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Harbourfront Centre unveils its summer visual arts exhibitions including two new Artists’ Gardens

TORONTO, Wednesday, June 25, 2008Harbourfront Centre is pleased to launch its summer visual arts exhibitions showcasing the works of contemporary artists in fine art, craft, new media, design, architecture and photography. The public opening reception takes place on Friday, June 27, from 6 to 10 p.m. with speeches at 6:30 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission to the reception and the exhibitions is free. The exhibitions run from June 28 to September 21. For information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

Exhibition hours for main gallery: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, noon to
6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; closed Monday except holiday Mondays, noon to 6 p.m. Regular hours for The Craft Studio: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Summer Visual Arts Exhibitions
Bureau de change presents the work of Kim Adams, Mark Clintberg, David McMillan and Laurel Woodcock, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of The Banff Centre, part of A Rocky Mountain High: The Banff Centre (June 27-29).

The Importance of Being Banff features the work of Robert Archambeau, Diane Brouillette, Joan Bruneau, Bruce Cochrane, Jeannie Mah, Greg Payce, Peter Powning and Friederike Rahn, highlighting the legacy of the Creative Residency program at The Banff Centre, part of A Rocky Mountain High: The Banff Centre (June 27-29).

• In Black Hole,Amin Rehman, uses media phrases such as “market values,” “unstable governments” and even, “exported” to demonstrate the power of such terms to distract rather than inform global consciousness.

Twain features the work of Canadian artists (Catherine Allen, Aneela Dias-D’Sousa, Jeannie Thib and Andrea Vander Kooij) and Taiwanese artists (Chun-Dai Chen, Chien-Han Wu, Fang-Yi Wu and Keng-Chen Wu) whose work correlates aesthetic synergies, part of TELUS TAIWANfest: World in an Island (August 22-24).

• Basic refuge, clothing and survival tips are fashioned using simple shapes cut from grey, industrial felt in SHELTER: A project by Kathryn Walter/FELT.

Water Walker by Ruth Spitzer is part utopian vision and part playful exploration on transportation technology.

Artists’ Gardens are back for the 19th year with two new gardens by Lyla Rye (Plato’s Drive-In) and Ed Pien with Johannes Zira(In Advance of a Sting) and 21 existing gardens.

Three x Four is a Craft Studio artists-in-residence exhibition featuring new work by Thea Haines, Kay Lee, Jennane Longman and Amanda McCavour.

SACRED SPACE continues with Canada's Levitt Goodman Architects Ltd., Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. and Taylor_Smyth Architects whose installations respond to the idea of sacred.

Bureau de change and The Importance of Being Banff are exhibitions that celebrate the Creative Residencies program of The Banff Centre’s Visual Arts Department. The Banff Centre provides the luxury of time and space for artists to create new works, do research and experiment with different techniques and modes of production with facilities to accommodate the disciplines of ceramics, printmaking, painting, photography, sculpture and mixed-media. The exhibitions are in connection with A Rocky Mountain High: The Banff Centre (June 27-29), a festival presented by Banff Lake Louise Tourism that marks the 75th Anniversary of The Banff Centre.

Bureau de change: Kim Adams, Mark Clintberg, David McMillan and Laurel Woodcock.

Bureau de change celebrates the spirit of inquiry of visual artists who have come to Banff from across the globe to exchange ideas, research, think, experiment, and explore new tools. This exhibition is one component of a larger project at the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre marking the first interpretation of this remarkable history. Bureau de change is part of Borders, an ongoing focus on ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. See bottom of page for additional details on Borders.

Kim Adams
In the late 1980s, an art competition in Toronto invited artists to produce new work to commemorate the opening of Toronto’s new stadium, later called the SkyDome stadium. Adams’ Artists’ Colony was a studio response to this art competition; his colony would be built on railroads just as the new stadium was being built on former railroads. The structure of his miniature colony is a moveable edifice made entirely of stacked and interlocking model railroad carts. This edifice, if built would theoretically be able to travel on rail tracks between Toronto, Montreal and New York. Adams worked on his model for three years and the final product is an intricately designed miniature world. There are more than 100 figures in the sculpture; tiny scenes and exchanges between people that can be viewed endlessly. Adams’ Artists’ Colony features influential artists of the 20th century and critiques the art world which it is representing. There is a lecture room for curators on a train that is about to depart for another art centre; a studio where one can see Henry Moore working on one of his sculptures; Cindy Sherman is featured driving her convertible around the colony grounds; and the swimming pools reference elements and figures in Eric Fischl’s paintings. Kim Adams has been a frequent participant in major solo and group exhibitions and has exhibited at the Sydney Biennale of Contemporary Art, Sydney Australia; Skulptur Projekt 97, Münster, Germany; and InSite1997, San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. He is represented in the collections of major museums in Canada and elsewhere, and in 2001 he created a permanent outdoor work for the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Mark Clintberg’s work is a balance between risk and hope. Clintberg’s work responds to relationships between humans, to situations he sees himself and others in, to the pitfalls and opportunities that come from trying to engage with other people. Listen Here and Look There, give choreographic instructions that viewers can use to demonstrate desires or disinterest. This work uses public architectural space (in this case Harbourfront Centre) as a performative arena for disclosing private emotions. Clintberg aims to examine how private needs and engagements deserve demonstration in public space, and also how public space might invade the private sphere in a meaningful way. Mark Clintberg is an artist, writer, and independent curator based in Montreal.

David McMillan’s Pripyat Playgrounds photographic series highlights the area affected by the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. In October of 1994, McMillan went to photograph this area, which became known as the exclusion zone. McMillan soon realized that the city of Pripyat, where the employees of the nuclear power plant and their families once lived, was where his real interests lay. The Atomic City, as it was once known, was considered one of the finest places to live in the former Soviet Union. There were all the amenities of a modern Soviet city, with many schools, stores, hospitals, and recreational and cultural facilities. It is now uninhabitable and will never be lived in again. The exclusion zone is a remarkable and surprising place, not dead and static, as one would expect, but full of growth and change. David McMillan was born in Dundee, Scotland. He began his career as a painter, but it became apparent that his real interest was photography. For the last 30 years, he has worked as a photographer and teaches photography at the University of Manitoba School of Art. Since 1994, he has gone annually to photograph in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The photographs have been exhibited both in Canada and internationally.

Laurel Woodcock is interested in the legacy of conceptual art practices, their collaborative and playfully performative spirit, use of language as a medium, and their endeavour to integrate art and life. walkthrough (2006) is an on-going series of site-specific, text-based interventions into public architecture that creates convergences of cinema and everyday life. The project takes its title from the pre-production term for rehearsals where performers speak their lines and practice cues and movements—but no shooting occurs. Woodcock’s playfully conceptual series addresses cinema through wall text that is drawn from written dialogue and instructional directions in screenplays. First produced during a residency at The Banff Centre, new and existing components of the series are inserted into locations at Harbourfront Centre. On doorways, bulkheads, and spread across walls, Woodcock places these texts in situations where the actions and ideas suggested by their words are mimicked in real life. In two love songs (2008), the titles of two love songs are fabricated in neon, their shared grammar “tell me” is used once and positioned in-between two other words “don’t” on the left and “everything” on the right. These two words are programmed with alternating on/off transformers illuminating one title at a time—“don’t tell me” and “tell me everything.” The constant contradiction of all or nothing, either or, forms a friction that offers no in-between.

The Importance of Being Banff: Robert Archambeau (MB), Diane Brouillette (QC), Joan Bruneau (NS), Bruce Cochrane (ON), Jeannie Mah (SK), Greg Payce (AB) Peter Powning (NB) and Friederike Rahn (BC). Curated by Melanie Egan.

Eight ceramic artists from across Canada highlight the legacy of the Creative Residency program at The Banff Centre. The exhibition is part of A Rocky Mountain High: The Banff Centre (June 27-29), and is presented by Banff Lake Louise Tourism. The exhibition is part of Borders, see bottom of page for additional details on Borders.

In 2003, Robert Archambeau became an artist laureate recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, Canada's highest artistic honor. He is Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Manitoba, and is widely known as an educator, an art collector and whose work is held in major public and private collections worldwide. In the exhibition, Archambeau includes a piece representing the heavy influence of Japanese, Chinese and Korean ceramics on his studio practise.

Diane Brouillette uses the form of the cup firstly in an attempt to pursue her reflections on domestic objects and relationships are made with this form and the dwelling space. They are brief interludes which cause a poetic experience to overlap a simple daily act. In 1990, Bouillett completed a two year residency at The Banff Centre. She has taught ceramics since 1984, and is currently a part-time instructor at Concordia University in Montreal. Her work has been seen in solo and group shows through Canada, and she has been awarded numerous grants and prices.

Using the red earthenware native to Nova Scotia, Joan Bruneau’s wheel-thrown and constructed pottery is decorated with slip, under glazes and polychrome food safe glazes. The variation in glazed surfaces in Bruneau’s earthenware palette was developed through her experience with soda fired stoneware at The Banff Centre. Bruneau has maintained her pottery studio and gallery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and has been regular part-time faculty at NSCAD University since 1995.

After 30 years of working in clay, utility continues to serve as the foundation for Bruce Cochrane’s ideas. The pottery Cochrane finds most compelling in terms of its vitality, and reflecting a strong sense of the maker are those who reach back into the traditions of vessel making. He has taught ceramics at Sheridan College since 1978, and has work in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Gardiner Museum (Toronto) and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa).

Jeannie Mah was a summer resident at The Banff Centre in 1984 and 1988. As a result, one collaboration took place across two countries and over 10 years and led to a photographic-ceramic exhibition, Tables of Inertia (1999) with British artist David Skingle. Her work combines fragile porcelain cups with elements drawn from her travels, French studies, cinema, the history of ceramics, and material culture.

Greg Payce often uses historic ceramics as starting points for works (such as Italian albarelli, pre-revolutionary Sevres garnitures and Miessen figurines). He has been making ceramics for over 35 years. He produced a large-scale bronze commission for the Calgary International Airport; a major ceramic installation work was recently installed in the new Canadian embassy in Seoul, Korea; and he has recently collaborated with composers and photographers to produce videos, which animate the negative spaces between his ceramic forms. Payce is currently the Head of Ceramics at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

Peter Powning’s award-winning work is shown internationally, and is imbued with qualities distilled from a life lived close to the silence, space and seasonal rhythms of his home, the fields, forests and shorelines of Canada’s east coast. Powning says: "my work is meant to have the feel of the artifact. An emotional artifact made solid. A cultural artifact from some future/past, reconstructed or guessed at." These concerns inform much of his work, sometimes deliberately, but often in subtle, even unintentional ways. In 2006, Powning was the 30th recipient of the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the Crafts.

Friederike Rahn’s ceramic work draws from the idea of plastic decoration, using fragments of found textures pressed into the soft surfaces of a piece, and forms built like dresses, sewn together from flat, patterned sheets and forms are emphasized by rich glazing. Rahn teaches at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Rahn makes utilitarian tableware with strong decorative elements. Her work is exhibited across Canada and the United States.

For 25 years, Les Manning assisted in developing Ceramics at The Banff Centre: from a summer school into an internationally respected artist residency program and was Director of the Ceramic Studio at The Banff Centre from1974-94. Manning has written an accompanying statement for the exhibition.

Black Hole: Amin Rehman
Amin Rehman, a Toronto-based artist uses repetitive, euphemistic words and media phrases such as “market values,” “unstable governments” and even, “exported” to demonstrate the power of such terms to distract rather than inform global consciousness. The installation also includes a sound component by Sabrina Jaybal.

Twain: Catherine Allen, Aneela Dias-D’Sousa, Jeannie Thib and Andrea Vander Kooij from Canada; (Chun-Dai Chen, Chien-Han Wu, Fang-Yi Wu and Keng-Chen Wu) from Taiwan.
Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay.

Four Taiwanese and four Canadian artists exhibit work correlating aesthetic synergies, part of TELUS TAIWANfest: World in an Island (August 22-24). Twain is part of Borders, see bottom of page for additional details on Borders.

Jeannie Thib’s sculptures and paper works investigate contemporary issues through the vehicle of historical ornament. She has created several permanent public artworks and is included in the National Gallery of Canada and The Washington DC Convention Center collections. Keng-Chen Wu designs intricate paper cuttings that feature lighthearted genre scenes. Wu graduated from Shi-jian University in Taiwan, majoring in architecture and designs, as well as working on theatre stage design.

Catherine Allen’s work is a marriage between art and science, using the human body as both the site and context for her jewellery. Chun-Dai Chen’s jewellery work shows the mysterious and ever-changing outlooks of paper and metal.

Andrea Vander Kooij is a Montreal based artist who holds an MFA degree with a concentration in fibre from Concordia University. In 2005, she successfully defended her thesis exhibition Effloressence, which involved both 17th century embroidery techniques and performance art. Her practice incorporates traditional craft-based mediums such as knitting, crocheting and embroidery as well as elements of performance. Her work addresses gender issues and the body, as well as challenging notions of art, craft and labour. She enjoys working with found/reclaimed material as well as food. Fang-Yi Wu features a sculpture made of traditional Taiwanese fabric and embroidery that reference human anatomy. Wu’s works focus on the joy of sex and the expressing various emotional outbursts.

In ceramics, Aneela Dias-D’Sousa demonstrates how relocation to Toronto from Mumbai brought a new perspective to her work. From being influenced by Indian culture and tradition, she has moved to an exploration of form and line, completely eliminating decoration. Chien-Han Wu also presents ceramics, but influenced by historical examples. Wu graduated from National Tainan Fine Arts College with MFA in Fine Arts Creation.

Three x Four
Three x Four is a Craft Studio artists-in-residence exhibition featuring new work highlighting process, inspiration and influences. Featuring works by Thea Haines, Kay Lee, Jenanne Longman and Amanda McCavour.

SHELTER: A project by Kathryn Walter/FELT
Basic refuge, clothing and survival tips are fashioned using simple shapes cut from grey, industrial felt. Natural history meets The Gap in this storefront display-come-museological diorama where the material culture of felt is given post-apocalyptic flare. SHELTER is part of Borders, see bottom of page for additional details on Borders.

Water Walker: Ruth Spitzer
A series of investigations on walking on water, Water Walker (2006), (the exhibition at Service Canada at Harbourfront Centre), is part utopian vision and part playful exploration on transportation technology. Since 2004, Spitzer’s products are usually created in relation to the given situation such as observed scenarios. In an experimental process that concentrates more on the logical sequence of mutually conditional decisions than on preconceived planning, Spitzer’s methods range from do-it-yourself strategies to the fabrication of artifacts that contribute to a new experience. Water Walker is part of Borders, see bottom of page for additional details on Borders.

Harbourfront Centre’s Artists’ Gardens are back for the 19th year with two new gardens by Lyla Rye (Plato’s Drive-In) and Ed Pien with Johannes Zira (In Advance of a Sting)and 21 existing gardens. Since the programme’s inception in 1990, designers, craftspeople, performing artists and visual artists have created living installations across the Harbourfront Centre site that challenge traditional ideas about gardening. All the gardens are situated outdoors on the Harbourfront Centre site, 235 Queens Quay West. A free self-guided tour map of the gardens will be available at the Information Desk in York Quay Centre. Artists’ Gardens runs until October 31. Artists’ Gardens is supported by Sheridan Nurseries Ltd.

At the movies, audiences gaze into the lights and shadows on the screen to be transported into another world. As in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, these sights are but shadow images of the things themselves. The plants screening at this outdoor cinema, are cultivated native plants, synthetic replicas of nature. Unlike Plato, Lyla Rye courts the shadows, embraces imitation, and invites visitors to Plato’s Drive-In.In Advance of a Sting, a swarm of ready-made bees from the dollar store hover over flora with contrasting elements: light juxtaposing dark, soft with hard, and feathery against thorny.

Artists’ Gardens Walk, August 24 at 2 p.m.
Larry Sherk, horticulturist and consultant for Sheridan Nurseries conducts a walking tour talking about the choice of plant material and their viability in an urban environment, how the artists have used them and how the gardens have evolved over the years on this site. The event takes place on Sunday, August 24 at 2 p.m. Meet in York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission is free.

ARCHITECTURE at Harbourfront Centre
Canada's Levitt Goodman Architects Ltd., Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. and Taylor_Smyth Architects have created installations in response to the idea of sacred. The exhibition also features an essay by internationally known novelist Louise Welsh who has written an essay responding to her own reflections and questions posed by this idea of sacred. SACRED SPACE continues until September 7.

FOCUS: Borders
Harbourfront Centre travels beyond Borders. Is the world smaller than you think? What would a world without borders look like? Can culture be a universal language? What are the limits of your personal space? From June to September, Harbourfront Centre wants you to read between the lines and consider borders through all of our programming—borders within countries, borders within relationships, open borders, psychological borders, shifting borders and more. Harbourfront Centre—culture without borders.


Media Contact:
Linda Liontis

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