Montreal artist Stephen Schofield’s one-and-a-half life-sized sculptures are intensely sensual. His patchwork figures, based on Pliny the Elder’s tale of Dibutade recounting the origin of drawing, are mapped from the male body and then expertly tailored out of old clothes. Soaked in sugar water and then inflated, the cloth becomes a taut skin that contains the human forms that hover between a highly spirited/spiritual realm and a dream world filled with personal reverie.
David R. Harper (Halifax/Chicago) embroiders portraits of people on animal skins, playing on one of the traditional roles of portraiture which was to immortalize and elevate the subject through artistic representation – just as the trophy from a hunting excursion might be a bear skin rug or a rack of antlers. These images of anonymous, Victorian-era men and women imply an emotional distance that allows the artist to poke at the slippery slope where nature and culture meet.
This exhibition features Lia Cook’s most recent series of weavings in which she uses an electronic Jacquard hand loom to weave faces that dissolve into continuously changing maze-like patterns. As the faces fragment, a perceptual shift occurs, moving through a place of transition and ambiguity to reveal the physical, tactile nature of the constructed image. Drawing on familiar and childhood sources, Cook uses a detail, often re-photographed, layered and re-woven in oversized scale, to intensify an emotional and/or sensual encounter.