Entangled Form: Order in Entropy
16 October 2021 — 7 November 2021
Two Canadian artists working in two different mediums draw inspiration from their ongoing discovery of the natural world. The exhibition Entangled Form: Order in Entropy features painting by Fiona Ackerman and sculpture by Shayne Dark. These two artists deploy formal vocabulary, such as colour, line, space, light, and mass to explore and make sense of complicated, interconnected relationships - entanglements - with their immediate environment. Ackerman borrows from historical botanical illustration and Dark from an industrial production: these deeply personal interpretations offer a thrilling lens through which to explore the world.
Fiona Ackerman explores botanical art from a contemporary abstract perspective. A formalist thread is embedded in her methodology, "they are about painting: colour and composition," Ackerman explains, "rather than scientific accuracy." They reflect on the human experience of time and transition. The title of the painting One Long Day illustrates this sentiment: the feeling of time passing slowly. With the isolation and uncertainty of the last year Ackerman noticed that the arc of time felt incomplete. We moved into the new year without the usual sense of 'a fresh start'. Each day passed so slowly. At times each day felt never-ending. Ackerman reflects: "Looking at this group of paintings as an oeuvre, I see I've somehow resisted trying to tell a complete story, maybe because I don't know what this long day will look like once we've finally moved into another. I'm painting from the inside, looking for beauty in the minutes, continuity in the hours."
Shayne Dark has been creating dynamic sculptures that masterfully combine organic abstraction with industrial materials for more than three decades. Dark is known for using elements found in nature such as branches, limbs, and roots. He arranges fabricated metal or wood into stacked, entangled, and organic assemblages. Dark then boldly asserts his artistic vision in glorious technicolour. "Poised as they are between abstraction and representation, we recognize them as nature and as artifice-dualistic embodiments of the often-conflicting forces of nature and humanity. While Dark clearly appreciates the raw potency of natural forms, he imposes his artistic will on them." - David Liss, Sculpture Magazine, 2015
From the perspective of different mediums and world experiences, Ackerman and Dark re-interpret the complexity of our natural environment. One uses the lens of formal painterly abstraction. The other uses high-chroma industrial fabrication. Entangled Form: Order in Entropy--an exhibition rich in colour, fresh vision, and sophisticated resolution.
Fiona Ackerman I One Long Day I Artist Video Painting Compilation and Music Video