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Dark Yellow, 2019
40" x 60"
Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell (Montreal)
Describe your studio/place of work. What is important to you about your workspace?
My studio is awesome. I was lucky enough to find an old garage that was transformed into an artist studio. The ceilings are 17 feet high, all the walls are white and has lots of lighting. I can work on about 10-15 paintings at once and still have room to work on ceramics and/or other installation pieces. I think the most important aspect of my studio is the fact that I can work on many items at once (either 2d or 3d). By working on several works and mediums at the same time, it allows me to create a corpus of work that is unified. While working on a vase or figurine, I can still look at the 2d works hung on the wall and vice versa. I think that this helps me create aesthetic links between the 2d and the 3d works and ultimately they share a similar sensibility.
How would you describe your practice?
My work has a decorative nature. In my installations I try to invert the hierarchy of low and high art through paintings, ceramics and silkscreen. I design intimate and familiar mise-en-scènes where strangeness, freedom, seduction and humour can coexist. With my work, I try to revisit whole swathes of art history, and I try to reconsider styles, genres and techniques we would normally think of as incompatible. In my syncretic approach, I bring together a wide range of influences and methods: the baroque, 17th-century Dutch still life painting, the chiaroscuro, contour drawing, etching, Japanese and Western film aesthetics, screenprinting, ceramics, sculpture, and other, more recent elements as
well, such as surrealism and botany. I, voluntarily conjure up anachronisms and provoke impossible encounters between incongruous objects.
What works can we expect to see at Art Toronto 2019?
For this solo booth, I am preparing an ornamentally-oriented installation that takes botany as its central theme. One will be able to notice depictions of flowers, birds of prey and everyday objects in large paintings but also on hand painted ceramic vases and handprinted wallpaper. I hope to transform the booth into a personal and decorative space where the frontiers between image and object are blurred.