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June 24–September 17, 2017
Curated by Patrick Macaulay
June 24 – September 17, 2017
The sending of postcards is a throwback to an era when we understood travel by the assembled elements of distance, passage and time. We now function in a world made up of proximity, contact and immediacy. So, how do we attempt to distill the genuine implications of place that goes beyond the temporary scroll through social media?
The artists in this exhibition challenge the transient nature of travel imagery. These artists appreciate that a contemporary reading of a location is not merely the capturing of place, but the creation of works that convey a close comprehension of locale. These installation “postcards” allow us to experience the significance of place and to view the compelling analysis of how the considered art image is vital in allowing far-reaching understanding.
– Patrick Macaulay, Curator
Islands are unique locations set within finite peripheries – a promise for dreamlands and graveyards, both in reality and myth. There is an ephemerality and transient quality of how small landmasses surrounded by water survive and are platforms for dreams, yet retain their own unique identities. Many island postcards trigger a dreamscape, an Atlantis or paradise on earth, but #islandparadise is not selling dream vacations and juxtaposes today’s tweeted travel log. The installation explores “islands” not typical of the “get-a-way” location and includes Sable Island, Canada, and Sir BaniYas, United Arab Emirates, where visitors can still feel isolated in the world.
– Janet Bellotto
Janet Bellotto is an artist and educator from Toronto, who splits her time teaching in Dubai as an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University. A curator, writer and Associate Editor of Tribe – a magazine of photography and new media from the Arab world – she develops projects that promote cultural exchange. Inspired by narratives and locations (from cities to deserts), water – the ocean and seas – is a constant theme in her work that considers a variety of materials and processes while examining the ever-changing world that she travels. She was the Artistic Director for the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art in Dubai and exhibits internationally. Her work has been exhibited in a range of collective, group, and solo exhibitions internationally, including Basel, Beijing, Cairo, Dubai, Istanbul, Toronto, New York, Mexico City and Venice.
甲府は高い山に囲まれた街です。山々は雲をとらえ、雲はそれを決して越えることはありません。そうして甲府の街には常に頭上か ら太陽が燦々と降り注ぐのです。それはすなわち真夏の太陽から逃げる場が無いことも意味します。周りを見渡すと、遠く山の向こうには 雲が形作るのが見られます。しかしそれは決して高い山々の稜線のこちらに近づくことはないのです。
– ダレン リーゴ
オンタリオ州立芸術大学で写真を専攻、学士（美術）を取得後、秋吉国際芸術村（日本）、Leveld Kunstnartun（ノルウェー）、アーティスト・イン・レジデンス山梨（日本）でのレジデンスを経験。作品はビーバーブルックアートギャラリー（フ レデリクトン・カナダ）、清里フォトアートミュージアム（日本・山梨）に所蔵されている。
I was invited in 2016 to participate in Idiorrythmics, an Urban Art Creation Project in Suzhou, China, famous for its classical gardens and the writer Shen Fu, whose book, Six Records of a Floating Life (1809), is the basis for my project. I eat out in Chinatowns everywhere, but modern China itself remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Landing at night in Shanghai I hurtle through the darkness along endless expressways to open my eyes the next morning on the new China – broad avenues with sleek office towers and shopping malls representing the world’s most expensive brands.
I pay a visit to the old city – to an ancient Confucian temple with a thousand year old tree, to streets filled with electric scooters, cars and people everywhere, to the quiet elegance of Shen Fu’s garden.
Television becomes the key to this enigma. With its hyper-contemporary news channels, replays of ancient dramas, absurd comedies, and slick advertising, I come to imagine China as the Aleph in Borges’ story, the point in space where everything that has been, is, and will be become a simultaneous experience of all possibility.
– Yvonne Lammerich
Yvonne Lammerich has exhibited nationally and internationally since the early 1970’s. Born in Germany, she has lived in England, France and Canada. Between 1985 and 2002 her career was based in Montreal, and from 2002 to the present in Toronto. Her work can be found in a number of public collections, including the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, Musée du Quebec, Musée de Sherbrooke, as well as private and corporate collections. Recent exhibitions include, Idiorrythmic: Urban Art Creation Project (Suzhou, China); Ideal House Project (Cambridge Art Galleries); TMCA proposal (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto); Incidentally (Nunnery Gallery, London, UK); Common Ground (Southern Alberta Art Gallery); Empire of Dreams (MOCCA, Toronto); Belief (Diaz Contemporary, Toronto). Along with Ian Carr-Harris, they will be opening the exhibition project Voices: artists on art in late September at Harbourfront Centre. In 1996, she was awarded the Maria Stafford Mid-Career Prize administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. With a PhD in Art History from UQAM, she has a history of published reviews as well as numerous catalogue essays.
Andrew Blake McGill
Following a move from New York City to the small farming community outside his hometown of Glencoe, McGill began photographing and working on his family’s farm – drawn to the striking characters and distinct symbols of his upbringing – with the goal of creating photographs full of colour, and to create a living document of rural life.
Here, McGill collects historical objects, souvenirs, provisions, and various bric-a-brac, from the local community, and from the storage boxes and shelves of his family’s farm: farm hats, instructional booklets, a 4H placard, cobs of corn, a jar of winter wheat, a worn glove, hand written recipes, books of poetry, and first and second prize ribbons from the fall fair, are assembled and organized – along with McGill’s photographs and sound recordings of the area – into a sculptural installation, illustrative of life in Glencoe, and of various rural communities across North America.
Andrew Blake McGill (b. 1988, Glencoe, Canada) holds a BFA from the School of Image Arts (Toronto). McGill, a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is primarily photo-based, cut his teeth while working with his peers on editorial, fashion, and art photography projects in Canada, the US and in Europe, only to return to his hometown of Glencoe, a farming community in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, to work on his family’s farm, and to focus on his artistic practice, much of which is inspired by his local community of lifelong friends, family, and neighbours, and the pastoral landscape from which he hails. McGill is a 2017 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward selected Winner, and is currently showing a Public Installation of his ongoing series entitled Two Half-Hitches Could Hold the Devil Himself, as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, on view until August 26th, at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.
Fall. The air exhaled a perfume of mud and dead leaves. The water was bitterly cold. For an unknown reason, the boat capsized. Two men undressed underwater, fighting against the weight of their wet clothes. One man never resurfaced.
Fragments like these are sometimes pulled from tales, historical events or family stories. They mark my imagination and stimulate a strong emotional reaction that I wish to transpose into installation and performance. Through the exploration of my fantasy world, the viewer can experience these emotions, a combination of desire and fear, awe and wonder. Wunderkammer (or cabinets of curiosities) offer a window into my imaginary world, which is fantastical and fictional, but also inspired by real life events.
– Vicky Sabourin
Vicky Sabourin is a Montreal-based artist. Her work has been shown across Canada and in the US and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include: Les Curiositiés (Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec), Danse Macabre (L’Oeil de Poisson, Québec) and Warmblood (Hamilton Artists Inc, Hamilton, Ontario). She also exhibited Lac Caché IThe Hidden Lake) for Manifd’Art 8 La Biennale de Québec. In 2016, she participated in a summer residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity and this summer she will participate in a residency at Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John’s Newfoundland). Upcoming exhibitions include taking place at Galerie Sporobole (Sherbrooke, QC), and Access Gallery (Vancouver, BC). Sabourin is a Canada and Québec Art Council recipient. She holds a BFA from Université Laval and an MFA from Concordia University.
These are some of the paintings I have made at various places around the world over the past 30 years. Each one took about an hour or two to make. Each one depicts a specific place at a specific time.
Most of them were painted in the company of my wife, Gunilla Josephson, who made her own paintings of the same scenes. She is the figure in some of the paintings, and two of the pictures in this display are by her.
The paintings were never intended to be seen as ‘art’ or to be exhibited. During this time both Gunilla and I pursued other forms of artmaking, she as a video-maker and I as a novelist.
The paintings are made for pleasure, as a way for us to share the same activity. They are a reason for a picnic or a ramble in the countryside. Looking and painting is a way to think about a place. These little pictures are a memory, a kind of postcard from the past, sent to ourselves.
– Lewis DeSoto
Lewis DeSoto is a painter and writer who has exhibited widely across Canada. His fiction has been published in over a dozen countries. His novel, A Blade of Grass, an international best-seller, was nominated for the Booker Prize. He is also the author of a biography of the Canadian artist Emily Carr.
Abalone Porthole is a loop animation inspired by my residency last fall aboard the SS Vallejo houseboat at Varda Artists Residency (Sausalito, California). My time in Marin County and my constant proximity to the bay and the ocean has since left a unique impression on my practice. While there working on paper-cut collage drawings in the studio, I also made many trips along the rugged coast of Northern California during my stay and spent long afternoons with friends collecting and skipping stones, as well as hunting for abalone shells and their fragments.
The scene behind the Abalone Porthole takes inspiration from my souvenir from nature and its’ mother of pearl colours to explore the aftermath of the intangible emotions, experiences, and fantasies from my time abroad at this artists’ retreat.
– Winnie Truong
Winnie Truong is an artist working with drawing and paper-cut collage using coloured pencil. Her recent works have focused on fusing elements of nature with the female body to create new living objects, environments, and psychological entities. Truong lives and works in Toronto, where she received a BFA from OCAD’s drawing and painting program. She has recently been featured on the CBC program The Exhibitionists for her animation work and has exhibited her drawings internationally in group and solo exhibitions across Toronto, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, and in New York at the VOLTA NY Art Fair. Her work has been published in numerous art publications, including the cover of Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, and Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing. Her work is in the collection of The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, Kansas), Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto, and Bank of Denmark.
When I visited Japan I was struck deeply by so many of the experiences that it is difficult to summarize. As a quick postcard, this work is meant to pull together a few of the various experiences and ideas that I encountered while traveling. It gives a quick impression rather than a complete story. A few ideas scribbled down in the moment. I see this collection of wooden plaques or ‘Ema’ that I created as part of a conversation that is both to, and from, Japan. Almost every temple I visited had collections of plaques like these available for people to write their hopes and prayers on, and leave as temple offerings. Clusters of plaques with messages on them from all over the world record a myriad of wishes. Instead of being held tight, the messages are left behind; an expression of hope and idealism.
– Daryl Vocat
Daryl Vocat, born in Regina, SK, is a visual artist living and working in Toronto. He completed his BFA at the University of Regina, and his MFA at York University.
His solo exhibitions include the Ulrich Museum (Wichita, Kansas), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina, SK), SNAP Gallery and Latitude 53 (Edmonton, AB), Eastern Edge Gallery (St John’s, NL), Blackburn 20/20 (New York City), and Malaspina Printmakers Gallery (Vancouver, BC). He has participated in several group exhibitions both in Canada and beyond, including an internationally touring exhibition titled Further, Artists From Printmaking at the Edge.
Vocat’s work has been acquired by the New York Public Library Print Collection, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives, The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in NYC, The Saskatchewan Arts Board permanent collection, and the City of Toronto Fine Art collection.