We are excited at the eight anniversary of the gallery to have a better entry - a new roll-up glass door. We decided to pay a tribute to the old door, which is part of the show. We have artists that we have shown at the gallery previously, and artists that we show for the very first time. The gallery's emphasis remains the same: openness, inclusiveness, and unconventionality are the streams that create this show.
Oscar Figueroa, Natalia Laluq, Francesco Albano, Emmanuel Monzon, Daniel Segrove, Emilio Villaba, Robert Kananaj.
Oscar Figueroa, Canadian artist living in Toronto: “Slides" The idea of movement presented as the slide is an especially interesting motif for me. The entire ‘journey’ of movement is literally presented at the line that constructs the slide itself—from the top of the slide that continues to the bottom, the decline presents the immediate direction where an object would travel. To me, this is a hauntingly beautiful image—forever able to predict the direction of movement, and ever-present as a gesture, a static ‘ghost-movement’.
Natalia Laluq, a Ukrainian artist living in Ottawa: I have been working with clay for a long time, almost as long as the clay has worked with me. As long as we work together, learn and sometimes get into that relaxed collaborative mode, where each other’s meeting point becomes the ceramic...Presented is the result of one such “meeting-your-old-friend-you-almost-forgot-what-he-looks-like” session.
Italian, sculptor Francesco Albano’s interests and influences are a wide range of subjects from philosophical, mystical and spiritual arguments to scientific theories, from psychological studies to real life stories. Albano uses skin and bone as a tool of expression of societal pressures and psychological violence on the body and conscience.
"...I capture places of transition, borders, passages from one world to another. Am I leaving a city or entering a new environment?... If I could sum up the common theme of my photos, it would be about emptiness, silence." - Emmanuel Monzon, French artist based in the USA. Urban Sprawl: Emptiness series finds refuge in emptiness and silence. The artist invites one's experience, conversing in a no-man's land bordering the collision of cultures.
Daniel Segrove, American artist from San Francisco: ”My subject matter... focuses on the everyday, mundane or monotonous life and trying to project my own experience or significance to these ordinary scenes."
WAITING TO DRY ART PODCAST #63 Daniel Segrove "Pencil Mic Drop" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaXdLY1KaG4
Emilio Villalba, American artist, from San Francisco: ”In the most basic sense, I paint portraits. Contemporary representations inspired by master works of the past... I wanted to explore a kind of omnipresent pressure I think we all live under. One that grows out of the clash between humanity —our unique mess of emotions, obsessions and urges—and society’s prescription for success. I’ve always been fascinated by the mess."
Robert Kananaj, living in Toronto: Dark in Light; ” I was only fifteen when I was given for the first time advice in drawing: To see and render attentively, dark in light.
From the time I was little, I have felt an affinity with the vastness surrounding me: my mother's presence, the immensity of the water and sand at the beach, mountain ranges, the day and the night. These earliest enduring impressions came to me recently while I was squeezing clay in my hand.
Clay is the first material I came across when I started sculpting and it is fascinating to revisit working with it, where freedom and permanence feel as one. Squeezing the clay by fistfuls within the stream of feeling and experience, is a tribute to life-altering experiences. My embedded impact imprinting into clay connects with existence.
As clay is rendered small-scale, so is my attentiveness, preparing me to converse on a monumental scale informed by my encounter with nature, living beings, buildings, things.
How does one individualize the vastness of space? I am captivated by reaching to the heavens with gigantic telescopes, attentive to the furthest light in the dark. As soon as the first image of a black hole was released, I saw each handful of clay as a planet or galaxy, contained as black holes are, each representing unspoken feelings and unknown physical worlds. As a toddler's squeezing hand becomes the radar squeezing the heavens, so is forming these handfuls of clay a radar of my own feelings and physicality, my radar hand lit by the dark within.
I free my energy and clay receives it, imprinting the squeeze permanently.
Clay and hand receive each other.
Clay and hand mate.
Clay and hand join together in handfuls.
My fist's nature is rendered in clay. I experience the freedom of working in clay, the element of giving in - and what better way than with the hand that works it. My handfuls of clay are a celebration, embodiment of a world that is a gift received.
The fire within appears as a physical feeling. Wooden structures that I admire may sometimes catch fire. I feel the spark of creativity within me like wood that catches fire without being consumed. The Wooden Fire, like creativity, is transient.
The gallery's large-scale industrial garage door that was raised and lowered manually almost every day for the last five years, is now being retired. I decided to use it to set the tone of the show, a tangible tribute to my earliest memories and feelings.
Wonder is labelled as a disconnect with reality; actually, reality is a wonder. I have brought Lego and empty medication bottles as a mark of recognition of the question of wonder: The bottles, as a cage of wonder, are as Lego, fabricated for wonder."