Tanya Cunnington Dream, comfort, memory

By September 12, 2018Exhibitions

September 15 – October 7, 2018

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 15, 2-5 PM

Loop Gallery is proud to present Dream, comfort, memory, an exhibition of new work by Tanya Cunnington. The paintings that make up Dream, comfort, memory reimagine the Canadian landscape through the haze of memory and nostalgia, creating a space that is at once personal and universally resonant. Tanya explains her process as follows:

In the last five years, there has been a huge shift in my art making process. A move from downtown Toronto to a more rural setting brought about an unexpected change of subject matter. Suddenly I found myself wanting to interpret an open field instead of a tightly knit grid.  My palette brightened. It has been a time of experimentation for me. Relying heavily on collage in the past, I ventured into oil paint and linen again for the first time in over a decade. After years of abstraction, I felt like I was just learning to hold a brush again. 

I have always created work in response to my current surroundings, but the underlying theme remains the passage of time, memory, and personal nostalgia. In this vein, my work often acts as a visual diary for personal and significant events in my life. Last summer, while on a camping trip North of Sudbury, I became overwhelmed by memories of my childhood. Born in Kirkland Lake but raised in Southern Ontario, we would return North to my grandparents’ cottage, vacationing there each summer. As a child, it was two glorious carefree weeks of swimming, roasting marshmallows and staying up late with my cousins. Now, as I start my own family, I find myself trying to recreate the idyllic simple days of my youth for my own son.  

The title for Dream, comfort, memory is borrowed from Neil Young’s Helpless, a song that always makes me think of my Dad and his formative years up North. Visually, I enjoyed finding various levels of abstraction and representation within the dramatic rock cliffs and sparsely treed terrain of the North. But very specifically, more than just paintings of landscape, Dream, comfort, memory embodies the importance of family, the preservation of tradition, and the fleeting nature of time.

 

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