Susan Szenes and (the fabulous) Mariko Paterson (via instagram @foragestudios) have a two person exhibition at Halifax’s Parentheses Gallery & Art Projects (2168 Gottingen Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 3B4). Don’t miss it!
According to The Parentheses Gallery Facebook:
OPENS: June 21st 2 7 PM
Both artists will be present
Susan Szenes is a Toronto artist who has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Miami and across Canada. Her artwork is found in the collections of the City of Toronto, Toronto Pearson Airport and former Prime Minister Paul Martin, as well as adorning the cover of Coach House Books publication “The State of the Arts: Living With Culture in Toronto (Utopia Series)”, featuring 38 essays focusing on the city’s arts scene.
In this exhibition, her work deals with issues of accumulation, obsessiveness, time and ambiguity. Susan counters today’s culture of consumption and expresses the separation between the “haves” and “have-nots”. Reflecting on the effects of OCD and addictions, she shows how fictional fantasy worlds dominate our minds, helping us escape torrents of hard-hitting reality that make up our world.
Susan’s eye has translated her own journey dealing with individuals suffering from illness and addiction, asking the question how does one cope with these difficult relationships? She has made a visual archive of personal encounters with those who struggle and fail to thrive.
Combing through discarded materials was something that began for Susan in childhood as she assisted her father to recycle scrap metal. Her father’s ethics around not wasting informed her choice of material for these pieces. A connecting theme & source of authority in her paintings is kaleidoscopic Pop Art imagery – a mash-up that takes inspiration from street culture, books, film and music. Quotes have been referenced from well-thumbed books and an endless rotation of songs that have filled the soundscape.
The X-acto blade is an essential tool that she mastered while dabbling in old school graphic design. Cutting, carving, hammering; dissecting once-worshipped comic books, using forgotten heroes to weave a new contemporary storyboard. Small physically repetitive actions transform a barrage of emotion – an eclectic chaotic set of images become a tongue-in-cheek celebration of life and strength. Using multi-layered surfaces to create with refreshing intensity, she conceptually illustrates and chronicles change throughout each piece.
Mariko Paterson is an award winning ceramic artist from British Columbia, now residing in Lunenburg Nova Scotia, with whom you might be familiar from local artisan shows where her functional pottery designs have stood out above all others for its exceptional detail, craftsmanship and whimsy. Her artwork has exhibited in galleries far and wide in Canada and the U.S , as well as France and Denmark, and we are pleased to present this other aspect of her creative spirit for the first time in Nova Scotia. This is what Mariko has to say about her work:
“ The malleability of the ceramic material is a seductive one for me. It’s initial free flowing state offers a world of creative possibilities, paths and rabbit holes down which one can wander and fall; that is, until the material hardens and then you must contemplate the next lump of clay with serious consideration of its future. Whilst it is the norm to aim for a cohesive body of work for a show, I succumbed to the excitement of a new studio in a new place surrounded by new people and new inspirations. While the resulting body of work is seemingly random, in actual fact, only the strongest thread of subversion tenaciously hold it together.
While I promise that my next show will be strictly about one of the following: dogs, dinosaurs, lobsters, strong men, Winnebagos and Canadiana, this round they have insisted on pushing their way to the forefront of this vaudevillian ceramic extravaganza. Think of this menagerie as an introduction to the main players in at least a six-act ceramic play all fighting for the spotlight. Sure, you’ll see them all in their own one-man shows in the future, but this time ‘round, you’ll meet them all together. Starring Stanley the Spaniel to Nancy the Dinosaur, with a flurry of beaver activity in between, it promises to be a show you won’t ever forget.”