Showing from Nov 12, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Opening Reception: Nov 18, from 12 – 2 pm
The works in Neighbourhood Gallery this season have a tang of sadness and resolve. Both artists have been dealt great hardship in this last year. In SofiL’s case, her art studio suffered a fire and works from the last five years were damaged or lost completely. And in Peter’s case, he lost two very dear to his heart, his wife Diana and also his dog Rui. How does one recover from such deep losses?
The only way one can; one day at a time.
Or in their cases, one work of art at a time. The theme for our Sacred Space in the month of November is Sanctuary. Many people think of Sanctuary as a tangible place with which to gain solace or strength. But Sanctuary can also be from an act of Doing and the ritual of Making as well. One can easily get lost in the nature of Work to avoid the pain of loss. This is not the case for these two. They worked through the pain and the loss in a very healing tangible way.
These works are the end the result of that time in the Sanctuary of Making.
SofiL and Peter came out the other side of a very dark time, stronger and with a new focus thanks to the Sanctuaries they chose to create around them through their craft as painter and photographer. These works resonate with me due to the back story but also through the texture and depth of each piece and the care with which they were created.
Please take a few moments to look at their works.
~ Lauren McKinley Renzetti
Neighbourhood Gallery North:
Retrieve by SofiL
Retrieve features a series of paintings that were salvaged from a studio fire, once damaged and now restored and ready to present.
To retrieve means to recover and bring back to a former state. The tragedy does not discourage the artist but motivates her to rebuild and to review her past recent work. Despite need of intense labour and uncertainty, SofiL refused to discard the damaged paintings and chose to restore them to their former state. The paintings are originally created from memory based on places that the artist has been. The purpose of working from memory is to recreate a scene that the artist once captured in her mind and express it in a new way. Restoring the paintings was a good practice of refreshing her memory and progressing without relying on references.
If SofiL had never restored the damaged paintings, there would not be an opportunity to showcase them. Positive thoughts and high commitment motivated the artist to go through the most difficult stages. After months of struggle, the artist has recovered from the emotional and physical loss and began painting anew again.
Bio: SofiL is a Hong Kong-born Canadian visual artist based in Toronto. She received her Master of Fine Arts from New York Studio School and Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University. SofiL has exhibited across Canada, the United States and England. Her work is in several private collections in Canada, the United States, and Hong Kong. She is a recipient of the LCU Housing Grant and numerous scholarships and awards, such as the Concordia Scholarship and the Association of Christian Schools International Fine Arts Festival Awards.
For more information, visit www.sofilart.com.
Neighbourhood Gallery South:
Artist Statement: (condensed)
Imaging: Urban Nature – Altered Photographs by Peter Marmorek
Imaging is the process of creating visual representations, usually to reveal what’s happening inside a body. This show similarly portrays aspects of my personal experiences during morning walks in nature over the past two years. I refine the photos on computer to align them more deeply with the emotion they hold, diminishing what isn’t essential and dramatizing what is.
After the death of my beloved partner Diana ten months ago, I found some solace in creating winter images that spoke to my feeling of loss (the Mourning collection, mostly in the Meditation room). But as winter changed to spring, and I started the painful work of building a new personal dream, my photos became more hopeful, and looked to the light (the Enlightenment section, in Neighbourhood’s Sanctuary).
I hope these works find ways to speak to your spirit, as they do to mine.
Read full artist statement here.