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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.

 

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.

Rewind with Elizabeth D’Agostino

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In case you missed Elizabeth D’Agostino’s last show, here’s a little behind-the-scenes Q&A (plus lots of images). By Tara Cooper

5 questions with Elizabeth D’Agostino

1. What’s your elevator pitch for your current show?

Makeshift chronicles my fascination with tree grafting and attempts to create a catalogue of re-organized components and fictional categories of nature with an invented narrative.  I’m interested in the complexities of the changing landscape emphasizing how various paths of nature have been interrupted by rapidly producing populations.

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

The work unfolds organically when I install.  Although I work around the specific measurements of the gallery each installation of prints and ceramic evolves.  The work is built from layers printed onto Washi paper and clay objects arranged within each installation. I have an idea of how things are going to be arranged but when I starting installing everything gets reorganized. The multiple layers and placement of each component can be challenging because it always involves alot of adding, subtracting and moving of parts. There’s usually a big internal sigh of relief and good gut feeling when everything just sits right and the compositional relationships work well with each other.

I enjoy this aspect of the work because it’s still part of the “making” and depending on the space it always varies.

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

My life is a balance between work, family and studio.  I’m the Managing Director at Toronto School of Art and I’m lucky to work with so many artists and creative people. I’m also the mom of a busy 5 year old. Lego and Superheros consume my life right now. I love gardening and it’s a big part of my life as well as my well being.  Right now we are preparing the gardens for spring. Everyone pitches in and helps with the gardens, even our dog Diesel.  We have started our vegetable seedlings and with the recent warm temperatures I love looking at new growth in the garden.

Image “Lego Hovercrafts” by Sebastian

This fall I moved my mother out of the family home which she lived in for 50 years since moving to Canada.  It was both difficult and exciting all at the same time.  Lots of stories and many great treasures were found. I’m sure they will find their way into future artworks in some form.   I was pretty sad to leave the garden that my parents built to another family but I know they will enjoy it eventually have their own stories.

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4. 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 love to meet Nancy Spero.  She was so inspirational as an artist, printmaker, feminist, mother.  Her work addressed the realities of political violence and as a  she developed a distinct body of work using so many mediums including drawing, painting, collage and printmaking.  She was so active as an artist even up until her death despite battling degenerative arthritis.

I’m not sure what I would order because I would probably to nervous to eat. I would just listen to her and let the conversation unfold.

5. What’s next in terms of your studio practice?

I’m fascinated with the Cicada insect. They are so magical and I love hearing the sounds they make.  When I was in graduate school I learned about the 17 year Cicada emergence. The sound is so unforgettable.  Various “Broods” or species make their appearance every 17 years in parts of North America. Brood V will emerge this spring in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Sounds like a road trip to gather some footage and sounds.

Not sure what is going to unfold in the studio but once I gather images and footage things begin to take shape. I would like to combine digital images with hand drawn images so I will likely start with a new series of drawings.  Makeshift was a big project for me as it was originally created for the Kelowna Art Gallery and carried over into this exhibition at Loop with some new pieces particularly the ceramic objects.

I’m also really excited to start working with the Nature Centre at High Park. They have this terrific community project called the “Urban Bat Project”. You can rent out a monitor and help collect data on the bats in and around Toronto and learn about their habitats.

Right now, I’m looking for a bit of a break from making things and just focusing on research and gathering sources for the next body of work.elizabeth2 elizabethdetail elizabeth6 elizabeth4 elizabeth5  elizabethdetail8 elizabethdetail7 elizabethdetail6  elizabethdetail3

5 Questions with Kipjones

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Today’s your last chance to see Staged Standards by kipjones. Here’s a behind the scenes piece called 5 Questions With and some images in case you can’t make it out. By Tara Cooper

5 Questions with Kipjones

  1. What’s your elevator pitch for your current show?

My intension with this work is to speak to the notion of architectural icons as sculptural gestures. The premise was to develop a formal relationship between the solid and a skin representation of the form—a palindromic image.

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

No.

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

Life is a combination of working as a sessional at OCADU, family and friends, documentaries at the Bloor Street Cinema, and biking in the city.

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

Simon Starling the English Turner Prize winner. His work speaks about process through journeys.  So my idea would be to have lunch on a meandering river, the current moving us along, two canoes lashed together sharing whatever each of us brought for the journey. When done each canoe drifts away in our separate directions.

  1. What’s next in terms of your studio practice? 

At this moment, I am in process of finishing off 2 cast iron works that were cast in Latvia last summer, which will go to Prince Edward County for the summer.
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