Marigold Santos, "encounter 2012," watercolour, acrylic, pigment, gold and silver leaf on canvas, 114” x 180”.
Storytelling through drawing is fundamental to the works in the exhibition, Attachments, by Lucie Chan and Marigold Santos. Creating surreal worlds of elaborate detail, their drawings and paintings explore notions of identity and place, cultural attachment and loss through the seemingly ordinary and fleeting to the supernatural.
Chan’s drawings develop from her observations and interaction with others, often strangers, who share their stories with her in what she calls a “cultural lesson”. Her method of story gathering varies according to the situations she creates; in one she placed an ad calling for participants; in another she interviewed taxi drivers as she was being driven to the airport; more recently she lived and worked for a month in a small town in Portugal. These personal exchanges are embodied in her installations, comprised of hundreds of small drawings pinned precariously yet expansively across the gallery walls. The installation’s form and the oddment of images depicted – objects, words, animals and simple human activity – reflect on the temporal and elusive nature of human connections and longings.
Santos’ grand scale paintings are informed by her immigrant experience and the Filipino folklore she grew up with as a child. Notions of attachment and separation, being grounded or uprooted relate to her explorations of home, identity and place, and transforming or multiple selves. Featured in some of Santos’ paintings is a frightening creature known as the Asuang in Filipino folklore. This vampire like creature, generally depicted as female, severs her body from the waist up, hunting at night and returning to her lower half before morning. The supernatural serves to address multiple ways of being and changing identities, akin to an immigrant experiencing multiple and potentially conflicting identities.
Guyanese-Canadian artist, Lucie Chan holds a BFA with distinction from ACAD University and a MFA from NSCAD University. She has shown nationally in group and solo exhibitions as well as completed artist–in-residence programs across Canada, and twice at ARTerra in Lobão da Beira, Portugal. She has been the recipient of numerous provincial and national grants and was long-listed twice for the Sobey Art Award (2005, 2010). Her drawing-based installation and animation practice focuses on narratives of cultural confusion, loss, and the transient nature of human connections. She often works one on one with members of the public to create a diverse range of works inspired by their stories.
Marigold Santos pursues an inter-disciplinary art practice involving drawn and printed works, sculpture, animation, and sound. She completed her BFA in Print at the University of Calgary in 2006, is a recipient of numerous awards, and has exhibited her work within Canada, United States, and Japan. She currently resides in Montréal, QC, where she completed her MFA from Concordia University in 2011.
The Opening Reception is Thursday, June 26 from 7pm to 9pm. The artists will be in attendance and will give a short tour of their work at 7pm.