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5 Questions with Candida Girling

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If you missed Candida’s last show Shifting Landscapes, here’s a photo recap with a little behind the scenes Q&A called 5 questions with Candida Girling.

By Tara Cooper

What’s your elevator pitch for your current show?

“Shifting Landscapes explores the notion of the contemporary landscape in a world altered by human interaction”, to quote David Saric, who reviewed the show in ArtToronto.

What was your strategy for the install at Loop? Were there any challenges?  

I tried to position the works, which were in 3 media (ink drawings, wood that was engraved, carved and painted, and steel sculptures), in a way so that they spoke to each other. Ultimately, all of the works began with drawing and then brought to life through these different media. This was a relatively easy install, in contrast to some of my recent multi-media installations!

How do you spend your time when you’re not working in the studio?

Walking in the woods and the city, reading Italo Calvino, listening to music and practicing yoga.

What artist living or dead would you most like to have dinner with?  What would you order? What question would you ask him/her?

I would like to have a picnic lunch with the late Swiss artist Jean Tinguely and his wife Niki de Saint Phalle. We would dine in the garden of her sculpture park Giardino Tarocchi. I would also like to invite the late author Italo Calvino and contemporary artist and designer Olafur Eliasson, as he shares certain similar preoccupations. Using wit and ingenuity all of these artists question societal norms and ponder our relationship to history, nature and technology. They do this using elements drawn from the mundane and the absurd working them into compelling narratives. We would dine on pears and cheese, as well as edible plants that we would forage for. Wine would be served in goblets poured to varying heights and each person would have a set of spoons to play with. I would ask them for their strategies on dealing with the technological and societal changes in this new millennium.

What’s next in terms of your studio practice?

I would like to continue working with the media used in this show, exploring the same issues in more detail.

 

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P. Roch Smith fields of play

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October 8th – October 30th, 2016

Reception: Thursday, October 13th, 6 – 9 PM

Q & A: Sunday, October 30th, 2 PM

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P. Roch Smith’s work centres on the creativity of play, equilibrium and disequilibrium, and how memories are constructed and held in place. In fields of play, Smith presents work in which the mass produced (plastic army figures) are merged with the organic (tree branches, sisal twine and yarn). The figures are unified by bronze casting – fixing their hybridity in both a metaphoric and material manner. The relational nature of value is examined as the tiny scale of the bronze figures is the antithesis of monumentality usually associated with bronze as a sculptural material. While bronze casting normally speaks to permanence and the epic, the scale of these works creates a form of intimacy.

Play has been theorized as a liminal space – occupying both the real and the imagined simultaneously. It is within this topography that Smith points to certain aspects of the human condition. We manufacture toys with the intention of enabling children to play and the assumption is that this play is free, unencumbered and not contingent. Pulling back, however, it may be argued that the inherent structure of the toy itself echoes strictly adult concerns. Toys and play easily normalize certain ideas about one’s place in the greater scheme of things. Thankfully, children have also long subverted these rigid narrative structures. The altering of toys – drawing tattoos on a doll or shaving the “life-like” hair off of a GI Joe figure – is an aspirational act and speaks to claiming new narratives.

Toys as a sculptural material intrigues Smith. He has spent years amassing a large collection of plastic toy soldiers, model sets, LEGO blocks, Playmobile figures and these toys become raw materials for creation. The alchemy arises from combining these elements in new ways – stretching their scale or altering their properties. In this way a tree branch replaces a gun. A 5-foot tall tower of LEGO serves as a platform for a figure to let down a rope. All of the army figures have some form of intervention – they are cut, melted or altered to undertake the new work and tasks that Smith sets out for them.

P. Roch Smith was born and raised on Vancouver Island and currently lives and maintains a studio in Toronto. Working primarily within the realm of sculpture, Smith also generates installations, paintings, and drawings as part of his artistic output. Smith received a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and an MFA from York University. He has taught classes at the University of Waterloo, ECIAD, and York University. He is a member of loop Gallery in Toronto and currently manages and operates the bronze and aluminum foundry at York University.

Smith has exhibited internationally and is included in private as well as public collections in Canada and the United States. His large-scale outdoor sculptures are available through the Oeno Gallery located in Prince Edward County, ON.

For more information, visit rochsmith.com, or visit his pages on instagram (@rochsmith) and twitter (@_rochsmith).

Jane LowBeer land lines

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October 8th – October 30th, 2016

Reception: Thursday, October 13th, 6 – 9 PM

Q & A: Sunday, October 30th, 2 PM

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It is to be had for the feeling… you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle you’ll be there. 

Lawrence Durell 

 

In land lines Jane LowBeer reflects on the horizon seen in the rural landscape, the rolling hills, forests and fields of southern Ontario. A first impression of these collages may suggest floating islands, strange creatures or sea-less ships. In the making they consist of overlapped monoprints, sewn and cut out in asymmetric, horizontal forms. These forms are caught and pinned on the wall like trophy fish.

But a closer look reveals something else: sanctuary, places of peace, wellsprings of lyric dreams and poems. Grass, trees, fence lines, pasture and hedge rows, LowBeer reveals the land as layers of lines constantly shifting with wind and light.

Although not using the standard material for drawing, LowBeer focuses on line as her medium of expression. With traditional drypoint technology she builds up texture with numerous printings on semi-transparent Japanese paper, collaged, overlapped and sewn together to slowly evolve into a finished, shaped work: multi-media mounted on wood.

LowBeer continues to develop the horizontal format. A previous Loop show, Crankees consisted of 60” scrolls in a box which the viewer had to operate. In Seams, her 2013 exhibition, her sewn landscapes were long. In land lines she pushes the format further.

In the countryside the horizon line is continuous, spreading in all directions. LowBeer plays with the experience of that expanse by exaggerating the proportion, squeezing some pieces to less than two inches high and stretching the length.

We are all overwhelmed in the vastness of the world. Jane’s work in landscape hopes to bring us back to the essence of place.

This is Jane’s sixth exhibition at Loop. She studied printmaking at the venerated Atelier 17 in Paris and her work has won numerous prizes. Her art is found in private and public collections in New York, Paris, Montreal and Toronto including London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the Bibliothèque National de Paris, France. In Toronto her monotypes can be found at Open Studio and The Nikolai Rukaj Gallery. LowBeer is looking forward to an upcoming exhibition at VAC (Visual Arts Centre of Clarington) in 2018.

Kelly Cade fall ● stream ● wake

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September 10th – October 2nd, 2016

Reception – September 10th, 3 – 6 PM

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Loop Gallery is pleased to announce fall stream wake, a new exhibition of works by Kelly Cade

Cade’s work explores the visceral subtext of our experience in the context of our relationship with the natural world. Her artistic process involves locating and articulating the texture of intuitive space. The abstracted photographs in fall stream wake represent a mapping of water dreams, a continuing exploration of the essential feel of subliminal impressions.

These ‘water’ dreams are inverted, unanchored, and unbound streams without a point of reference and with elements yet to be defined. They are at times expansive, other times contained. Cade immerses herself in these fluid spaces, which feel earthy, mossy, heavy, milky, clear, light– as a way of examining more closely the fabric of our experience without assigning or searching for meaning.

Kelly Cade is a visual artist working in a range of media, from painting and photography to installations. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and has exhibited in both solo and group shows. Her work can be found in private and public collections throughout Canada, the United States and the U.K. Cade is currently a member of loop gallery in Toronto.

Candida Girling Shifting Landscapes

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September 10th – October 2nd, 2016

Reception:  September 10th, 3 – 6 PMGirling

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce Shifting Landscapes, a new exhibition of works by Candida Girling.

For the past several years, issues concerning the environment have been central to Girling’s work. Girling has explored the potential of enabling public space as a site for interactive installations such as musical benches and hydroponic, portable sculptural walls. She sees the potential of using art as a means of converting dead space into lively space, to be used for gathering and dreaming. In this latest exhibition at Loop Gallery, Girling demonstrates her love of drawing in a mixed media installation comprised of ink drawings, etchings in wood, and laser cut sculpture that examine the notion of the contemporary landscape. Girling suggests that the landscape of the natural world also includes the works, quandaries and the crises of humanity. Though we may wish to escape to the bucolic, the world is—as Wordsworth has said—too much with us. Candida Girling was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a Canadian citizen and resident of Toronto, Ontario. Girling studied art at York University in Toronto, and at Edinburgh University / Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, and studied Industrial Design at Ontario College of Art and Design and at the Royal Danish Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen, where she worked for Pelikan Design and the Danish Design Council. Girling received her MFA at SUNY University at Buffalo in Visual Studies/ Emerging Practice. Girling is a founding member of loop gallery and has been exhibiting her work since 2000. Recent exhibitions include: Art Fashion Show at Gallery 1313, Interactive Installations for Nuit Blanche, the Anderson Gallery in Buffalo, and Loop Gallery in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and abroad, including Germany, England, Scotland United States, and Denmark. Girling also teaches at Sheridan College and at Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

Sara Shields Out of Mind

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August 13th – September 4th, 2016

Reception: August 18th, 6 – 9 PM

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Loop Gallery is pleased to announce Out Of Mind, a new exhibition of works by guest artist, Sara Shields.

The drawings showcased in Out Of Mind have never been shown before. These works have been driven by human interaction and its influence on human emotion and actions (whether it is through everyday small-talk, elaborate storytelling, or manipulating the truth, for example), or by lack of interaction and action. Focused on the human figure, these drawings have evolved over time—as storytelling and human life continue to evolve. Lines, patterns, and organic shapes coalesce into human-alien hybrids. Always searching for an alternate human universe that lies deep within the subconscious, these drawings depict imaginative tableaus of alien-human beings void of gender and race, as feelings and actions see none of that. Personal emotions are played with and externalized, but become completely masked within each work. Images that at first seem dark and obscure, suddenly offer glimmers of delicate lightness and hope. The aliens—distorted and bursting with movement, or calmly posed—embody not only the unknown, but also something familiar, inclusive, and engaging.

These obscure and wonderful figures bring to form the everyday feelings and actions that make us human. Viewers are invited to create their own stories, dwell on past memories, and allow the movement to lead them to the deeper interactions found within each work.

Sara Shields is an emerging Toronto artist who primarily specializes in pastel drawings on paper. She graduated from Centennial College’s Fine Arts Studio program in 2010, where she first began developing her distinctive take on figurative drawing. Since graduating, Shields has exhibited in various solo shows, group shows, and art fairs across Ontario. Her drawings have been acquired by Centennial College’s private library and head office collections, are part of the Art Gallery of Ontario art rental and sales program, and have been collected internationally.

Gev Marotz: Childhood

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July 27 – August 6, 2016

Opening Reception: July 28, 2016, 6-9PM

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Loop Gallery is pleased to announce Childhood, a new exhibition of works by guest artist, Gev Marotz.

In this latest suite of works, Marotz investigates his nostalgic attachment to objects from childhood. The focus here is not on the quality of that childhood, but rather his earliest memories of images and objects. His process does not know a time limit (as memories from childhood often do before being altered or distorted by time), which allows Marotz to use the base image as a platform for practicing and skillfully exercising technique. Through this process, the artist imbues fragments of his nostalgia into the work and breathes a new kind of life into the image. The end result aims to provide a visual living experience and a roadmap for looking.

For Marotz, a work is not finished until it is seen. With this in mind, Marotz caters to a broad audience of not only art makers, critics, writers, or members of the “art scene”, but to anyone with a desire to look. His goal is to create an image that can engage its viewers on a variety of levels and therefore invests the time to work a number of layers, both physical and critical, into each piece.

Gev Marotz was born in Israel and has lived and shown his work in many countries across the world including Germany, China, the United States, and Canada. He studied graphic design at the School of Advertising Art and currently works as Global Creative Director at Konrad, a digital innovation firm.

 

Loop Turns Sweet Sixteen

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Post by Tara Cooper

Loop’s current show Sweet Summer Sixteen, a group show featuring members past and present, celebrates Loop’s birthday. The show’s title reminded me of the 1984 John Hughes film Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwald. In recognition of Loop’s sweet accomplishment I pulled some quotes from the film…. a kind of preface to the photo essay of the exhibition.

“It’s really stupid. He doesn’t even know I exist”.

“Are you going to class today. I don’t know if I’m emotionally ready.”

“I know it just hurts.”

“That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy they’d call them something else.”

“When you find the right guy. Don’t let him boss you around.”

“What’s happenin’, hot stuff.”

“I really love Rudy. He is totally enamoured to me. I mean I’ve had men who’ve loved me before, but not for six months in a row.”

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Jane Lowbeer’s “Pond”, mixed media, 8.5″ x 11″, 2016.

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John Abrams’ “Netflix”, oil on panel, 18″ x 24″, 2016.

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Adrian Fish’s “Tropical Island #2457″, archival inkjet print, 24″ x 36”, 2015.

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Suzanne Nacha’s “Iron Age”, oil on canvas, 20″ x 24″, 2016.

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Rochelle Rubenstein’s “Welcome Skirt”, block printed, painted, and embroidered silk, 21″ x 21″, 2014.

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David Holt’s “Four Cats”, acrylic on linen, 12″ 12″, 2016.

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P. Roch Smith’s “Branch Rifle”, bronze on wood shelf, 16″ x 6″ x 5″, 2016.

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J. Lynn Campbell’s “The sky was a blameless blue”, archival giclee print 16″ x 15″, 2013.

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“Sweet Summer Sixteen” installation shot.

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Gary Clement’s “Singvogel”, watercolour, pen, and ink, 15.25″ x 12.25″, 2016.

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Libby Hague’s “Spring — Little Apple Tree”, acrylic and oil on canvas, 12″ x 15″, 2015.

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Lanny Shereck’s “Breakfast in Kyoto”, oil on canvas, 20″ x 16″, 2015.

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Ester Pugliese’s “Interval”, acrylic, chalk, carbon pencil, and chalkboard paint on panel, 8″ x 10″, 2016.

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Yael Brotman’s “Wove”, foam core and theatre gel, 7″ x 7″, 2016.

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Kim Stanford’s “Monument to the Mundane”, bronze and pastino (plinth—found laundry soap, plastic basket), 11″ x 8″ x 7″, 2014.

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Richard Sewell’s “about/as”, coroplast, laminated post-it note, located/photo-activated/notation, cable ties, screw, polyethylene and vinyl tubing, recycled milk bag, and string, 6″ x 12″ x 3″, 2016.

 

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen, Loop

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July 13 -24, 2016

Reception July 16, 2 – 5 PM

 

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Loop Gallery is pleased to announce Sweet Summer Sixteen, a group show featuring a number of Loop member artists.

Established in the summer of 2000 by Richard Mongiat and Catherine Beaudette as an alternative and collectively-run exhibition space for professional artists, Loop Gallery has been a mainstay for engaging cultural activity in Toronto’s West end for sixteen years! This summer, Loop members have come together to celebrate its success with a show of smaller works in a range of media. Sweet Summer Sixteen honours the diversity of art practices within Loop’s membership and the history of the gallery within the artist-run culture in Toronto.

The opening reception will also feature a screening of the new documentary film about Loop, which is part of the Collective City series. Collective City endeavors to trace the history of artist generated galleries, collectives, and artist initiatives that operated as alternative exhibition venues in Toronto from the late 1980’s to present day. Over the course of 25 short videos, it hopes to show how a movement that started as a group of renegade artist collectives exhibiting their work in temporary spaces eventually evolved into the sustainable artist collective galleries we are familiar with today.

Maria Gabankova: All About the Residents and Dissidents

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Home / Residents & Dissidents
by Maria Gabankova

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In case you didn’t make it to the artist talk, here’s a little more about Maria Gabankova and her exhibition Home / Residents & Dissidents!


Love is not a being – for – itself quality but a quality by which or in which you are for others.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Images of human faces and figures in this exhibition offer an inquiry in to the meaning of home. Each face and figure become a territory where I explore a life’s journey and what home means and what it means to loose it.

There are four small series in this selection of works:

In Dissidents the paintings portray real persons who at some point in their life became dissidents because of their theological and spiritual perspective.

a) Aleš Březina – studied theology, signatory of Charter 77, a human rights document in former Czechoslovakia in 1977; imprisoned as a conscientious objector; expelled into exile to Canada
b) Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikovova – studied philosophy; was a member of the Pussy Riot band, imprisoned in a labour camp for a performance of a punk prayer; continues to express her solidarity with the prisoners and the oppressed
c) Pavel Rejchrt – is a non conformist theologian, poet and writer, and a painter, lives in Prague
d) Svatopluk Karásek – a song writer – priest, signatory of Charter 77, was persecuted and exiled to Switzerland, now lives as a resident in Prague

In Residents the pencil sketches drawn from life and the paintings represent a visual report from a nursing home in Vancouver where I spent time visiting my mother during of most of 2014. Often the residents are not able to take care of themselves or to feed themselves and yet they have their dignity. In spite of not being able to communicate verbally they do so through their facial expressions and gestures.

We can only guess who these people are: artists, workers, poets, doctors, lawyers or just people abandoned, who don’t have anyone to care for them or even visit them.

Two encaustic paintings House without home I. & II. are interpretations of buildings / homes deserted and yet the presence of those who lived there remains.

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In Homeless the works Where is my home? and Birth of the soul contemplate a searching for home or consequences of loosing home. Similarly in Going home two pilgrims or homeless men walk away into the unknown towards a home beyond the earth.

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It is an old belief and it is a good belief, that our life is a pilgrim’s progress — that we are strangers on the earth, but that though this be so, yet we are not alone for our Father is with us. We are pilgrims, our life is a long walk or journey from earth to Heaven.

– Vincent van Gogh


Like what you see? Click here to see more by Maria Gabankova.