Janet Morton: Sans Vitesse / Amy Bowles: Silent Hand

Opening Reception: November 15, 2013, 7 – 10 p.m.
Paul Petro Contemporary Art
980 Queen Street West

From left to right: Janet Morton, Untitled, 2013, found photographs, and embroidery floss, 10 x 8 inches each and Road Trip, 2012. DVD shot and edited by Nick Montgomery unraveling by Robert Kingsbury

Whimsy and playfulness filled the first and second floors of Paul Petro this past Friday evening.

Both artists, Morton and Bowles, use what is, traditionally, considered as a feminine trade, sewing, embroidery, knitting, and, to a lesser degree, ceramics. However, they are not making any explicit statements regarding feminism, but their work featured in such a personal manner exploring their interests, ideas and trauma. Bowles tackles the latter while Morton deals with the former. Morton’s French title, directly translated as “without speed”, implies her laborious, yet, rewarding process. She explores the curious, and amusing, process of covering and unravelling a variety of objects and found photographs.

Janet Morton, Shiny Heart, 2012, DVD shot and edited by Robery Kingsbury, sound recorded, and edited by Andrew McPherson at Monostereo, tuba by Colin Couch playing variations on Goldberg Variation 25 by J.S.

Janet Morton, Strange Music, 2012, colour photograph, edition of 3, 48 x 32 inches

Janet Morton, Untitled, 2013, found photograph, and embroidery floss, 10 x 8 inches

Janet Morton, Untitled, 2013, found photograph, and embroidery floss, 10 x 8 inches

On the other hand, Amy Bowles, processes her late father’s death through her work and allows the audience into a vulnerable corner of her mind, yet, maintains an air of humor with her Tim Burtonesque hands. These hands, which are detached from the body, playfully hang on the gallery walls, enticing the viewer’s imagination with the desire for the limbs to come to life.

Artist Amy Bowles and Lady of the Dark Tower, 2013, fabric, wire, air dry clay, porcelain moon, 14.5 x 8.5 x 4 inches

Amy Bowles, Lady of the Dark Tower, 2013, (detail), fabric, wire, air dry clay, porcelain moon, 14.5 x 8.5 x 4 inches

Amy Bowles, Chandelier, 2013, fabric, air dry clay, 30 x 18 x 16 inches

 Installation shot of  Amy Bowles,  Silent Hand

Text and photo: Leanne Simaan

*Exhibition dates: November 15 – December 21, 2013, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, 980 Queen Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Wed – Sat 11 – 5 p.m.

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