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Seven visual arts exhibitions showcasing new works of Canadian artists on display at Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, November 6, 2006—Harbourfront Centre is pleased to showcase seven new visual arts exhibitions featuring the works of Canadian contemporary artists in fine art, craft, multimedia and photography. Visitors can journey through the complex and public spaces of the lives of six Canadian women in the exhibition Where she's at; explore the fear of the unknown in The Secret of The Midnight Shadow; celebrate breakfast with functional ceramic works in Out of Habit; and experience the Canadian-made Boler, an egg-shaped, compact camping trailer, through photography in Bolerama.

The public opening reception for the exhibitions takes place on Friday,
November 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. in York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre,
235 Queens Quay West. Admission to the reception and the exhibitions is free. Exhibitions run until December 31 at Harbourfront Centre. For information on these exhibitions, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com.

Exhibition hours for Where she’s at and The Secret of The Midnight Shadow: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, noon till 8 p.m.; closed Monday. Regular hours for The Craft Studio: Tuesday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Monday. Regular hours for all other exhibitions: Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Six Canadian artists travel the complex and public spaces of their lives as women in Where she's at. The six artists from across Canada are Barbara McGill Balfour, Yael Brotman, Libby Hague, Wanda Koop, Tanya Mars and Leesa Streifler. They are exhibiting together out of respect for each other and each other's work. In a variety of unique materials and processes, their works consider the intersection of family and social dynamics with patterns of guilt and love, emotion and responsibility. The six artists share anxieties about the precariousness of modern life while searching for the elusive place of balance, safety, and when it can be found, happiness. The work includes lithography, painting, video and mixed media.

Daryl Vocat presents The Secret of The Midnight Shadow, an installation that examines the fear of the unknown. Life-sized cut-out figures based on found, manipulated and redrawn Boy Scout drawings lurk in a theatrical forest environment. Removed from their environment, the boys are introduced to a world of ambiguity. Like all of us, they are left negotiating the space between the world they are from, and the world they have arrived in. Vocat is a visual artist living and working in Toronto. He completed his BFA degree at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, and his MFA degree at York University in Toronto. His main focus is printmaking, specifically screen printing. He works out of Toronto’s Open Studio, where he is also an occasional screen printing course instructor.

Thicket 1: The Voyage is a multimedia, collaborative installation by Sally McKay and Von Bark (with Jean McKay). This sci-fi narrative uses a diorama display format and digital video to depict the space-time adventures of an intrepid crew of interstellar explorers who navigate the universe from inside the brain of their animal spaceship. This is the inaugural project of the Thicket series, representing the artists' ongoing investigations into narrative constructions of wilderness and animal consciousness. Do you feel empathy for the Kitty-Cat Captain?

Mary Anne Barkhouse presents In the Palace of the Crystal Frog, a solo exhibition of new sculpture and mixed media work. Barkhouse has been developing new work relating to evolutionary survival strategies of different species, primarily those found in her swampy backyard. She sees evolution having everything to do with place and circumstance. Barkhouse, a former Craft Studio artist-in-residence, is a visual artist working in sculpture and mixed-media. A descendant of a long line of Kwakiutl artists, Barkhouse was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1961, and now lives and works in Minden, Ontario. She is a member of the Nimpkish Band at Alert Bay, British Columbia. Curated by Melanie Egan.

Lise Beaudry presents Bolerama, a series of large colour photographic work based on the Canadian-made Boler. The Boler is an egg-shaped, compact camping trailer that was built in Beaudry’s hometown of Earlton, Ontario until production ceased in the late 1970s. As part of this installation, the artist’s own Boler is on site and contains a bilingual sound component of interviews with Boler owners, the people who started the Boler factory and who worked in it. Working together, these three components reveal traces of an ethnographic approach to Beaudry’s work while providing a virtual experience of the Boler. Activities and ordinary events that specifically bring people together or illustrate a deeper sense of community are often the subject of Beaudry’s photographs.

Out of Habit features new functional work celebrating breakfast by Mary Beth Marmoreo, a current Ceramics Studio artist-in-residence. In our ever increasingly busy lifestyles, time at the table with others is a far more precious act. The objects presented are all intended for use, either for food preparation or serving on the table. It is Marmoreo’s intention that the viewer takes back to their own table a new perspective on how handmade objects can have a significant impact in distinguishing an environment. The viewer may give thought to how objects impact on their own rituals and routines revolving around breakfast.

Placed showcases video works by Toronto artists: Dean Baldwin, Michael Davey and Brad Harley, Jennifer McMackon, Lorna Mills, Vessna Perunovich, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Lyla Rye and Ho Tam. Curated by Patrick Macaulay.

Continuing is Lisa Klapstock’s Picture 1-Toronto, from the Depiction series. Depiction is a photographic series that employs the lens-based phenomenon of depth of field to investigate the fragmented nature of human vision and the artifice of pictorial construction. With a focus on everyday places and their human occupation, Klapstock’s practice investigates mechanisms of seeing and the role of the camera in affecting and challenging the way we view and experience our surroundings. Picture1-Toronto is a single 41" high x 210" wide image comprised of 5 side-by-side images of the same view at multiple focal depths/planes that were shot consecutively with a stationary camera. The photograph elongates time, slowing down the eyes’ movement and making us conscious of the way that we see. Klapstock (born in Kamloops, B.C.) is a Toronto-based artist whose work is in corporate, private and public collections in North America and Europe.

Many of these exhibitions explore the idea of power of place. Visitors are invited to walk in the shoes of the artists we are bringing to our galleries and experience intimate journeys that consider the powerful and formative connections to "place." Geography, history, memory all guide us as we struggle to find a sense of belonging and identity. They can direct us as clearly as a map or a compass. But does your heritage define you or does it make you part of a community? Do you belong to your neighbourhood or does it belong to you? What is your place in the world? Power of Place is part of an ongoing exploration of ideas-based programming at Harbourfront Centre, September through December 2006.

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Media Contact:
Linda Liontis
416-973-4381
lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com
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