Galerie D’Este is pleased to present a solo exhibition by artist Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell who creates vibrant, abundant work in which vegetables, ribbons, birds and precious stones tumble together in compositions as heterogeneous as they are harmonious. Each piece in the series Botanical Bend constitutes a unique and compelling world that invites the viewer to come in, stay awhile, not worry too much... but maybe worry a little.
Letting a little bit of poetry into a day-to-day that can often seem distinctly unenchanting, these works offer a respite from the endless flood of images of catastrophe, deprivation, and corruption that surrounds us. They are beautiful, but never superficial; critical without being cynical. They simply suggest we try something else by presenting an alternative ordering of familiar elements.
Here, Dinan-Mitchell is inspired by vintage illustrations such as those seen in old encyclopedias and botanical textbooks. We contemplate these drawings as we would the pages of a sketchbook – perhaps that of an explorer charting new plant, animal, and mineral specimens. The artist’s “impossible gardens” turn that same timeless and wondering gaze on the modern world. With her bittersweet blend of nostalgia and noophilia, Dinan-Mitchell reminds us of the fragility of life, but also assures us of the endless energy of renewal.
Dinan-Mitchell holds a B.A. from Concordia University and a Masters in Visual Arts from Laval University. She has participated in numerous solo and group shows in Canada and internationally including at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Belém Museum and Cupar Arts Festival in Scotland. She has received many grants and awards such as Videre-Relève and Plein Sud prizes en 2011. Her work can be found in the collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the City of Montreal and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales.
Text by Anne-Sophie Blanchet, art historian (Free translation)