January 9 to February 7
Reception Thursday, January 8, 6-8PM
Republic Gallery is pleased to present Shadow Puppet, a solo exhibition of new works by Carol Sawyer. This photographic and two-channel video installation documents a short performance. In it, the artist employs a simple means of producing illusions in order to shape-shift and engage with alter egos in dramatic, sometimes humorous ways.
For her performance, Sawyer attaches pieces of cardboard and plastic to her body, effectively turning herself into a life-sized shadow puppet. The characters whose silhouettes are cast on the wall - dinosaur, warrior princess, old woman, and wolf - are a visually jarring contrast to the body of the artist positioned before them. The shadows, which are reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen animations, seem to engage in a dialogue with the artist, giving the impression that they are independently animated. Blurring the boundaries of what is real and what is a trick of the light, Shadow Puppet addresses the successes and failures of the artistic process committed to improvisation.
Carol Sawyer is an artist, performer and singer working primarily with photography, installation, video, and improvised music. Since the early 1990’s her work has been concerned with the connections between photography and fiction, performance, memory, and history. She has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows across Canada and the U.S., and has been the recipient of numerous Canada Council and BC Arts Council grants. Sawyer has completed three photo-based projects for the City of Vancouver Public Art Program. She has taught studio and art history courses at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and at SFU. Upcoming projects include Some Documents from the Life of Natalie Brettschneider, at Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa (2015). Sawyer holds an MFA from Simon Fraser University. She lives and works in Vancouver, B.C.
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