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Exhibitions

Libby Hague Wider than the sky

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April 28 – May 20, 2018

Opening Reception:  April 28, 2-5 PM

Artist Conversation: May 20, 3-5 PM

Wider than the sky is an exhibition of large woodcuts and a mixed media project by Libby Hague, produced enthusiastically in the OCADU Digital Painting Residency.

“My work examines complex social relationships in a precarious world. I feel that everything we value (ourselves, our relationships, our country, our planet) is fragile and we have to find a way not to be overwhelmed by the anger and noise around us and work together to find common ground.”

Wider than the sky uses the imagination to locate patterns that bring the vast macro and micro scales of science (the cosmos, DNA) together with text and objects, the daily gestures and concerns of a clamorous world. It’s like looking at the stars and thinking “Here I am, part of this in some small way.” It’s not a lonely thought; it connects us to an orderly universe – one growing infinitesimally more comprehensible – a comforting thought right now.

Rather than attempting to overwhelm the viewer, the artist leaves “breathing spaces” in these complex systems, breaks for perspective and attention, to reaffirm human values of kindness and consideration and let us listen to each other.

Libby Hague has a hybrid practice of printmaking and installation. Her recent exhibitions include The past is never over: a retrospective, Art Gallery of Mississauga; Inventing Hope, Idea Exchange, Ontario; Departures – Masterpieces of Canadian Printing, Ardell Gallery of Modern Art, Bangkok; Habitat, Harbourfront, Toronto.

Find Libby online at http://libbyhague.com/.

Tara Cooper On Sabbatical

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April 28 – May 20, 2018

Opening Reception: April 28, 2 – 5 PM

Artist Conversation: May 20,  3-4 PM

 

In Chasing the Perfect, Natalia Ilyin talks about going to grad school: how she imagined meditative walks in the woods and lots of time to think. But anyone who’s gone to grad school knows that this is not the case, that the reality has more commonalities with a marathon — something that pushes your physical and mental state.

Since January, I’ve been on sabbatical, and this show is a mash-up of what I’ve seen, done and thought. Being on sabbatical isn’t exactly a marathon, nor is it as fraught as grad school, but it’s also not the leisurely time imagined. There’s pressure to achieve, pressure to justify the privilege, and an overall undercurrent of urgency propelled by the knowledge that it will be years before the next one comes around.

On Sabbatical includes excerpts from an exhibition I had in January and one coming up this summer, drawings of an outdoor public artwork that will be installed this spring, the beginnings of a collaborative project with McGill University’s Redpath Museum (one of Canada’s oldest natural history museums), and some work I made on a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. It’s got a bit of the ‘what I did on my summer vacation’ vibe, but also offers a kind of behind-the-scenes look at the creative mess — the doubts, false starts and things that keep me going.

Sandra Smirle Stellar Baby

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March 31 – April 22, 2018

Opening Reception Saturday, March 31, 2 – 5 PM

You are born with the boundless potential of all things, the potential to be all those things at once. Nothing is finite. Yours is a universe of possibilities; the whole universe is a possibility. You’re a star, baby. You’re all the stars. 

Only when you let slip being young will those countless simultaneous possibilities collapse into one — an aspect of an object, frozen in context — a plodding increment where once were quantum leaps and bounds. Just as a particle exists in two places unobserved, until an instance of mindful surveillance eradicates the odds.

But I have to watch, eyes on the opportunity horizon. Have to patrol the outer limitless, cradling my stellar heart. How long can I keep you holding the delicate balance, maintaining every possibility of all the things at once?

How long can I keep your balance? 

In her new series of work, Sandra Smirle uses video, photo, paper cutting and sculpture to continue exploring notions of seeing and being seen. Here, her gaze has shifted from a macro-picture to a micro-view — a place, in every sense, closer to home. As living and maturing in a rapidly changing world sends us pinging from pressure point to tension to perplexity, the need to grab hold and monitor the (domestic) situation seems like a natural response. This is surveillance in an older sense of watching over, or guardianship.

Stellar Baby casts us as the surveyor of a girl who is navigating all her possibilities, balancing the probabilities. With her head in the clouds, she is poised on the cusp of adulthood — her expanding potential remains unrealized, even as order threatens to impose a new reality, to reveal a singular course through her universe of chaos. We are invited to explore the distinctions between balance and imbalance, to contemplate how the smallest adjustment of equilibrium, the smallest structural change, can be a radical proposition with astronomical consequences — a defining act of observation.

About the Artist

Sandra Smirle is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist based in Montreal, who uses drawing, sculpture, paper cutting, photo, video, and installation, to explore ideas around surveillance, dataveillance and our ‘viewer society.’ Smirle’s work, which examines how new technologies impact the way we view our world suggests a survey of seeing and being seen — how we, in turn, are viewed by mechanisms designed to navigate our movements.

Smirle graduated with an MFA (2015) from Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally, and is held in private and corporate collections in Canada, Australia, and Europe. Smirle has been a member of Loop Gallery in Toronto since 2010 and is part of the Montreal-based collective, Incubator for Phantom Pregnancies (IFPP), which debuted its first exhibition this spring and presented its first collaborative installation during this year’s 2018 Nuit Blanche in Montreal. Her work has been featured in The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, published by Princeton Architectural Press, as well as the Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

Linda Heffernan The Perpetuation of Memory

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March 31 – April 22, 2018

Opening reception March 31, 2 – 5 PM

loop Gallery is proud to present The Perpetuation of Memory, a new exhibition by Linda Heffernan. Continuing her practice of working with open source satellite imagery, and her preoccupation with the impact humans have on the natural world, Heffernan in this exhibition uses contemporary Google Earth images to recreate a series of First World War battle sites. Inspired partly by the upcoming centennial of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, the resulting images juxtapose the violence of war against impressionistic landscapes, commenting on the passage of time and the ultimate resiliency of nature.

Linda Heffernan is a Cobourg-based artist exploring themes of consumer capitalism and bureaucracy in an ever more interconnected global economy. She has a BFA from OCAD University and her work is included in private and public collections in Canada. Linda Heffernan has been a member of loop Gallery since 2006. She has exhibited her work in a number of galleries in Toronto’s Queen West district, as well as Whitby’s Station Gallery, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, and the Northumberland Art Gallery.

Loop Gallery & Wellington Water Watchers Water Advisory!

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March 3 – 25, 2018

Exhibition Launch:  Sunday, March 4th – 1 PM

 

 

 

Just in time for Water Week (March 20 – 27) and World Water Day (March 22), Loop Gallery and Wellington Water Watchers are proud to announce WATER ADVISORY! Featuring work by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, WATER ADVISORY! combines art and activism to explore the disconnect between society and the water that sustains it.

WATER ADVISORY! is an intersectional call to action that urges viewers to interrogate their own relationship to the natural world through banners, print, and mixed media installations. Exhibiting artists include Beehive Collective, Crystal Sinclair, Tannis Nielson, Claudia Wong, Sally Pang, Erika James, Carol Cheong, Paul Morin, Sarit Cantor, and more

WATER ADVISORY! launches on Sunday March 4 at 1 pm with a conversation with the artists, followed by a performance by hip-hop group Test Their Logik. The exhibition will be open to the public from 12-5 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12-6 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 1-4 pm on Sundays, until March 25. Educators wishing to arrange a classroom visit should contact Tim Welsh at tim@loopgallery.ca, or call the gallery directly at 416 516-2581.

WATER ADVISORY! is curated by Crystal Sinclair and Loop artist Rochelle Rubinstein. A co-founder of Idle No More and recipient of the OPSEU 2016 Human Rights and Equity award, Crystal Sinclair has a long history of art and activism around clean water campaigns for Indigenous communities. Rochelle Rubinstein is a printmaker, painter, fabric and book artist, environmental activist, and community arts facilitator.

 

 

Kristen Fahrig Body Imprints

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February 3 – 25th, 2018

Opening Reception: February 3rd, 2 – 5 PM

 

 

Loop Gallery is honoured to present Body Imprints, a retrospective of work by Kristen Fahrig.

Kristen Fahrig was a sculptor, educator and cultural animator who lived and worked in Toronto’s West End. Until her death last fall, she was best known for the numerous community art projects she initiated in her neighbourhood, as well as the public performances she created for the BIG on Bloor Festival, the Luminato Festival and the WinterCity Festival at Toronto City Hall.

Nowhere was Kristen’s community presence more keenly felt than at MacGregor Playground, a once-deserted park on Lansdowne Avenue. First as the playground’s artist-in-residence, and later as artistic director of the non-profit Botanicus Art Ensemble, Kristen’s tireless presence over a decade-and-a-half transformed MacGregor Playground into a family-friendly community hub. Over a shared love of art, theatre, craft and gardening, Kristen brought her neighbours together.

Body Imprints is a posthumous presentation of Kristen’s late sculptures. It shows the most personal side of her artistic practice, for which she struggled to gain recognition in her lifetime. Here, Kristen’s energy is turned inwards — to the self, the body and the natural world — to produce a diaristic sequence of sculptural reflections. “It’s about the imprints that the body makes,” Kristen wrote of these works. “The body is the negative space into which we can project ourselves and feel our connection with the earth.”

About the Curator 

Rupert Nuttle is a writer and painter based in Toronto. He received a BFA from NSCAD in 2013 and a Masters of Journalism from Carleton University in 2017. He has exhibited his paintings widely in Canada and abroad, and his art writing has appeared in C Magazine and Canadian Art, among other publications.

Eunha Kim Joy of Life

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February 3 – 25th, 2018

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 3rd 2 – 5 PM

 

Eunha Kim’s Joy of Life is inspired by Nong-Ak, a traditional Korean music/dance form. Now showcased in formal performances, Nong-Ak originally celebrated rural holidays and the wish for a good harvest.

A highly expressive art form, Nong-Ak combines singing, dancing, and drumming. Dancers wear a traditional hat, known as a Sangmo – as they spin, the Sangmo’s long ribbons form whirling patterns that accompany the dancers’ celebratory, acrobatic motions.

Kim’s work is an attempt to visualize the sound and movement of Nong-Ak, and the joy of life expressed by the dancing farmers’ dynamic, head-spinning motions. Utilizing dripping paint and mixed media, she communicates her own joy in working outside of representative form, and invites her audience to feel the uplift and excitement of the Nong-Ak dancers.

Kim’s process mirrors the energy of motion inherent to Nong-Ak. As she sprinkles and drops paint and ink, highly kinetic lines emerge on the canvas. Her careful use of color creates a harmonic effect, similar to that of the well-coordinated instruments in a Nong-Ak performance.

By reimagining rural tradition, Joy of Life draws a connection from the past to the present. In her own words:

The “joy of life” that I focus is not simply what the farmers had in the past. In our daily lives nowadays, we sometimes suffer from depression, pessimism, heavy burden of life, and feelings of loneliness. Under the circumstances, however, I hope that the aesthetics and the approach I take on my work will offer people in the world comfort, and excitement to live. 

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Eunha Kim is a Toronto-based artist. This is her first exhibition as a Loop member.

P. Roch Smith got’em, got ’em, need ’em

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January 6th – 28th, 2018

Opening Reception: January 13th, 2-5 PM

Q & A: Sunday, January 28th, 2 PM

P. Roch Smith’s got ’em, got ’em, need ’em recreates and reimagines the entire set of 1975 – 76 O-Pee-Chee NHL hockey cards. Each of the 395 individually framed cards in the set has been digitally altered in terms of colour, scale, and legibility.

The title refers to the verbal cues associated with sorting through another person’s collection — a mantra that would signal a potential trade. Growing up in the 1970s, collecting a complete set of hockey cards was the Everest of childhood ambitions. In his choice of the 1975-76 season, Smith has sought to fill the voids of a childhood collection by creating his personal “complete set”.

Collectively, these images continue Smith’s longtime exploration of memory and object. They are positioned at the intersection of sport and play as a trigger for questioning the creative act — of mass culture and its relationship to contemporary art. The installation examines the notion of what it means to be complete and the role of process as it relates to production of artifacts.

Smith is less interested in the idea of a collectible as a commodity than other questions: what drives the compulsion to collect something in the first place? How does one decide what to collect? When does one thing cease to be merely an object, and become part of a collection of other things?

Jean Baudrillard argues that “all objects in a collection become equivalent, thanks to that process of passionate abstraction we call possession. Further, a simple object can never be enough: invariably there will be a whole succession of objects…”  As an object maker, Smith both acquires things and produces pieces that make their way into other people’s collections. Perhaps, therefore, it is the concept of worth that may only be seen through absence.

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 has been a member of loop Gallery since 2014, 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 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).

Andrew Duff #VirtualGraffiti

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January 6th – 28th, 2018

Opening Reception: January 13th, 2 – 5  PM

Q & A: Sunday, January 28th, 2 PM

 

 

Andrew Duff​’s current body of work is #totallyfake. In an era of “Fake News,” overtly posed images and oversharing on social media, ​Duff​ asks, “why can’t I make fake art?” #VirtualGraffiti​ explores issues of unverified storytelling, ubiquitous content creators and concepts of modern media, while playfully celebrating our willingness to believe it all. When “likes” and #hashtags trump actual content, we find ourselves overrun with celebrities of all stripes behaving badly — and unknowns becoming celebrities for the same ill-advised reasons.

Inspired by this questionable media soup, Duff​ sets the stage for his work within the established structure of Instagram: a square image framed in white with minimal text. His process then continues with spontaneous photographs from his daily life taken with a smartphone. The photographs often are blurry, have strangers walking through them, or are poorly cropped. ​Duff then loads the photos onto his computer to draw and paint on them using Sketchbook Pro software and “natural” brushes. The goal being to digitally create real world graffiti that looks either plausible or is clearly fake.

The third part of ​#VirtualGraffiti​ is the written story. ​Duff​ takes on a character closely resembling himself, but with the courage and conviction of an actual graffiti artist. His short form “Fake News Fiction,” like historical fiction, is storytelling that skates close enough to reality, referencing actual people and places to make it believable. Lastly, to enhance the gallery experience, Duff​ has created 12 audio tracks for each of the exhibited ​#VirtualGraffiti pieces. These audio works incorporate royalty free sound files and ​Duff​’s own voice to create an unusual audio tour.

Andrew Duff​ is an artist, designer and educator based in Toronto. A graduate of both OCAD and NSCAD, he has sustained an active art practice and freelance design business since 1997. Duff​ became a member of Loop in 2017 and this exhibition marks his first with the gallery.

For more information, please visit andrewduff.ca or visit him on Instagram (@andrewduff).

Sung Ja Kim Connection

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November 4 – November 26th, 2017

Reception: Saturday, November 4th, 2 – 5 PM

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Sung Ja Kim entitled Connection.

Straight lines and curved lines connect us to our destinations. Connecting with these personal destinations occurs through a journey involving new ways to live our lives. Yet our connections to our destinations can often be obscured during our life journey.

As we connect firmly by putting our trust in the right things our connections give us hope. Connecting by and through our life journey in hope of things yet unseen creates images of our destination in our hearts and minds. But the full awareness of our life’s purpose will be revealed when we reach our life destination.

Our ultimate connections by and the straight and curved lines of our life journey becomes layered with the passage of time. These layers of time connect our pasts to our presents and lead us into our futures.

Sung Ja Kim’s works in this exhibition all use only the colour white. This is because white readily absorbs the free range of other colours. These other colours symbolize the textures of our life experiences. Yet the connecting curved and straight lines are white to enable all the other textures to blend into the ebb and flow of life.