Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DIASPORArt: Strategy & Seduction by Canadian Artists from Culturally Diverse Communities in Works from the Collection of the Canada Council ArtBank

This piece which is cheekily-tongue-in-cheek called Thinking of All the Famous People I know is currently on display in the DIASPORArt exhibit at Rideau Hall, Ottawa. It was bought as part of the Canada Council Art Bank's Purchase Program.

This piece came about during my residency at Atelier Circulaire in Montreal in 2008. It started as a monoprint which I later developed with indian ink, watercolour, acrylics and gold leaf.

The image is a snapshot of a moment. In fact, everything has been caught mid-movement and nothing is actually still, except for the Egyptian-inspired mummified dog figure on the bottom left. This figure is a reccurring motif that I use, and whenever he appears is silently paired with the phrase "Where are you going please?". He is a self-portrait. In the image's centre are three Mickey Mouse figures arranged in a triangle. Mickey Mouse is for me the polite version of blackface, reminiscent of early cartoon depictions of African-Americans. The 3 skulls are cheerful memento mori. These tumbling figures are topped by a clown head. The fish head on high with mouth opened wide, the floating anteater head, the parroquet, the golden arm offering a golden handshake and the ibis have more nebulous roles.

The characters depicted are from my imagined perfect conceptual circus. The circus is a recurring theme that I work with. I am fascinated by the circus as a social barometer for definitions of normality and glamour. My inspiration comes from Calder's circus, Banraku puppet theatre, the street performers of Covent Garden, Hieronymous Bosch and records of ancient street theatre. I am currently working on my Concordia MFA graduate exhibition of a circus installation that is prompted to perform as the audience presents itself.

For more information on the show you can check here :

CBC National – January 31, 2010: “Outsider Art”

and minute 29:07 of CPAC's On the Bright side.
Season 8, episode 2, aired September 27, 2009 about 7 minutes in


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home