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Mary Anne Barkhouse: Le rêve aux loups

Presented by Koffler Gallery

June 23 - August 20, 2017
Koffler Gallery
180 Shaw Street
Fee:  Free

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Mary Anne Barkhouse, Alpha (detail), 2011.

In her first solo exhibition in Toronto, Mary Anne Barkhouse invokes the animal inhabitants of the land in artworks that reveal the transitory nature of empire, highlighting both the endurance and betrayals that delineate history north of the 49th parallel. Comprising a series of new and recent sculptures and photo collages, Le rêve aux loups reflects on our skewed experience of nature as a resource for human needs, rather than an ecosystem with its own intrinsic value.

Deeply engaged with environmental and Indigenous issues, Barkhouse’s artistic practice foregrounds a visual iconography where animals play a central role. She situates her work between the two worlds of the human and the natural, employing the beaver, owl, wolf and coyote as symbols of the ability to adapt and persist, regenerate and repair throughout endless incursions into their environs.

Descended from a family of traditional Northwest Coast Kwakiutl carvers, Barkhouse has always worked within a contemporary sculpture/installation style. Her elegant yet witty works frequently employ popular culture references, while her accomplished handling of traditional sculptural materials such as wood, bronze, porcelain and glass, bring both a refined sensibility and serious tone to her often playful installations. These sophisticated artworks offer a quiet beauty while revealing the difficult struggle over territory that continues amongst humans, animals and the environment.

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