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Harbourfront Centre exhibitions tease new meaning out
of books, insects, sperm, martini glasses and diamond rings

TORONTO, January 19, 2005-Harbourfront Centre presents new visual arts and craft exhibitions that subversively twist and turn assumed cultural views and meaning about everyday things like books, insects, sperm, martini glasses and diamond rings. All six exhibitions begin January 29 and run through March 20, 2005. A Public Opening Reception for the exhibitions takes place Friday January 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the York Quay Gallery. Reception admission is free.

Admission to all exhibitions is free. For information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

The Conative Object - York Quay Gallery
The Conative Object presents a juxtaposition of sculptures, a bookmaker, a potter and a metalworker in order to engage thought into the function and meaning of cultural objects. Each artist (Carmelo Arnoldin, Carlo Cesta, Susan Mills, Greg Sims and Linda Sormin) has created works as a speculation on their field. Together the artists cite and build on historical precedents in art and craft in order to examine the workmanship, intent and role of an cultural object within contemporary society. The Conative Object is curated by Corinna Ghaznavi, a freelance critic and independent curator based in Toronto.

Carmelo Arnoldin
's ongoing project, essentially a life's work, involves building a cathedral one component at a time, each piece precisely and expertly crafted. Carlo Cesta works with ornamental italienate readymades, or components of them, to create sculptural objects of aesthetic and conceptual speculation. Susan Mills' work consists of large-scale books in the form of antique ledgers and other functional books of account. Her work investigates material and intent and how objects fit into a radically changing society. Ceramicist Linda Sormin applies functional potting techniques and deconstructs them into large objects reminiscent of growing sculptures. Her sprawling sculptures incorporate found objects while her improvisational crafting method also sculpts a craft practice dialogue. Greg Sims is a metal worker whose work plays on the cultural mythology of the diamond ring. He constructs the form while never once offering it up as a functional object (there are no diamonds in the rings).

The Ball and the Feast - Project Room
Also part of the York Quay Gallery is a new space called the Project Room launching with the exhibition The Ball and the Feast by Jennifer Angus. Angus has been creating installations for four years composed of insects pinned to a wall in repeating patterns which reference textiles and wallpaper. The work acts as a metaphor for an unseen world of dust mites, germs and bacteria while the viewer has a child like sense of discovery realizing the exquisite patterns are made up of insects.

Janis Roddy: In the Bones - The Photo Passage
The Photo Passage presents Janis Roddy: In the Bones - a photographic foray into regional, cultural and spiritual roots. This series of digital carbon pigment prints were taken in the Ozarks (an ancient mountain region in the U.S.), where her family has been rooted since before the American Civil War. Text inspired by regional oral tradition and influenced by local and family lore is interspersed throughout the exhibition and serves to infer the setting and character of the images into various narratives.

Swanky Sips - Case Studies
The Swanky Sips exhibition reveals artists inspired by or developing the historical models of drinking glasses made for a specific type of drink like champagne or martinis. Featuring work by glass artists Cali Balles, Mark Lewis, Blaise Campbell, Brad Copping, Julie Gibb, Mervi Haapakoski and Teresa Macpherson. Curated by Patrick Macaulay.

Moira Roe - He & She - Uncommon Objects
In grade five Moira Roe was told baby girls come in pink blankets and baby boys are wrapped in blue. She now cleverly and humorously exploits this supposition in the solo exhibition He & She. From sperm rings to playful tool brooches, her jewellery questions and examines society's ideas about he and she, boy and girl, male and and blue! Moira Roe is a former resident of the Metal Studio at Harbourfront Centre. Curated by Melanie Egan.

In Pieces - Studio Works 
This collaboration between Rachael Wong (a Toronto glass artist) and Gillian E. Batcher (a Toronto jeweller) is an unique exploration of colour, form and connective processes. The artists creatively connect their artistic crafts by creating metal work that fits into blown glass (which also becomes functional jewellery separate from the glass work) and glass work that fits into jewellery. The creation of these works is a visual dialogue illustrating the possibilities of cross-medium endeavours. Rachael Wong and Gillian E. Batcher are currently residents at Harbourfront Centre's Craft Studio.

Marla Hlady -  Wilderness Tourist - Canada Quay (running now until March 20)
This window work uses audio and light to consider being a tourist on the basis of surface appeal.

Hours for York Quay Gallery and Project Room (open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.). Hours for Case Studies, The Photo Passage and Uncommon Objects (open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m). Hours for Studio Works and the Craft Studios (open Tuesday's and Sunday's from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m). All galleries are closed Mondays except holiday Mondays - when they are open from noon to 6 p.m. All visual art exhibitions can be seen at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

Admission is free
. For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit


For more information on all of Harbourfront Centre's visual arts exhibitions please consult our Visual Arts webpage

Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655 or

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