Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Met Shary Boyle !

Shary Boyle, left, and I (laughing about something)
at the Judith and Norman Alix Gallery in Sarnia, Ontario
December 1, 2016

One of the highlights of last year was meeting artist Shary Boyle. 

Shary was at the JNAAG as part of the "Art and Ideas Series". She discussed her previous research of and work with eighteen-century European motifs in porcelain, and her insights on the clay body as material and metaphor.

From a website somewhere: "Shary started showing her work in underground galleries on Queen Street West in Toronto in the 1990s. Recently, she has attracted attention for her hand-animated projections — which have accompanied performances by Feist, Jens Lekman, Will Oldham, Es and Christine Fellows — as well as for her intricate porcelain figurines.

Her work is multi-disciplinary, including drawing, painting, sculpture and performance and often exploring themes of gender, sex and violence.

Her live-drawing and performance pieces include A Night with Kramers Ergot for the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and Dark Hand and Lamplight, performed with musician Doug Paisley in Brooklyn and L.A. .

Boyle's works often incorporate contemporary takes on myths and archetypes, infused with a touch of the grotesque. Her porcelain figurines, which are a stunning and sometimes disturbing fusion of the delicate and the grotesque, came out of Boyle's interest in the craft of porcelain lace-draping. She learned the technique by befriending and apprenticing with elderly women in Ontario who use the technique to create more traditional porcelain figurines.

Boyle's porcelain sculptures have been exhibited in solo shows at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ont.; Toronto's Power Plant; the Space Gallery in London, U.K., among others.

She works across diverse media including sculpture, drawing, and performance.  In 2015, she performed at the Luminato Festival and the National Gallery of Canada, created a commissioned sculpture for the Musee des Beaux Art Montreal, and presented with artist Shuvinai Ashoona at Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montreal.  Her work is exhibited and collected internationally, and is currently on display in Secres-Cite de la ceramique, and La Maison Rouge in Paris, France.

Currently she is working toward a major touring exhibition organized by the Esker Foundation, Calgary, in January 2017."

So. Wow. 

Way back in 2008, I saw this piece by Shary and I was immediately smitten.
Untitled, 2008, Shary Boyle.

I immediately gravitated to the macabre and surreal nature of her work. I appreciated the incredible work that went into creating this beautiful porcelain piece, and then laughed at how she chose to sever the head.  Excellent. Traditional technique, not-so traditional subject matter.

And she represented Canada at the Venice Bienniale in 2013, with her installation "Music for Silence".

I was thrilled that there were more of Shary's pieces on display the night I met her at the JNAAG. The exhibition was entitled "In the Shadow of The Millennium", and explored ancient knowledge, myth, magic, and ritual. It was fantastic. 

Ouroboros, 2006, by Shary Boyle. Porcelain, china paint, lustre. 
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting 
a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. 

Shary Boyle, Burden, 2009.

The Rejection of Pluto, a 2008 porcelain sculpture by artist Shary Boyle, 
which is part of the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Shary Boyle, To Colonize the Moon, 2008.

To see more of Shary Boyle's artwork, click HERE.

Also part of the exhibition were these Sasquatches by Toronto artist Allyson Mitchell. 
Which I needed to include because they were so fun.

To see more of Allyson Mitchell's artwork, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

31 Day Nap

"31 Day Nap"
in progress

I bought some little 5" x 5" canvases the last time I went out with my friends Tracy and Becky. They are painters. I thought I might try my hand at making little paintings.

The little canvases sat in a corner of the Art Lair for about 6 months. I kept looking at them, trying to figure out what I might paint. But I just can't paint. Every time I see a blank surface, I need to curate and glue things to that surface. It's an ongoing battle that often extends to rooms in the house. (Empty space near the couch? Put something there! What about that wall? That wall looks bare. Let's hang something on that wall! etc..)

Here is one of the little canvases that I am working on. I've called it "31 Day Nap". It is an homage to my new mattress, which is very comfy. 

One of the other little canvases I bought has dried orange slices glued to it, and another one is going to be a 'road' for some old toy cars. 

What is that old saying? You can take the Girl out of the assemblage, but you can't take the assemblage out of the Girl. 

Or something to that effect.