Thresholder 1 & 2 and Thresholder (Figural #1), Pearlescent watercolour and transfer pigment on paper, 2022/23
Thresholder: Early & Recent Works (1989 – 2023)
Cohen Commons Gallery
Visual Arts Centre, Western University
May 4 – July 7, 2023

Organized by Liza Eurich

“Have I always experienced the world as a precarious place? No, I could not say that I have. As someone fortunate to grow up amidst relative prosperity, emotional security, and as a white person, much of my life (especially at its earliest stages) has been exceedingly safe. It was not marked by the daily uncertainty that so many humans were experiencing in the world of the mid-twentieth century when I was born, and that so many experience today.

The works in this exhibition, some of which were made 35 years ago and others completed this year, may nonetheless suggest that I have continually been attuned to flux and uncertainty. As an artist I have indeed been preoccupied with things in states of suspension or passage ––threshold moments.

The large format print media works here, Private Language: Without Tongues II, and Private Language #3, from 1989, were made just as I entered a graduate MFA program at UBC. Preoccupied with gender (questions about masculinity, specifically) they now cause me to think that they were of their time and may still be resonant. Certain other works not represented in this exhibition, Baker Lake House (2010), and the Voyager series (2013-14), were influenced by my awareness of the transitory state of the environment, and the process whereby colonization and decolonization are happening simultaneously in our time. Included in the exhibition is the pair, Alonsa Quiet I & II (2019), they are hand-cut and stained images on mat board, based on photographs of the consequences of a tornado. In them, violence gives over to silence, recalling a moment of anticipation yet depicting an aftermath. The most recent works here, produced in 2022 and 2023, are collectively titled Thresholder. They are drawings made with pearlescent watercolours and transfer pigments that bring together abstract forms to depict ‘heads’ and ‘figures,’ referring to humans. Verging on being unrecognizable, they exist at a threshold between becoming and undoing.”