Friday, March 27, 2009

Shary Boyle- The Cave

I've been meaning to post for weeks about Shary Boyle's latest exhibition, The Cave, at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects. For those of you who have not yet seen it, it's on for another week so hustle over if you want to catch it...

The Cave is an exhibition of recent drawings, small relief sculptures and porcelain works exploring "Boyle’s interest in the vast and fantastical variety of bats in the world, and their recent decline as a signal of impending ecological catastrophe." The show was certainly not limited to bat imagery...also featured were diminutive representations of chandeliers, chalk pastel drawings of period costumes which resemble strangely organic, evocative suits of armour and a milky white porcelain phallus complete with squatting legs and high heels. My favourite pieces included some of the plainly beautiful bat face reliefs and the pictured work above, Wicked Witch of the East, which treads dangerously close to cutesy territory with it's pastel palette and blankety textures. Despite this, it gives you the feeling of a mysterious, alluring nest daring you to disturb it so it's seemingly sleepy bats can suddenly swarm you (entangling themselves in your hair, as the old myth goes...). Also incredible was the large encased bat sculpture (unfortunately, I didn't get the name of it...) which takes Boyle's lace draping technique (best known from her Lace Figures series) to new heights.

It is also worth noting how beautifully the works were presented in The Cave. For example, the pristine white bat relief sculptures were mounted to black velvet, which was echoed in the black velvet painting-esque chalk drawings of costumes and figures. There was a seamless unity to the presentation that was obviously well-thought out by the detail-worshiping Boyle.

The Cave features work that is thematically what Boyle is known for, and rightfully so. It strikes a nerve for articulating the uneasy role of the feminine body not only in myth and fable, but in contemporary society.

For more on The Cave, look here. For more on Shary Boyle, take a look at her website.

Pictured: Wicked Witch of the East, porcelain (unique), 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garlic Gloves II

A preview of some of the details on the latest pair of Garlic Gloves, made over the last two nights. I've been holding onto that crazy onion stem for months!

Garlic skin, onion skin, elm seeds and adhesive

Friday, March 06, 2009


Signature Security Envelopes will be in the above exhibition, a show of recent work by Toronto School of Art Alumni, at Launch Projects. The show runs from March 11th-29th, and the opening is on Thursday the 12th. Should be a great show...please stop by and check it out! Don't come to the opening expecting to find me, though, as I'll be Niagara Falls celebrating my 4-year anniversary with this questionable individual...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Book Covers

For me, book covers (like "good" and "bad" signs) hold a lot of power. I've seen book covers that have made me furious, either because of their bad design, bad concept, or because they were way too gimmick-y. To give you an idea of how emotionally invested I get in bad design, I once told my father (who is a "sign-man") that a Addition-Elle billboard from about four years ago "made a mockery of large women everywhere."'s true. The idea of the big, stupid, loopy font they used STILL makes my blood boil. Alternately, good book design gives me a sense of satisfaction that rivals the satisfaction I feel when I've finished something of my own, or came up with an idea that I was 100% sure of.

I just killed an hour on The Book Cover Archive and I can honestly say that not a whole hell of a lot of the book covers included on the site grabbed me. Don DeLillo's book covers are obnoxious. The new Vintage edition Kafka covers are disappointing. I am a fan of the covers of the new-ish Penguin "Great Ideas" series, some of which have trickled in at my work (another place I kill hours looking at book covers). The book cover I've pictured above, though, was my absolute favourite on the website. So perfect. We've all been there, haven't we? (Trying to erase something cleanly, to no avail, I mean...)

I've included some other favourites from the archive below. Who is willing to admit that they've bought books for their covers? I am, definitely.