Durham Art Gallery: Comtemporary Canadian Art

Exhibition: Real or Perceived

Real or Perceived will include recent work by Grahame Lynch, David Bobier and Lorette C. Luzajic that explores looking and hearing as activities that can span more than conventional sensorial models.

Many contemporary artists demonstrate an awareness of the fact that we understand narrow slices of the world through multiple sensory experiences. Artists who also possess experiences of atypical conditions are even more sensitive to this phenomenon. In this way, the artists in Real or Perceived tackle issues of sensation, perception, embodiment and illusion in work that includes installation, mixed media, text and collage.

Grahame Lynch's The Logic of Subduction arises out of a visual condition that makes it difficult for him to focus on objects and to perceive depth. For someone who loves to read, this is a highly problematic territory to navigate, a spatial metaphor which echoes the themes of exploration, fragmentation and memory in his work. He has constructed a library, a sequence of "books" which must be viewed through an assistive lens to access the information in them. By this method he invites the viewer to experience the energy and effort required by individuals with differences to do "everyday" activities. He also obliges the viewer to experience how an individual with physical differences must engage alternative senses or technological devices to access information the normative person takes for granted.

David Bobier's experiences raising two Deaf children and interacting with the Deaf community has informed his art practice. His images of hands illustrate the vital role that sight and gesture play in the world of the Deaf, and his inclusion of spices as an art medium brings in elements of smell and taste, as well. In so doing, he draws attention to the hearing community's lack of awareness about the role of gesture and body language in conveying meaning. The unreflective hearing person's assumption that vocal articulations are sufficient to express themself is called into question by Bobier's emphasis on the role of the body, specifically the hand, in matters of intentionality and communication.

Neuroscientific discoveries in the areas of stroke, brain injury, synesthesia and alternative sensory abilities over the last half-century have illuminated the cross-modal character of the brain/body and its often astonishing ability to compensate for the absence of one sensory ability, or to make sensory links between discrete functions. In this light, Lorette C. Luzajic's work is a powerful addition to Real or Perceived. Her voracious curiosity about a vast range of disciplines and imaginative worlds expresses the idea that everything informs and interacts with everything else.

Luzajic will create a new mixed-media collage on one of the gallery walls the week before the opening. Additionally we are presenting collage-based paintings at Curiosity House Books and Gallery in Creemore. Here and there, viewers will find much to explore in her mixed media work: cultural references and sampling; number, letter, word and phrase fragments; skewed geometries, layering; and the free-form runs and smudges of paint that make up her lively, clever and explorative canvases.

Grahame Lynch is an artist, graphic designer and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University, Toronto. He has an MFA from the University of Guelph and is currently enrolled in the Master of Inclusive Design at OCAD University.

David Bobier is an established artist, researcher, founder and coordinator of the VibraFusionLab, and member of the o'honey collective. Most recently he has been in partnership with the Alternative Sensory Information Display research team at the Inclusive Media and Design Centre at Ryerson University.

Lorette C. Luzajic has a BA in Journalism from Ryerson, and has a significant body of published writing in addition to her self-study in art. She has published in hundreds of journals, zines, blogs and papers. Her latest books include Kilodney Does Shakespeare and Other Stories, Fascinating Writers, and Funny Stories About Depression.


Real or Perceived

Sept. 7 - Nov. 3
Opening: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2-4
Durham Art Gallery

Altered Images

Sept. 7 - Nov. 3
Opening: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2-4
Durham Art Gallery

Resident Artists

Sept. 27 - Nov. 3
Opening: Friday, Sept. 27, 7-8
Durham Art Gallery

Cripping Cyberspace

Sept. 27 - Dec. 20
Opening: Friday, Sept. 27
Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (online)

Curiosity House

Sept. 6 - Oct. 3
Opening: Friday, Sept. 6, 5-7
Curiosity House Books and Art (Creemore)