Launch Projects is pleased to present, “Washi: Remember When…”, a group exhibition featuring works on Washi paper. The exhibition is in partnership with “Washi Birthday Bash“, a city-wide celebration organized by The Japanese Paper Place. The celebration commemorates the 1400-year-old history of Washi paper.
Washi is the name of the exquisite paper that has been handmade by skilled Japanese craftsmen for more than 1400 years. Over the centuries, each of hundreds of variations of the paper was indispensible to Japanese daily life-in homes on windows, at shrines, on battlefields, on rainy days in umbrellas, and in elegant court calligraphy. At the turn of the 19th century there were some 80,000 families making washi. Today there are roughly 320 individuals who carry on the tradition.
Participating Artists: Jared Bond, Kelly Cade, J. Lynn Campbell, Linda Chen, Tara Cooper, Pamela Dodds, Natalie Draz, Emily Eng, Henna Kim, Louise Kiner, Cathy Lang, Emma Lau, Diane Antoinette Mohan, Alexey Osipenko, Janet F.Potter, Gianluca Primucci and Andrea Williamson.
404 Adelaide St W, Toronto, M5V 1S8
Wed -Sat, 12-5pm
The Japanese Paper Place
Rainer Maria Rilke laments that the one’s fusion with the doll is a barren union that promises everything and delivers nothing,“dragged as companions into cots, abducted into the deep furrows of illnesses, appearing in dreams, entangled in the disasters of feverish nights -such is the nature of dolls”.
Gothic in contemporary art is more art-directed and atmospheric than neatly defined. It easily bleeds into related terminology, particularly the dreamscape of the uncanny, the filthy abject, the figurative domain of caricature or grotesquery, while retaining it’s original evocative power and resilient nature. It is also a nod to the many early forms and expressions of Gothic especially those put forward by the romantics of the late 18th and early 19th century in art, literature and film. Like those sinister romantics, Karen Justl’s experiments in The Dolls in The Playground also rejects the rational and favours the supernatural, in order to spark the magic of the imagination. The Gothic underpinning this work has to do with the comedy of death, transgression, a mixing the irrational and scientific, the living and the dead, the Pagan and Christian, innocence and corruption. It is ugly in the face, a band of outsiders celebrating depression and antagonism. It is a grotesquery that greets one with a disembodied hand, a pail of hot oil suspended over the entranceway, the sound of laughing from behind the wall or under the floorboards or an unmoving small menacing figure in a labcoat with a hatchet.
The pretense of contemporary Gothic is used as a cloak worn by Justl’s experiments illustrating emotion through dolls, figurines and toys in a tableau vivant or living-theatre style exhibition. This work attempts to redefine the concept of the Gothic as it relates to the human forms that she is creating. Justl also attempts to insidiously implicate or insist life through emotional states in these figures by placing them in what she refers to as ‘predicaments’, in order to tell their stories. Justl moves these inanimate objects through their external expressions and relationship to one another, believing that these grotesque forms facilitate an inquiry into what it means to be real, or alive.
The Dolls in The Playground will be on exhibit at Launch Projects from June 10-13. An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 11, 7 – 10pm.
Launch Projects is located at 404 Adelaide St. W (just West of Spadina). The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, 12-5pm
Polyphony is a group exhibition. Visual polyphony happens when eight unique artistic voices briefly intersect and cross-fertilize.
This diverse group of emerging artists met together regularly to explore the source of their ideas, then each one developed an independent body of work – in paint, mixed media, photography, or sculpture. Now they meet again … Do echoes and counterpoint persist?
Participating artists: Gay Gooderham, Diana Hamer, Christy Hayhoe, Jennifer Mason, Ellen Matthews, Rena Okada, Karin Shaddick, Angela Tamari at Launch Projects.
Gay Gooderham’s work “Northern Heights” focusses on exploring the edges of our world – the intersection between the very large and the very small, the mysterious in the everyday and the interplay between light and dark.
Diana Hamer is intrigued by the language of the physical body – how, for example the curve of a tensed muscle or the line of a drooped shoulder express energy and mood and personality.
In her current work, Christy Hayhoe uses found materials such as paper towels, wire, and bits of things found in her purse, to produce small self-portrait sculptures, each representing a specific state of being on a particular day.
Jennifer Mason’s current work explores the visual metaphor of roots in multiple layers of water media.
Rena Okada is obsessed with layering colours onto canvas.
In exploring the theme Hidden/Revealed, Ellen Matthews finds there is much that remains hidden from her; her exploration reflects this and can be seen very much as work in progress.
Karin Shaddick expresses her delight in east coast villages by using etching techniques to produce intaglio prints, enhanced with watercolour.
Angela Tamari’s work “In My Garden” is an artist’s response to the loss of her garden.
“Polyphony” will be on exhibit at Launch Projects from June 2 – 6. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, June 2, 5:30 – 8pm.
Launch Projects is located at 404 Adelaide St. W (just West of Spadina). The gallery is open Wednesday, 12- 8 pm and Thursday – Sunday, 12-5pm.
SolidColour is a new art collective based in Toronto. The group is comprised of four emerging artists: Ben Stansfield, Bill Philipovich, Kate Taylor and Karen Taylor. Each artist has a complementary but different style of abstract art, each employing a bold use of colour and form to interpret the world around them.
Working mainly in oil, Ben Stansfield paints mixed-media urban, rural and suburban landscapes and grids, focusing on the patterns made by human habitation, technology and encroachment.
Bill Philipovich employs bold strokes and expressive lines using acrylics with the addition of oil stick or charcoal.
Kate Taylor manipulates the surface and layers of paint, building colours and patterns, overlapping bold and complementary colours. Taylor’s work incorporates additional elements such as metallic paint, foil and gold beads.
Acrylic artist, Karen Taylor, builds up depth using translucent layers of paint reflecting many years working with pastels and has recently started incorporating photographic images.
“Solid Colour” will be on exhibit at Launch Projects from May 19 – 30. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2-4pm.
Launch Projects is located at 404 Adelaide St. W (just West of Spadina). The gallery is open Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5pm.
Before and After considers the way in which photography informs and transforms behavior and examines connections between mass media, consumerism, advertising, art and photography. The works will address how photography has the power to affect and influence culture and how the consequences of recording the “before and after” can inform our emotional and political actions whether impulsively or rationally.
Participating Artists:Shannon Baker
For more information about CONTACT Photography Festival, visit http://www.scotiabankcontactphoto.com/
The exhibition features student work from Stone Carving, Figurative and Sculpture 1 courses. Gallery Hours: Wed-Fri, 12-5pm.
Launch Projects is pleased to present Repose, a solo exhibition featuring paintings by Cheryl Buchwald. Professional dancers are typically identified with the stage, creative movement, and interpretation. They are accustomed to being observed in performance and from a distance. Buchwald’s paintings explores the offstage movements of dancers. In turn, we are given a glimpse of the person behind the performer, less anticipated by the observer and perhaps by the dancer herself. She is not embellished by costume or makeup but left ‘bare’ to tell her personal story under the simplest conditions.
Buchwald’s paintings contemplate the inner strength of these performing artists: women of great tenacity, passion and enduring beauty who have consistently extended their creativity and vision while maintaining their physical prowess.
Cheryl Buchwald’s portraits and abstract paintings have been shown in juried exhibitions and solo shows. One of her portraits was selected for exhibition at the 2005 Kingston Prize for Contemporary Portraiture. Her work is in private and corporate collections in Canada, the US and Europe.
“I think this is for you…” captures the shifts that take place in people’s lives because of miscommunication. Communication is a delicate process often overlooked and misunderstood. When speaking with one another face-to-face, more than just words are being communicated. A person’s tone of voice, facial expression and body language all contribute to how messages are being delivered/received between individuals. Once the method of communication changes, the context of messages also change. Therefore miscommunicating a message could alter someone’s day, or in a more extreme case, someone’s life.
Our messages travel through space in this digital world, with minimal thought of potentially disastrous consequences. Influenced by the texts, Compulsive Beauty by Hal Foster, and One Place After Another by Miwon Kwon, this series connects the themes of location, identity and time. The notion that an event is time specific can be applied to people’s daily tribulations; hurtful words, secrets, lies, surprises, or any message has a meaning and time to be deciphered. Applying the concept of ‘A-destination’ from Kwon, a message received by the wrong recipient, shows how the context of a message changes based on the recipient. These moments of miscommunication and their consequences are captured in the series “I think this is for you…”
Thiffany Belda Wilmouth
PS: Art Under Construction features twelve emerging artists from the Professional Studio Program at Toronto School of Art. “Art Under Construction,” refers to the process of building an art collective and the preparation needed to put on an exhibition. This process leads to a final exhibition this spring, PS: Art Out Loud at Propeller Gallery in March.
With mixed media and painting, the artists in PS: Art Under Construction explore time; it’s past, its present and its future.
To explore the passing of time, memory features prominently in the works of Dorothy Krouskie and Gwyneth Fischer. Where Krouskie intermixes a sampling of fine art techniques to layer images that spark thoughts and retrieve the past, Fischer makes poignant use of text and colour to reflect and process painful memories.
Louise Kiner looks to the past to explore the pop culture of the present. While she combines antique book works and Victorian style to distinguish her miniature 3-d fantasy installations, Thiffany Belda Wilmouth explores her fantasy world by drawing from the subversive message of the Victorian fairytale. Whimsical twists and turns confound a visual narrative highlighting present day culture.
To capture a moment in time, in the imaginary world, Linda Chen paints her beloved Gingko in multiples, fresh cut, her subject hangs on to the present, while Bernadette Wong looks deep into the future, painting images of destruction and apocalypse to address the possibility of redemption and rebirth.
As practitioners of abstraction, the painters, Huma Faiz and Pegi Kosa react to the moment. Where Faiz places emphasis on the harmony of line and colour to invite the viewer to explore life’s riches, Kosa tries to push the boundaries of painting, examining the tension between presence and absence.
The representational imagery of Suzanne Moreau and Cathy Mills illustrate the universal intimacy of everyday life. Mills, a practicing Black Belt, looks to the martial arts to inform the subject of her art practice, where Moreau, painting portraits of people from her inner circle, knows her subject well.
Illustrating the shared history of a loved one, Susy Martins, “whispers softly back to a friend who has passed on.” Arranging patterns that recall her mother’s carefully crafted threads, she lifts pigments from long dead flowers to embed them into paper. Woodblocks pressed into fibre help Elaine Stewart tie old practices to new to create tactile fragments of memory. Both Stewart and Martins make works that become a metaphor for memory, meaning and time passing.
As time passes we will continue our ‘art under construction.’ First we will move forward to our second show PS: Art Out Loud to be held at the Propeller Gallery this March, and then we move on, into our lives as practicing artists.
Six emerging artists come together in this group show at Launch Projects to mark the start of their journey through the Independent Studio Program at the Toronto School of Art. On exhibit will be paintings, photography, sculpture and video works which discuss a range of formal, cultural and personal concerns. Unbound by any strict formal, thematic or media connections, the collision of intentions along and wealth of possibilities give the array of artwork a palpable energy.
Artist Talks Dates:
Monday, Nov 23 : Beth Conklin, Tom Hlavacek
Wednesday, Nov 25: Suzanne Michele, Stephanie Kervin
Friday, Nov 27: Ingrid Mida, Jake Sweeney
*All talks run from 12:15pm – 1:00pm
There is a need that we all have for quiet, for silence, for reflection that is rarely met in our overwrought urban environment. The three artists Sharon Aylsworth, Susy Martins and Birgit Ruff exhibiting work in the show entitled “Whispered”, address this urgency to turn down the volume, with pictures that reflect on fragility, delicacy, soft colour palettes and slow, repetitive techniques, creating an aura of meditative calm.
Swirls, Whirls, and Constructed Spaces
(September 23th ~ October 4th)
We are all hybrids. Each one of us is a walking amalgamation of experiences from a plethora of differing sources. We simultaneously embody sets of incongruities; we have experiences rooted from a range of disparate origins. Coming to terms with our own personal hybridity is a lifelong pursuit of self-definition.
Through painting, Linda Chalmers explores this notion of hybridity. Pre-existing forms are constructed and combined with her own intuitive gestures into works that redefine her relationship to the world. This investigation of hybridity manifests itself as abstract fields of colour with swirling shapes that float atop the surface. Geometric cuts of saturated colour interrupt the ambiguity of space while digitally manipulated forms contribute to the sense of a visual dreamscape. These paintings explore the fluctuating boundaries between abstraction, representation, and digitally-based art.
Linda Chalmers completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Catherine Daigle Award, a distinction that recognizes excellence in the arts by a woman artist. Chalmers currently lives and works in Toronto.
For more information, please visit www.lindachalmersart.com
Toronto School of Art presents, Somebodies, a group exhibition featuring works by artists participating in the school’s Independent Residency Program. Participants share an interest in the human body in all it’s aspects from the visceral, to the poetic, from the social to the metaphorical and even the rhythmic. The body is depicted in some work, while merely implied in others. The pieces often acknowledge how encounters with artwork occur in a physical, bodily way as much as a visual way. The range of media includes drawing, painting, print making, collage and assemblage.
Participating Artists: Simon Collins, Rachel Ellison, Maya Hum, Ryiochi Nakamura, Derrick Peins and Anthony Saracino. Rachel Ellison’s performative installation is in collaboration with Mariana Tres.
The Independent Residency Program is a 13 week self-directed summer residency program at the Toronto School of Art. The program is designed for practicing professional artists who have completed their formal training. Participants have access to a semi-private studio with five other artists, group meetings, critiques, a workshop and an artist talk. This year’s participating faculty artists were Gretchen Sankey, Luke Painter and the guest artist was Ginette Legaré . Meetings with program co-coordinator Lyla Rye included visits with Mary Sue Rankin, Edward Day Gallery; David Liss, MOCCA; and visits to Olga Korper Gallery, Peak Gallery and Christopher Cutts Gallery.
Robert Palmer. Indo-Malayan Pavilion. 30″ x 24″.
In this collaborative series, Robert Palmer and Jesse Albert examine simulated natural environments within urban structures. The duo highlights the decline of nature and contradictorily, the recognition it receives as a spectacle on display to the public.
Palmer’s photography explores the complications of transplanting and displacing plants from their native environments. While searching through botanical gardens, green houses and zoos, he hones in on the
exploitative aspects of nature in urban structures which allow for the survival of plants while controlling and domesticating the natural progression of its growth. As a result, Palmer empathically represents plants confined to their surrounding structural elements as a prison visible to the public.
Albert’s installation reflects on the role of nature in urban spaces as a synthetic copy not of our natural environment, but as an idealized version. His work addresses how the authentic natural environment has been forgotten and the new subjectivity of our culture towards the natural has emerged.
Palmer and Albert’s experience of domesticated nature, and the realities of industrialization has led to a melancholic production of work in reaction to the exploitation of natural life in contemporary
(September 12 ~ 23)
Launch Projects is pleased to announce Chamber Music, a solo exhibition featuring mixed media works by Kenny Lee.
In Chamber Music, Kenny Lee explores the public realm of debate as a metaphor for an individual’s inner dialogue. Lee explores the comparison by constructing a miniature diorama of a parliamentary assembly. As a result, the dream-like legislature of debating figurines echoes the mind’s cyclical mode of conflict resolution.
Furthermore, Lee represents members of his dioramic legislature through a series of paintings and drawings. With the use of photographic zooming technology, Lee represents figures from varying focal points in his work; characters are pushed to the foreground or background, symbolizing the prominence of conscious or unconscious voices in one’s mind. In turn, Lee draws a parallel between the abstract and concrete realities of varying opinions and perspectives.
Kenny Lee was born 1984, in Maracaibo, Venezuela and moved to Canada in 1991. Lee recently earned a B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Chamber Music is his first solo exhibition. Lee currently lives and works in Toronto.
Chicken Legs Trophy, sculpted and blown glass, mixed media.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
Emma Gerard is fascinated by how insults affect self-perception. In Sticks & Stones, Gerard presents a series of award statues for categorical insults. These tongue-in-cheek awards, such as “Muffin top award” and “Tribute to the Horse Face Woman award”, are celebrations of one’s physical flaws. Rather than deprecate, loathe and hide an imperfection, Gerard embraces flaws with unapologetic relish. Gerard’s awards are figurative descriptions represented as their literal translations, resulting in work that is both disarming and humorous. Her works are an assembly of mixed-media, employing blown and sculpted glass, cast resin, wood and leather.
Emma Gerard attended Sheridan’s Crafts and Design program in Oakville, Ontario, specializing in ceramics and glass. She further honed her abilities during a summer residency at The Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. She has had the opportunity to study with Jennifer Elek at Pilchuck Glass School, as well as Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen at Red Deer College. Gerard currently lives and works in Toronto.
For more information, please visit www.emmagerard.com
What turns heterosexual women on? Esther Simmonds-MacAdam posed this question to Toronto women and examines their answers through paintings of the erotic male body. Dissatisfied with how men are represented in the mainstream media, Simmonds-MacAdam uses oil paint and canvas to explore alternatives. As a result, she focuses on the erotic appeal of men doing everyday activities such as cooking, playing music and sleeping. Her work challenges stereotypical imagery of the erotic male.
In 2008, Esther Simmonds-MacAdam completed a M.A. funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada in which she interviewed women about their responses to her paintings. Red Hot! is the first exhibit of work based on her research. Esther currently lives and works in Toronto.
For more information, please visit www.esthersm.com
TSA presents a series of installation work by alumni Louise D’Andrade from July 2 – July 12. The Missing Book is an exhibition about transformation, construction and deconstruction. Using the material within books and the type, text and font of the book, and combining organic materials such as wax and paper, D’Andrade creates a visual metaphor for the narrative.
A group art exhibition of sculpture, glass, photography, multiples and installation by:
Curated by Stephanie Cormier and Tara Bursey
June 17 -28, 2009
Opening June Thursday June 18, 6 – 9 pm
Gallery Hours: Wed.to Sun. 12 - 5 pm
Po-lar-i-ty is an exhibition which explores ideas surrounding polarity and dichotomy, specifically with regard to traditional womens roles, activities and rituals. Leanne Eisen projects representations of the sex industry onto the medium of the conventional dollhouse, juxtaposing the equally constricted and restrictive roles of homemaker and sexworker within detailed dioramas. Emma Gerard’s hot sculpted glass breast implant multiples use material and process to present a playful yet striking visual pun. Similarly, Alexandra Mainella uses multiples representations of lipsticks and pedicure tools cast in bronze and aluminum, transforming them into bullet shells and brass knuckles, while Kim stanford uses steel wool to create a giant steel wool spool of yarn, commenting on the nature of repetitive domestic tasks and activities.
YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION: PERSONAL HISTORIES
‘You Say You Want A Revolution: Personal Histories’ is a group show juried by Lise Beaudry (Director of Gallery 44) featuring the work of Summer Faith Garcia, Emily Martin and Janine Ramlochan.
This exhibition is part of Toronto’s annual city-wide CONTACT Photography Festival.
LAUNCH PROJECTS will feature the graduation exhibition for the TSA Open House. The show in Launch features a piece from each of the graduates and runs for 2 weeks. The Opening will be held on Thurs April 16 / 7-11pm with the TSA Open House at 410 Adelaide St W, 3rd Floor.
A solo show by Chris Johnson.
A group show by TSA Alumni.
Solo exhibition by Toronto artist Susan Gosevitz
Opening reception: Thursday Feb. 26, 6-9 pm
Gallery hours: Wed. – Sun. 12-5 pm
Artist present Saturday & Sunday
Presented by Launch Projects
404 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
Interpretative landscapes, encaustic on paper is a one time body of work and a must see exhibition. This body of work is the result of a year-long exploration in encaustics bringing drawing and painting together depicting the Canadian landscape through the use of line, light and depth. Carving through thick layers of wax, exposing the paper beneath allows a form of expression that highlights the landscape using texture. This effect of contrast, where exposed paper acts a source of light, illuminating the sky and water, is weighted heavily by the dark opacity wax affords giving forth a robustness to the hilly terrain.
“After experimenting with a new medium, in this case hot and cold wax, an intuitive process takes place that is hard to put into words.” said Susan Gosevitz, visual artist. “After life-long observation of the Canadian landscape, images of hills, valleys and lakes are ingrained in my unconscious thoughts. In creating these images, I closed my eyes and entered the dreamy world of my imagination and everything flowed from there”
About the Artist
Susan Gosevitz is a Toronto based visual artist and a graduate of the Toronto School of Art. A naturalist and painter, Gosevitz paints the Canadian landscape combining realism and imagery. Gosevitz paints scenes of natural moments to wake up, to calm and to invite the viewer to feel as one with nature. In this one time body of work, artist Susan Gosevitz has stepped outside her traditional landscape oil paintings to explore the abstraction of an idea.
For more information visit: www.susangosevitz.com
e: firstname.lastname@example.org / p: 416-930-1892
From December 11-13, 2008, more than 300 works of art in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, digital art and mixed media will be on display at the Toronto School of Art’s annual Winter Open House. Students, their families and friends, and the public are invited to the opening reception on Thursday, December 11 from 7:00 to 11:00 pm. They can tour the school, view artwork, dance to a live DJ, and enjoy some refreshments while they mingle with the artists and TSA instructors.
“The school will be transformed into a large gallery space with the works displayed on the walls of the art studios,” explains TSA’s Executive Director, Rani Glick. “The exhibit showcases students work across all programs, courses, and disciplines, providing an excellent representation of all the courses TSA offers.”
There will also be “Faculty Picks” shown in the LAUNCH PROJECTS gallery space next door at 404 Adelaide West. Work from 7-8 artists determined by the TSA faculty will be on display here.
The longest-running alternative art school in the city, TSA has been providing a positive environment for visual arts education for almost forty years. Located in the city’s busy Fashion and Gallery District within short walking distance of other well-known visual arts hubs like 80 Spadina Ave. and 401 Richmond St. West, the school offers fine art and digital media courses full-time and part-time throughout the year. TSA courses include painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, mixed media, digital art and more. Four certificate programs are also available A youth studio program is offered for ages 15-19. The school also recently opened a new exhibition space called Launch Projects in the ground level of 404 Adelaide St. West, for emerging and established artists to showcase new work.
TSA’s Winter session starts on January 12, 2009. An early registration discount is available until December 12, 2008.
author / Lucy Trew
The woman behind the origin of Toronto’s most successful independent art school will have her first public exhibition next month featuring a collection of oil paintings, water colours, batiks and sculptures.
Barbara Barrett Biggs, founder and first director of the Toronto School of Art, died in 2005 and never had her own work shown until now. Rather, she focused her attention on hiring working artists as instructors and drawing out the artistic abilities of students of all ages since beginning the TSA in 1969. She had a personal interest in visual arts and brought her tireless energy to the school, often working seven days a week until her retirement nearing age 80. In1991, she was awarded the Government of Canada’s Lescarbot Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to regional cultural activities.
The school’s raison d’être was “for artists, by artists” and while other independent non profit art schools have faded, the Toronto School of Art is now celebrating 40 years of providing structured visual arts instruction with alternative features. Many artists also continue to drop in to the popular Sunday afternoon life drawing without instruction, despite the changing address of the TSA as it expanded and relocated from Walker Ave, Brunswick Ave, Queen St. W, Spadina Ave, and to its current location at 410 Adelaide St. W 3rdFloor. The school has grown from 14 students and 2 instructors in its first year to over 700 students and 50 instructors today.
“She encouraged everyone to draw and take their talent seriously with formal instruction, practice and experimentation,” said Pat MacMillan, one of the first students at the school, and later a volunteer member on the Board of Directors. “It was the enthusiasm that Barbara brought that made the school a success right from the beginning.”
Barbara’s work will be on exhibit at Launch Projects from November 4th - 15th. A reception will be held on Saturday, November 7th, 2 – 4 p.m.
Launch Projects is pleased to present Canadian POPaganda, a solo exhibition featuring encaustic works by Andrew Hutchison. The exhibition explores Canadian identity through aseries of satirical portraits of historical national figures such as Sir John A. Macdonald, Emily Carr and Louis Riel.
Interested in what Hutchison refers to as “Pop”agandizing Canadian History, the current series of encaustic portraits illustrate figures from Canada’s past. Twisting and playing with our cultural background to reinvigorate our national narrative. Satire and humour are used as a weapon to grab the viewer and force the contemplation of what the Canadian identity’s roots are. This series utilizes satire and wit, distributed within a history and popular culture framework to form a slang ofsorts, that addresses our unique identity as a nation. It is the incorporated humour that makes the work a part of the modern plane. To use a Guerrilla Girls quote “We found quickly that humour gets people involved. It’s an effective weapon” By opening the door in this same sense, Hutchison brings the viewer in with humour allowing the work to be far more approachable and open for discussion on our historical figures and the narrative of Canada itself.
Taking figures from the historic popular culture and juxtaposing a satirical but factual comment reveals a twist to their individual character and our own archetypes. These characters are in essence the tales of our own ‘Canadian character’, a portion of the roots of the Canadian identity. The large portraits force the viewer to reanalyze and gaze into what the history of our nation and our historical construct of identity is based, at least partially, upon.
The materials used include supports made of Canadian birch and the portraits are framed with Canadian maple which were selected to be a reminder of our landscape, a metaphor in a sense of Canadian history itself. The encaustic wax painting process is one of the oldest mediums known to art history and one that survives the test of time. The visual qualities of the medium reference, in many ways, historical aspects such as wax seals and candlelight.
Andrew R. Hutchison, born and raised in Toronto, has had a life long love affair with Canadian history and pop culture. He has traveled the country extensively as well as the United States and Europe and all have served to show what “home” really is. Studying Art and Art History at the University of Toronto after finishing high school exposed him to a wealth of cultural expression and the wondrous differences and uniqueness found in the ancient world. Finishing up after a few years of adventure and wandering, he completed his BFA at the Ontario College of Art & Design last spring, studying popular culture, contemporary art history and completing his thesis in drawing and painting.