Andrew Ooi – Anatomy of Resilience
February 8 to April 18, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, February 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Andrew Ooi has chosen an unpretentious material to work with, even if his paper is Japanese gampi, made by hand from the inner bark of a bush. He cuts it into strips, then into small rectangles before drawing and painting it; after that comes the folding, gluing, and assembling. This is patient work, the gradual building occurring over many hours, and there is, I imagine, a playful element here, something of the concentrating child sitting cross-legged on the floor. This painting and folding seems a simple practice, but what Ooi produces isn’t simple at all. This is the first of the many contradictions in his work.
Andrew Ooi, Matrix 2, 2015, acrylic on gampi paper, 25 (diameter) x 2 cm. Photo: Natalie Shahinian, courtesy of the artist.
Andrew Ooi, Trinity, 2015, acrylic and ink on gampi paper, 19 x 35 x 3 cm. Photo: Natalie Shahinian, courtesy of the artist.
Self-taught in matters of art and origami, Andrew Ooi made his debut in the interior design community who quickly took notice of his radiant objects. The works were published in Illuminate: Contemporary Craft Lighting (Bloomsbury Publishing) and 1,000 Product Designs: Form, Function, and Technology from Around the World (Rockport Publishers), after touring at events and exhibits in Ontario, Canada and Jyväskylä, Finland. Exhibiting in galleries introduced him to the potential freedom of pursuing a visual art practice, which has led him to explore paint and paper; colour, and especially pattern. Andrew Ooi’s artworks have been exhibited in group and solo shows in the US and in Canada where he is currently based. His work is represented by L.A. Pai Gallery in Ottawa, ON and by BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.
Andrew Ooi gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
Jennifer Anne Norman – Forest for the trees
April 26 to July 4, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, April 26, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
This exhibition blurs the lines between the biological and the manufactured, imagining an ecological glimpse at the proverbial forest through its very trees. Transformed into prosthetic memories of the tree limbs they once were, the drawings of fragile, reassembled branches evoke a playful sense of possibility and hope in the face of ecological anxiety.
Jennifer Anne Norman, Suspicious, 2017, graphite and mixed media on paper, 48 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
René Price – The Art of City Building
July 12 to September 4, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, July 12, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Reacting to the never-ending controversial development plans in Ottawa, satiric artist René Price has built a model utopian city, “OTTOWA” that will be presented on the floor, sprawling out from the middle of the gallery, giving the viewer an overview of it all, zoning and OMB permitting. Profit, growth, gentrification, human foibles and luck, all play a part in mapping out our collective future.
René Price, Towers of Power, 2012-2017, mixed media, 300 x 500 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
The Karsh Award 2018
September 14 to October 31, 2018
Vernissage: Thursday, September 13, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
This exhibit features artwork by the recipient of the 2018 Karsh Award, which is presented every two years to an established local artist for outstanding work in a photo-based medium. This award honours the artistic legacy of celebrated Ottawa photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh. Yousuf Karsh documented history by photographing thousands of celebrated icons. His younger brother Malak Karsh focused on Canadian landscape and architecture, and is especially known for capturing Parliament Hill and its tulips.
Yousuf and Malak Karsh. Photographer unknown.
Barbara Brown and Cynthia O’Brien – Life Cycle Conversations
Judith Parker, curatorial collaborator
November 8, 2018 to January 9, 2019
Vernissage: Thursday, November 8, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Brown and O’Brien’s collaborative project entwines ceramic objects and photographic images of plant forms to create an immersive installation. Contrasting the timelessness of white ceramic flowers and leaves against the seasonal colour changes of a cultivated garden or wild forest, it suggests a conversation on dying, human frailty and how gardening is a memento mori, a reminder that death is inevitable.
Barbara Brown and Cynthia O’Brien, Remains of the Day, 2017, inkjet print of clay and compost installation detail, 20 x 30 cm. Courtesy of the artists.