September 6 - October 14, 2012
Guest Curated by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo
Opening reception with talk by Tomoyo Ihaya: Tuesday, September 11, 7-9pm
Curator's conversation with Kristin Bjornerud, Tamara Bond, and Carrie Walker: Sunday September 23, 2 pm
Storyteller Naomi Steinberg leads children and adults in inventing stories: Sunday September 16 and Sunday October 7, 3 pm
The artists in Odd Occurrences build on centuries-old traditions of oral and visual storytelling to create images that are wildly imaginative and intriguingly strange, mysteriously disturbing or oddly funny. In days gone by people were familiar with stories told through the spoken and written word and pictures because they usually depicted events from religious life, history, and traditions or communicated prevailing myths and legends. Today, however, in our pluralistic, postmodern society, we cannot simply assume commonalities of experience—there is no single narrative. Instead, the artists in Odd Occurrences offer a rich mixture of fabricated narratives derived from personal experience, cultural origins, current events, dreams, myths, and folk-tales. Telling their tales with human figures, animals, and objects, the four artists use formats that range from symbolic descriptions of occurrences to odd juxtapositions of found and newly invented imagery. These open-ended, nonlinear narratives, often stories suggested but not fully realized, allow for multiple levels of viewer interpretation.
Kristin Bjornerud’s watercolours derive from personal narratives, memories, and dreams often inspired by folk tales and magic realism. Her female protagonists engage in acts of labour, struggles, and ritualistic behaviour in invented landscapes or undefined dream-like spaces.
Tamara Bond’s new mixed media works on canvas and paper combine a colourful and dizzying array of characters and narratives in magical worlds based on real events and experiences, dreams, and myths. Balancing beauty and darkness, her drawings are filled with hybrid creatures, scale distortions, and fantasy landscapes.
Tomoyo Ihaya’s mixed media images stem from her extended visits to a remote region in northern India where the residents carry on their lives with rudimentary amenities, cooking over fire pits without running water and electricity. Informed by her practice of Tibetan Buddism, she represents tales of life, death, survival and political protest that blend real events, memory, myth and spirituality.
Carrie Walker suggests a story line without literally representing one. Instead she intervenes by adding her own animal images to found drawings dating anywhere from the mid nineteenth century to the present that she buys in thrift stores or on-line. These unwitting collaborations are surprising and provocative, and as the artist says, like “stories half told.”