For a long time, we have stayed inside to keep each other safe. We have spent much of our days languishing and yearning for connection with the outside world. In this special editorial, TOAF60 artists take us outside through their brushes and lenses, while looking inward to seek the kinds of connections we miss.
Spot The Beauty
Stephen's 'stylized realism' technique often triggers memories of a place, a sense of humour and meaningful symbolism. Using a variety of brushwork to create smooth gradations and the subtle use of light and shade, you almost feel like you are in the scene. See Spot is visually fascinating. A Dalmatian dog is sitting on a travel van with rusty spots, mirroring the mackerel sky and the round stones all over the ground. Watching the sky, perhaps many of us are like this Dalmatian, longing to restart the engine for an adventurous road trip. Even if we end up on a rocky path, this painting reminds us that there is always beauty around to spot.
Corynn Kokolakis is a figurative painter whose practice merges the disparate roles of mother and artist. Her vivid renderings explore memory, childhood development, and caregiving. Using oil paint, many of her works play between the stillness of the captured moments and the dynamic movement of the subjects. Hold your breath. Jump! Water splashes! Resurface, and gasp. Corynn skillfully elicits fun and playful memories with just the right amount of strokes and colours. Missing the active summer times, resurfacing resembles the tension as we anticipate a post-pandemic future.
Tatiana's works are often inspired by imagination, narratives and childhood. While the colourful, vibrant lines weave into nature, a crow stays pure white. "The idea of this painting is that we shouldn't be afraid to stand out, that is exactly what makes us interesting, different and unique." One might be reminded of a (visually opposite) story of a colourful elephant Elmer, who tries to paint itself grey to fit into the group. This painting speaks to that symbolically regarding how we position ourselves and navigate in the world we live in. As the world ' reopens' in the future, what kind of lifestyle do you want to live? For so long, we have stayed inside, perhaps staring at this painting might help us ponder what we want to become once we emerge.
As We Live Under The Bricks
"An Inukshuk in the shape of a person signifies safety, hope and friendship. I created this image to show respect and pay homage to the Inummariit — the Inuit who know how to survive on the land, living in their traditional way." Cat Marchese uses photography to preserve relics from historical brick makers which produced bricks to build many Canadian landmarks. These 'mud skeletons' witness the human cycle of destruction and creation. This image particularly generates a deep conversation of the human-land relationship throughout history, posing a question of who used to be this on this land and the transformation it has undergone to the city we live in now.
These works are available at #TOAF60!
Get to know our 400+ participating artists, enjoy virtual events from July 2-11, and browse our curated collections! TOAF is proud to celebrate the legacy of Canada's longest-running contemporary art fair in a digital format on our 60th anniversary.