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York Quay Centre Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre presents
Nine new free art exhibitions running from May 8 to June 21
View exhibition profiles at

Graphic Novels: The Creation of Art and Narrative is a series of installations by top international and Canadian cartoonists. Examine humanity's connection to nature with Close Distance, a photography and video exhibition looking at man-altered landscapes and our ambivalent releationship to the natural world and Gather, a scanned archive of decaying balloon clusters found on the beaches of Toronto Island.

Swallowing Ice presents a mix of silhouetted photographs and videos exploring the complexities of a woman’s decision to have or not have children. Lookit, Lookit, Lookit seeks to draw viewers in and re-examine what it is that lies in front of them. Compare art history to mainstream leisure culture with Early One Morning (NEST), and explore transitions and transformations with trans-, a mixed media installation based upon blown and sand cast glass forms by two artists working in ceramics and glass. Spiral pendulum: dance is a multiple monitor installation of Shannon Cooney’s spiral dance performances. Individual exhibitions are profiled below:

Close Distance

Close Distance presents a contemporary view on the human-altered landscape, bringing together a range of personal, carefully constructed landscapes by local and international artists. This exhibition is part of the 13th CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival. Curated by Lena Oehmsen. Exhibition works include:

Becky Comber - Canadian Road Windows (2006/2009): This series exemplifies the unique experience of the road trip where we are both idle witnesses and participants to our vast country, the highway a vein that moves us from the urban to the wild and back again. This collection of images simultaneously honours the artifacts of the land while marking the vastness of space that is beyond the windowpane.

Darren Harvey-Regan (London, UK) - Sticks (2005): The tensions created within this work express an uncertainty in the face of competing ideologies, beliefs and environmental concerns, as well as seek a means of both connection and engagement.

Virginia Mak - Hidden Nature (2003): Inspired by the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, this series brings the Romantic movement into the 21st Century and inquires how the respect for past ideals fits within a modern context.

Andrea Mihai - Line of Sight (2007): The advancements in technology have radically changed the human experience by transforming environments. The views from high-rise construction rooftops reveal a balance between what we have inherited and what we have made.

Darren Rigo – Displacement (2009): Each man-made subject has been manufactured with a short lifespan, inevitably destined to be discarded. When juxtaposed in a natural landscape, audiences can contemplate qualities these objects possess and the narratives each situation suggests.

Carolina Saquel (Chile/France) - Un Portrait Peut Avoir un Fond Neutre (2005): This project is inspired by the disquieting horizon line of Flemish paintings. Capturing images of the horizon on an open sea to record the movement of a line that is fixed and stable, Saquel investigates the relationship between observer and observed and the impact of this reorganization of space.

Graphic Novels: The Creation of Art and Narrative

Graphic Novels is an unique series of installations by top cartoonists. Illuminating the creation of “The Ninth Art,” this exhibition includes original artworks and process materials to build an insightful portrait of the creators working in this popular medium. Featuring unique works by Anke Feuchtenberger (Germany), Emmanual Guibert (France), Jeff Lemire, Kagan McLeod, Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Japan), Adrian Tomine (USA) and Doug Wright. Graphic Novels, presented in partnership with The Beguiling, is part of Authors at Harbourfront Centre and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

In conjunction with Graphic Novels, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and Authors at Harbourfront Centre present world-renowned graphic artists/novelists Seth, Adrian Tomine and Yoshihiro Tatsumi live on stage. This event takes place on Friday, May 8 at 7:30 pm, in York Quay Centre. For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Lookit, Lookit, Lookit

Eight Canadian artists muse on perception in this exhibition that asks what it is that captures our interest long enough to formulate opinion, describe a viewpoint, or gain insight. So many things are not what they seem – a mere glance is just not enough. Curated by Melanie Egan. Exhibition works include:

Chet Domanski - In remote areas of the Alberta wilderness, oil and gas wells keep the province's economy moving. These wells are given new prominence through the creation of stunning bracelets that are machined from worn production tubing used at the wells. Each bracelet has a tag with a geographic reference point to allow the owner to find the location of the well.

Tara Bursey – Onion and garlic skins are employed to create a series of women’s gloves. Common food waste such as corn silk and garlic stems serve as embellishments while evoking anatomical details, skin conditions and cosmetic flaws. The gloves, while serving as an attractive foil, allude to the fragility and strength of the human body and the temporal nature of all living things.

Candice Ring - Functional porcelain vessels are influenced by nature, figure and history. Voluminous forms, rich surfaces and reference to 18th century English earthenware all play a part in the objects. Ring’s processes are similar to that of a tailor; cutting, darting, altering and mending fine porcelain are techniques used to give character and grace to each piece.

Also featuring works by Nadia Li Chai, Barb Hunt, Sarah Troper, Rachael Wong, and Arounna Khounnoraj.

April Hickox - Gather

Gather is a scanned archive of decaying balloon clusters found on the beaches of Toronto Island presented as a contemporary take on the cabinet of curiousities and accompanied by a series of backlit signs on site. Witnesses to celebrations, these balloons mark a symbolic life passage that is now only a memory. This Service Canada exhibition is part of the 13th CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival.

Jennifer Long - Swallowing Ice

Swallowing Ice presents a mix of silhouetted photographs and videos exploring the complexities of a woman’s decision to have or not have children. Within this personal debate, anxiety, doubt, and ambivalence are on the forefront of the conversation. Part of the 13th CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival.

Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai) -Don't See Don't Hear Don't Speak (2008)

Aiming towards the possibility of social change through art, Shilpa Gupta focuses on the dynamics of power, politics and rapid globalization that lead to social rupture and inequality. The principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” was made popular in India by Gandhi, in a speech that stood for values of positivism at the birth of a new nation. Gupta’s interpretation of this pictorial tenet – the three monkeys – in Don’t See Don’t Hear Don’t Speak addresses her examination of real and perceived borders and collapsed geographies resultant of globalization. The shipping container placed on the shore of Lake Ontario references the long-haul transportation of goods and contrasts with the split-second transmission of the digital images from the artist overseas. This juxtaposition reinforces Gupta's observation that Mumbai, India can seem closer to Toronto than to a remote village a few hundred kilometres away. Shilpa Gupta creates interactive video, websites, photographs, objects, sound and public performances. The installation continues through May 31, 2009 and can be found South East of York Quay Centre on the water's edge. This installation is part of the 13th CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival.

Rose-Angeli Ringor and Arron Lowe - trans-

Exploring ideas of transitions and transformations, the trans- mixed media installation is based upon blown and sand cast glass forms.

Rose-Angeli Ringor - The work references coping with feelings of being out of place. The forms have protrusions, knobs and strange nonsensical additions to keep everything at a safe distance. The colours attract the viewer but also repulse. The forms seem to alter while being viewed.

Arron Lowe – Examining whether invasive elements marring an attractive form remove its beauty. The ability to disregard physical boundaries increases the sense of foreboding that a life form that will stop at nothing to permeate the space.

Shannon Cooney – Spiral pendulum: dance

Shannon Cooney's work Spiral pendulum: dance is a project which has taken her throughout Europe and Canada. It consists of video installations screening on multiple monitors showing versions of this performance as it has been staged around the world, including the Toronto performance recorded on May 5-7, 2009.

Lee Goreas - Early One Morning (NEST)

This image is a video still taken from an on going series of digital videos investigating art history and mainstream leisure culture. This particular image is taken from a 10 minute video loop entitled Early One Morning (NEST). The image is a close up of a hole on a golf course with the flagstick taken out.

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; closed Monday. Hours for The Craft Studio: Tuesday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Monday. For information call 416-973-4000 or visit

All York Quay Centre Visual Arts exhibitions are free and for all-ages. They are located at Harbourfront Centre - 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.


Media Contact:
Shane Gerard at 416-973-4518,
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