Friday, June 7, 2013
Trish Shwart Cycle of Renewal Installation, Metchosin Art Gallery Review by Jillian Player
Trish Shwart uses universal images like the elements, home, child, and dog to translate her ideas of overcoming adversity, through a small, dioramic-tableau installation in the hall just outside the main gallery at the Metchosin Art Gallery. The installation is understated in its minimal palette and material, yet speaks volumes with its use of symbols. The work consists of a tableau inside three horizontal boxes attached together that hang at eye-level on the wall. Everything is painted a stark, gallery white. Inside each white box is a diorama made of collages of photos, mylar, foam-core, wood, and drawings. Reading the boxes from left to right, Shwart starts her narration of transformation with a simple domestic scene of a quiet home with trees and houses all around. The second box consists of stark trees all around, and at the centre is a bonfire. To the right of the fire a dog is walking away from the flames. In the third box, the rain is falling but the sky is clear to one side. A girl (or student) is looking up at birds flying. The metaphors are simple and clear, yet can be deciphered individually. The work here is clean, quiet and compact. Shwart said she struggled not to over- fill the boxes. Keeping the central, three-dimensional objects key to the story was all she really needed after deleting the excess. Trish was tackling some big questions while working on this little installation. Her artist statement talks about connection of body, mind, and spirit. And, she is asking questions like “Are we our bodies?” or “Do we inhabit our bodies?” These are big questions that might not necessarily be answered by this installation, nor might the viewer arrive at this inquiry with the work. That aside, inside the boxes, the story is a familiar one, of overcoming adversity, but Shwart’s telling of this theme is made fresh and unique by the use of her materials, palette and contemporary approach. It hangs quietly fragile, and draws one into its stark beauty.
Cycle of Renewal will be on exhibit at MAG – June 6-July7, 2013
Opening reception – Saturday, June 8th, 2-5pm