2004 Exhibitions

2004 Exhibitions

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December 5, 2004 - January 16, 2005
Opening Reception: Sunday, December 5, 2 - 4 p.m.

Angela Leach will present an illustrated talk and conduct a tour of the exhibition on Thursday, January 13 at 1 p.m.

Since 1992, Toronto-based artist Angela Leach has been working on a project entitled Abstract Repeat -- a series of acrylic paintings which investigate the optical ajnd spatial transformation of the picture plane by using repetition in combination with colour and line. Her signature Abstract Repeat Wave series began in 1997 and has continued to the present.

Leach creates the illusion of perspective with the intersection of two linear waves at critical points. Each successive sine wave moving across the surface of the painting appears to taper and thicken in proximity to the next wave. This attenuation leaves the impression of a spatial recession characterized by a rolling wave. Leach then applies to these drawings a restricted colour palette of thirty-two colours which she organizes in complex repeating patterns. By repeating a sequence of colour placed in order from dark to light, for example, following the placement of the four darkest colours, she can complete a painting as a series of logical next steps. By altering the sequence or the colour key, Leach can create an almost infinite variety of unique colour patterns. Most observers of Leach’s work, however, have tended to focus on the optical illusions generated by her drawing and compare her to the British Op artist Bridget Riley. While Riley uses elements of graphic design and colour theory to achieve her optical effects, Leach’s images are arrived at as intellectually conceived complex repeating patterns. Colour rarely plays an illusory role in Leach’s work, rather it is applied as an exercise in complex sequencing.

Angela Leach was born in 1966. She attended Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design in Oakville, Ontario and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Having been introduced to the discipline of painting at OCAD and to textile design at Sheridan College, she eventually found in her work a marriage of the two. Leach has participated in many group exhibitions in her native Toronto as well as showing in Vancouver, Chicago, New York and Madrid. Significant exhibitions include Perspective 96, curated by Jessica Bradley at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1996); Rococo Tattoo: The Ornamental Impulse in Toronto Art, curated by Philip Monk at the Power Plant, (1997); TRANSlinear, co-curated by Michael Davidson and Ihor Holubizky at the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton (1999), and Visual Stimulants, with Ken Singer and Jeremy Stanbridge, curated by Keith Wallace for the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2000). The body of work in this exhibition was first exhibited in 2003 at Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario and has travelled to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Alberta. After Rodman Hall, the exhibition will travel to the Owens Art Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick and to the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto's Scarborough College. Angela Leach's work was recently featured in Richard Rhode's "The News at Five" during the this year's Toronto International Art Fair.

Image: Angela Leach, Abstract Repeat - Wave Large #3, 2002, acrylic on canvas (installation view). 


Catherine Heard, Suzy Lake, Jane Martin

October 14 - November 25, 2004
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 14, 8 - 10 p.m.

Curated by Jean Bridge

Stunning features the work of three prominent contemporary Canadian artists - Catherine Heard, Suzy Lake and Jane Martin. The exhibition will open October 14. It is curated by Brock University visual arts professor, Jean Bridge. Stunning is part of the Image and Imagery Conference being hosted by Brock University, October 13 - 15.

This exhibition focuses on works that are particularly arresting in their simultaneous presentation of beauty and pain. The artists in the exhibition approach the difficult and often taboo subjects of disease, decay and aging through the lens of beauty and its conventions. In this exhibition the motif of garden, fashion, textile and furniture design is juxtaposed with the visceral -- aspects of the human body that social convention renders repugnant.

Jane Martin's breathtaking paintings of faded roses and human flesh bizarrely compressed into polite cabinets signify containment, even entrapment. She represents the human body even in its metaphorical floral guise as frail flesh, lovingly doomed. Her work has been exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada and was recently the subject of a retrospective at the Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa.

Suzy Lake's photographs and photo-installations such as Lido and Peonies, Lido and Lipstick and My Friend Told Me I Carry Too Many Stones the image of a figure scratching wallpaper from the wall matches the tender vulnerability of the female body with listless anxiety. Lake's significant body of photographic work has been widely exhibited internationally and across Canada for the last 25 years. Her work is being featured this fall in a survey exhibition at Hart House at the University of Toronto.

Catherine Heard's papercuts, prints and sculptural work finds its expression in the doll -- baby effigies that become metaphors of arrested growth, and deep anxieties centred in the body. She shifts the decorative delight in perfected balance to embodied disorder in Symmetries. In her wax sculptures, collectively titled Stain, she disrupts of purity of innocense with deep-seated disease. Heard's recent work has been exhibited at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art and the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto.

Image: Suzy Lake, My Friend Told Me I Carry Too Many Stones, 1994, colour photo collage, 28" x 24". 


The Mathematically Generated Images of Bill Ralph

October 7 - November 21, 2004

Bill Ralph is a professor of mathematics at Brock University. In his study of dynamical systems Ralph became fascinated by the idea of using algorithms to generate abstract images. He started with simple graphic illustrations of mathematical models, and proceeded to create images of increasing complexity. His images possess qualities not normally associated with formula output such as subtle textures and blends and apparently spontaneous or randomly generated shapes. Ralph assesses each image for aesthetic interest, adjusting the algorithm to achieve a final satisfying result. The completed image, which may in the end constitute a 500 megabyte file size, is then output as a giclée print.

Image: Bill Ralph, Lineal, 2004, giclée print on paper.


A Quilt Retrospective

September 12 - October 10, 2004
Opening reception Sunday September 12 from 2 - 4 p.m.

Curated by Greta Hildebrand
Featuring Quilts by the Fabulous Five: Irja Donoghue, Mary Filek, Marion Hardy, Cheryl Schonewille, and Marilyn Walker

Beyond the Bed: A Quilt Retrospective, features works by a group known as the Fabulous Five. The group, consisting of local artisans Irja Donaghue, Cheryl Schonewille, Mary Filek, Marilyn Walker and Marion Hardy, have worked together since the 1980s with a focus for learning new techniques and methodologies in their quilt work.

“Quilts have different meanings to different people,” says Marilyn Walker. “For some, they are bed coverings, while others regard them as heirlooms and treasures. This exhibit will help quilters and non-quilters alike to be inspired by the effort and retrospect that is captured within each piece.”

Walker attributes to the Women's movement of the 1970's the growing appreciation of the quilt as an art form. Formerly confined to and admired in the home as a domestic craft, quilts are now widely exhibited in museums and art galleries throughout the world. Morevover the growth in interest in quilts has also led to new developments in the art form. According to Walker, contemporary quilts are very different from their earlier counterparts. New technologies and the availability of a much wider variety of fabrics have allowed quilters a greater freedom of self expression.

Image: Fractured Dreams: Birth of a Galaxy, 2003, by the Fabulous Five: Irja Donaghue, Mary Filek, Marion Hardy, Cheryl Schonewille & Marilyn Walker, 173 x 173 cm.