a realm that is both aqueous and terrestrial. This world is built on history and geography, zoology and mythology, musicology and astronomy, rumours, lies, hyperbole and folklore.
My most recent exhibition grew from an ongoing fascination with the ways in which humans interact with the natural world. I am interested in the places where nature’s hostility is apparent to humans- the weeds and tangles in a swamp filled with dangerous and deadly creatures or the craggy rocks overgrown with poisonous jungle flora.
Mark Puchala's first Montreal exhibition, Residual Tingles, is replete with figures and marks drawn from the natural world, both animal and mineral. Inserted into a semiotic landscape populated by enigmatic scratches reminiscent of old school graffiti or hobo glyphs, these figures float against a background of color gradient fields and lava lamp blobs.
Many stories based on the medieval period are intimately related with the forest. Arthurian legend depicts the forest as a place of transition and the unknown where knights willingly go to seek adventure and test their prowess. The road will fork, beasts will attack, and the devil will deceive, but our heroes always find their way.
In this body of paintings, Of Centaurs and Men, Mark Liam Smith creates a world of magical realism to examine the idea of liminality. Liminality means threshold or limit and indicates a transitional state or conceptual space between two positions, often dichotomies. The centaur, as a human-horse hybrid, perfectly articulates the liminal position: it is both human and horse while also being neither human nor horse.
The photographs of Damian Siqueiros illustrate his recurring concerns surrounding the construction of identity. They do so through the elements represented, as well as the technique used. Content and form are woven into a fabric of continuous reflection and open to questioning our self-representation and the world, what we consider to be essential and true. Each image constitutes the aestheticized shaping of a struggle that is at the same time intimate and social.
In most paintings, the figures are not engaged in any particular activity: They’re in an almost contemplative state – contemplating the beauty in their surroundings. They’re almost hedonistic, getting away from the craziness of the outside world and creating their own aesthetic.
My works form a sort of unbridled journal. They immortalize the path of a person mystified daily by existence, people, objects, by nothing and everything: me. Although it is very personal, my work essentially broaches a universal theme: the relationship with another. Another who is both an invader and an indispensable ally, another in its material nature, present or absent.
Destined Fauna represents and depicts various wildlife escaping and thriving in an otherworldly utopia, an environment that has been untainted and preserved in perfection. The underlying theme present throughout each piece is the current climate crisis and the irreversible impact it has on wildlife.