December 10 – 21, 2003
A multidisciplinary group exhibition featuring nine young, Toronto-based artists:
Katie Babcock, Lauren DiMonte, Lisa Harrison, Zile Liepins, Jillian Locke, Meghan McKnight, Kevin Parnell Sarah Phillips, and Eric Quebral.
Featuring an intervention by The Commons on opening night.
All-Inclusive consists of drawings, paintings, collage, photography, and sculptural installation. Taking place in icy, bitter December, All-Inclusive will recall sunnier times when your biggest worry was the whereabouts of the next Pina Colada. Whether in Cuba, Fiji or the Bahamas, the all-inclusive vacation is characterized by rampant excess, offering a tropical escape where the best in leisure, lust and liquor are a stone’s throw away. As you find yourself surrounded by strangers and free from the usual social constraints, inhibitions and stress are shelved in favour of romping about with rowdy resort staff in tight white uniforms. The constant encouragement to participate in mingling activities, such as limbo competitions and congo lines, is inescapable. The nine artists involved in this show are striving to recreate the freedom experienced during five days and six nights of an all-inclusive getaway.
In our imaginations, the all-inclusive vacation conjures visions of wantonness and decadence, and that the locale to which we travel becomes simply a backdrop for our fantasies. Lisa Harrison presents a series of small watercolour paintings, executed in lurid, tropical hues. Tantalizing cocktails display their bright plumage like parrots, and a landscape of grenadine pink and pineapple yellow becomes, for some, the true all-inclusive experience.
Meghan McKnight’s acrylic-on-canvas paintings embody the lightness and purity of feeling associated with the idealized tropical escape. Idyllic, imaginary settings cater to intimate discovery of the paintings’ topographies; their ambiguity encourages exploration of their highly tactile surfaces.
Sarah Phillips has produced blue cyanotypes, using a simple photographic technique in which a photosensitive surface is directly exposed to the sunlight to create a natural silhouette. Images of clumsy snowmen united with decorative coral suggest the snowman’s longing to return to an original source, without having to face the deadly consequences that accompany warmth.
Lauren DiMonte explores, in two sculptural installations, the souvenirs that travelers both leave behind and take home following a vacation.
Eric Quebral has created campy collages that consist of imagery typically associated with vacationing. Jillian Locke’s Bathingsuit Blowfish pokes fun at the ever-popular tourist attractions offered on an all-inclusive vacation – scuba diving, glass-bottom boat tours, and swimming with the dolphins. Suspended from the ceiling, disembodied bathing suits in the process of mechanically bloating and deflating hover above the gallery for the viewer to observe in their unnatural habitat.
Opening Night Intervention by The Commons:
Ever want to get away but can’t spare the cash? How about an Instant Vacation? The Commons presents the needy public with a chance to feel the sand between their toes and glance at trashy fiction, all without leaving the comfort of the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts. Sit in our chair, soak up some rays, and listen to the waves! We’ll even send you a postcard by email to ensure that you never forget your trip. The Commons is a collective of artists who work together to make simple, direct art that interacts with the public. We work within the ‘Commons’– public spaces (physical and virtual), ideas and materials.