Artsy Editors
Jun 9, 2014 10:10PM

Narwhal is pleased to present Toronto-based artist Carly Waito’s second solo exhibition, Microgeographica

Through detail-rich oil paintings, graphite illustrations and a projected video work, Microgeographica showcases Waito’s ongoing series exploring the unique beauty of precious mineral specimens. Framed and captured through the lenses of both microscope and camera, Waito’s images cleverly play with ideas of scale and surface value. With a sustained commitment to process and subject matter, Waito’s images convey a sense of power and wonder that can only come from entertaining the impossible but undeniable connection between the infinitesimal and the monumental. Perhaps most intriguing, is how skillfully much of the work manages to walk the line between direct representation and abstraction. 

Waito’s treatment of oil paints makes full use of their capacity to capture the high detail and depth of colour of the real world. Conveying an infinite subtlety found only in nature, her paintings also point toward a connection with the digitally mediated world. Whether floating freely in space or fragmented through the use of tight framing, Waito’s crystals allow the viewer to experience both sheer appreciation and free association. The strength of her illustrations lies equally in their absorbing technique and the way that they use scale and framing to create an ambiguity of form. Complementing the two-dimensional works is a twenty-minute video projection documenting a series of real-time crystallization processes. Each event, recorded through Waito’s microscope, is presented first forwards and then sped up in reverse. The effect is mesmerizing; showcasing in engrossing detail an entire universe of vibrating and blossoming crystals and effectively representing Waito’s ongoing fascination with the balance between magic and truth. 

From May 30 - June 28, 2014


Toronto-based artist Carly Waito was born in Manitouwadge in 1981 and raised in Thunder Bay. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Waito co-founded the ceramic art and design studio coe&waito with Alissa Coe in 2005. The partnership is known for its elegant products and sculptural installations inspired by the natural world. As a painter, Waito has continued to pursue this inspiration, with a focus towards geology, geometry and ideas of wonder and curiosity. She has participated in a number of exhibitions, including her solo exhibition Specimens (2011) and group exhibitions The Dazzle (Oct 2010), andLittle Crowns (Dec 2009) at Narwhal Projects, as well as Plus 1 (2011) at Sloan Fine Art in New York. Waito has also exhibited with Narwhal Projects at several art fairs, nationally and internationally including Papier (Montreal, 2013), Art Toronto (2013), PULSE (New York, 2012), and Aqua Art Miami (2009, 2011).

Artsy Editors