July 24 - August 14, 2007
Curated by Aldona Dziedziejko
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 26, 7 PM
Artist in attendance
When you don't give me love
You give me pale shelter
You don't give me love
You give me cold handsc
- Tears for Fears gPale Shelterh
Winnipegfs visual artist Leslie Supnet seems fascinated with what Susan Sontag, speaking about literature, called the gcreation of inwardness.h Introspection is the necessary ingredient in all of art making; however, some artists including Supnet seek to a greater degree all that is personal and lyrical. In her own words, Supnet deals with gvarious subject matter and themes, such as identity, isolation, longing and despair all with a touch of whimsy and the surrealch and is subsequently interested in using drawing gas a mechanism to cope with the little tragedies we all face day to day.h A sizeable portion of her still growing oeuvre is represented at Semai Gallery with the hope of nurturing her artistic production.
Pale Shelter - Drawings by Leslie Supnet at Semai is showing concurrently with the Royal Art Lodge exhibition Where is Here? at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. But rather than engaging the question of location Pale Shelter considers nostalgia and its subtle range of emotional hues. Supnet shares with the Winnipeg artist collective their signature affection for fantastic characters, living at an angle to society but nonetheless beguiling, rendered with faux naivete which tempers their menace. Whereas the Royal Art Lodge makes liberal use of cryptic personal iconography which, while fascinating, becomes slippery as it is vaguely familiar and always slightly beyond the viewerfs grasp; Supnetfs imagery is more accessible as each work possesses strong and instantly recognizable sentiment. Supnet manages this without sacrificing poetic eloquence.
For Supnet, each of her human and non-human characterfs interactions becomes deeply and effectively symbolic. That is because each gesture and each expression, depicted with a keen eye for subtle clues, intimates the strain of personal history etched on the self. This selfhood emerges in each of Supnetfs images from the transformation brought on by relationships that in turn bruise or hearten the individual.
The recurring theme in this exhibition is disappointment; a blend of woe, longing and yearning that brings into play nostalgia and its somatic effects. Writing about nostalgia, Linda Hutcheon locates its power in its dependence gcon the irrecoverable nature of the past for its emotional impact and appeal.h This appeal stems gin part from its structural doubling-up of two different times, an inadequate present and an idealized past.h Supnet works mainly in pencil and ink with the occasional use of delicate collage elements that elegantly enhance pieces such as Stars on Sale. The ink lines shrewdly reminiscent of adolescent doodles speak of vulnerability, and the muted colours with the preference for cement grays and steely blues sustain an introspective wit tinged with sadness. Supnet underscores this effect by drawing, with a few exceptions, on charmingly aged, vintage pages taken from paperbacks and lowbrow Western and detective novels from the 1970s.
In several of the works including Ifve Heard that Before, Achoo and Lies subdued colors sharpen to a concentrated splatter bringing into focus the imminent threat of foul play. This implied aggression is not the messy and lumbering sort but a stand-in for the oblique and particularly corrosive effects of psychological injuries. In most of the images these grievances stem from the overwhelming burden of sacrifice and compromise (personified by the wolf), or from trying experiences such as verbal cruelty or the emotional manipulation of the weak by a stronger personality (embodied by the frog).
Supnetfs particular brand of melancholy comes with an edge of irony that doesnft ask for the suspension of onefs sense of humor. Lessons in consequence come with laughs as in He Partied Too Much. Supnet hopes to ginvoke a sense of childhood wonder, and inspire playfulness in the lives of the viewers.h Childhood amplifies to a bellow the whisperings of glittle tragediesh but often not at the expense of hilarity. By visually reproducing everyday disappointments with whimsy, Supnetfs works enter into the key of a dreamlike mood that aims to give outlet to our trials and struggles.
Curator, Semai Gallery
Leslie Supnet was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where she currently resides.
Supnet uses drawing as a mechanism to cope with the little tradgedies we all face day to day. Her drawings deal with various subject
matter and themes, such as identity, isolation, longing and despair all with a touch of whimsy and the surreal. She hopes to invoke a sense
of childhood wonder, and inspire playfulness in the lives of the viewer.
Supnet is currently exploring animation on film and video, and took home first prize for her animation Moving at the Winnipeg Film Group's 3rd Annual 48 Hour Film Contest.
2003 B.Sc. Statistics, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada
2007 Semai Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada (July - August, 2007)
L'Atelier National du Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada (Date TBA)
2007 Cre8ery, Breaking Ground, Winnipeg, Canada
The Edge Gallery, In Our Own Backyard, Winnipeg, Canada
2006 Semai Gallery, Before-Xmas Exhibition, Winnipeg, Canada
2007 Winnipeg Film Group's 3rd Annual 48 hour Film Contest
2007 First Prize for my animation Moving, Winnipeg Film Group's
3rd Annual 48 hour Film Contest
2007 Completion of Animation Platter at Videopool