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Dream Chasers

Nov. 16, 2012 - Feb. 19, 2013

Dream Chasers is almost an exhibition without a theme, or rather an exhibition that had to come together to reveal its theme. It started with an interest in contemporary drawing and illustration, I kept seeing drawings made predominantly in graphite with focused areas of select colour; works that brought to mind the moment in Wizard of Oz where the transition from black and white to colour signifies the passage between planes of reality. Works by Alexandra Mackenzie and Erin Finley, two Toronto-based artists, were particularly distracting in this regard. Both create densely packed drawings that are marked by photo-inspired realism contrasted by deeply surreal elements and extreme, almost disorienting perspectives.

LA’s Derek Albeck then joined the mix with two precisely rendered graphite drawings of plaid shirts casually arranged to look like faces. Mounted on mirror, they take on an installation quality and raise questions of gaze as the work appears to watch your reaction as your reflection is surrounded by the drawing.

Projected in the back lobby, Stacey Steers’ densely layered animation combines the artist’s hand rendered collages with ghostly images of silent film star Lillian Gish. These take the viewer through a Grimm-inspired story, as densely drawn patterns come to life amid the melodramatic gestures of early cinema.

The vestibule presents an installation by Carrie Chisholm, where a loosely drawn figure is practically swarmed by tiny drawings on clear mylar, suspended throughout the space. Some are reminiscent of snow flakes; others are more like schematic drawings for electronics turning the space into one densely composed drawing in space.

These works come together to examine directions in contemporary drawing, a medium that in this collection, seems to tip between the hyper real and the surreal.