Vancouver / Winnipeg, Canada
Winnipeg, Canada / London, England
Strange highs and strange lows
Thatfs how my love goes
- Depeche Mode
Main Entry: obsession
Synonyms: attraction, bug, hang-up, compulsion, infatuation, phobia, preoccupation, drive, compulsion.
Two artists consider fixation.
Aldona Dziedziejkofs project consists of shadowbox pieces that are based on the theme of conflict: the sort of struggles in the animal kingdom that surprisingly mirror our own.
gI stumbled upon the idea for the project when I received a small and precious gift that I didnft immediately know what to do with in terms of display. I thought of putting it in a shadowbox for the sake of preservation and when I did, it occurred to me to put it in a comical context and impose a narrative upon it. When I browsed craft stores for objects and became aware of the expressive potential of these tableaux I decided to create a series based on a uniform theme. I was interested in the idea of a shadowbox: a kitsch craft item typically constructed by families to preserve memories and achievements. In the spirit of subverting such wholesomeness, I wanted to evoke bottled up feelings of claustrophobia, jealousy and greed. These scenes, made by using carefully selected found objects, present a farce of human struggles. Yearning, and strife grafted onto farm or exotic animals becomes less direct, thus far removed but still strangely familiar. I wanted these miniatures to appear cute and artificial at first glance but a little haunting when looked at closely.h
Sylvia Matasf minimalist and fragile paintings contain recurring themes such as melancholy and the bittersweet stirrings of hope. Matas renders a world that is compartmentalized and ethereal. She does this with the frugality of medium: the spare colouring and the tiny scale manage to dole out hefty feelings of seclusion and remoteness. Matas is interested in the emotive potential of atmospheric phenomena in nature; rainbows have the ability to express anticipation, raindrops and clouds- discontent. Delicately painted with watercolours Matasf neatly arranged trees, raindrop mounds, grasses, ladybugs, twigs and water ripples and waves are allowed to settle into the paper with frail transparency. The weather - unpredictable and uncontrollable with its torrential rains, rolling thunder, painfully sub-zero temperatures and the incandescent sunlight - is tamed by Matas in these small works. In these works, the weather is a metaphor, a stand-in for latent human moods and emotions. In Waiting (2006) the rain takes on human-like fragility as it finds shelter from the sun in the slender chartreuse grass; in Hiding (2006) twigs, stacked cozily, bide their time under a blanket of snow before the first thaw. Matas asks the viewer to look on gently and to ponder the seasonsf constant passing: the cyclical process of departure and return.
- Compiled and organized by
Aldona Dziedziejko and Takashi Iwasaki