Forest City Gallery
June 17th – July 29th, 2016
works by Mélanie Myers (Hull, Québec), Robert Taite (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and David Woodward (Toronto, Ontario). Curated by Jenna Faye Powell
Works in this exhibition consider the short story, the Introverts. Using the story as material and/or conceptual inspiration, artists Mélanie Myers, Robert Taite, and David Woodward created original works in response to its themes and imagery. In reacting to this story, the artists were asked to consider how memory informs their practice, as well as ideas of colour and sanctuary. The exhibiting artists were invited to follow the conceptual thread as they saw fit.
Omnipresent in the Introverts, colour volunteers itself as the story’s protagonist, a deep, affecting blue. Blue becomes a catalyst, a character. A place to find solace, a place to lose your footing. Blue reflects on all of the characters and objects involved in this abbreviated memory. As you soak into it, it soaks into you.
Works in the Introverts do not use blue strictly as a personality or mentality, but as a marker of a moment. This story is not universal. Blue is a sharp pin, that shuffles you back to a designated, earmarked moment that you’ve called upon before. A feeling you visit from time to time. A feeling that fits snuggly into another feeling. A texture that can’t be put into words, but you can feel it in the back of your throat when that specific smell, or noise, or notion crosses you. When something hits against your shin, but you feel it up your spine or as an itch on your elbow. Resisting the urge to simply depict the narrative, the Introverts contemplates what form memories can take. Works in this exhibition negotiate between the shared and the intimate, between simple symbolism and the profoundly personal – it is astonishing there isn’t more blue in it.
deep stark easy, 24″ x 24″, latex on canvas, 2016
computer design home, 22″ x 34″, latex on canvas, MDF, panel, 2016
glowy petroleum space, 24″ x 24″, latex on panel/wood, 2016
curious UFO shoebox, 16″ x 24″, latex on panel/wood, 2016
consistent interior atmosphere, 24″ x 24″, latex on panel/wood, 2016
the Introverts / written by Jenna Faye Powell
His bedroom was painted a deep navy blue and where they spent most of their time. The colour was way too dark for the small space and it dimmed every object in there. It usually took a few minutes for her eyes to adjust to the atmosphere. In stark contrast to the easy beige of the rest of the house, his bedroom blue was wet and rich. In the daytime the whole space was blanketed in a comforting haze. At night it was too dark to navigate, even with a lamp on. They never figured out how to reconcile the depth of the space. She often banged her right knee on his computer chair even after he strategically moved it as far into the corner as possible. The consistent bruise on her leg was a different color blue.
It was a colour you’d expect to see in the dining room of an interior-design magazine, not in a child’s bedroom. This particular color was a mis-tint purchased at a hardware store for an 80% discount. A colour that another family had carefully selected but never picked up.
Over the course of their friendship they’d save their allowances and walk to the mall to purchase packs of glow-in-dark stars. They both fixed the stars onto the ceilings in their respective bedrooms. The ceiling in her room was finished with an extra-textured stucco coating, so they never stayed up for long. When the stars fell they brought a large dusting of old stucco with them onto her pillowcases. She eventually gave up trying to keep them mounted and one year for his birthday, she gifted hundreds of her old stars in a wrapped shoebox. His dad swore, told her it was a waste of petroleum, and helped hang them all the next day.
Before catching the bus in the morning, he would open his blinds to let the sun at the stars. The stars closer to the window recharged faster, and always shone a saturated, alien green. Further from the energizing light, the stars above his bed emitted the familiar hazy blue. Blue darkened the stars, and the stars casted back onto Blue.