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Vanessa Brown: The Witching Hour at Esker May 26-Sep 2, Calgary

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Vanessa Brown: The Witching Hour

May 26 – September 2, 2018
Esker Foundation

4th Floor, 1011 – 9th Avenue S.E. Inglewood, Calgary, AB, Canada T2G 0H7

Vanessa Brown, Marianne, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In the witching hour you’re alone, moving through a wet forest, a bog, a bayou – all heavy shadows, furtive shimmers and iridescence. An enchanted painting. You are not afraid, surrounded by a coven of symbols, a humidity of forms; there is magic in the murk, in the meaty croak and full-throated drone of an army of frogs, a knot of toads. You are attuned to the emotional kinship among objects, to the possibility of a midnight emergence. The stage is set; a bewitched scenography poised in the moment before an action. In this tactile sensory environment, life is pliable, contingent. The latent potential of a tableau of forms whispers to you a complicated narrative. Objects could come alive in the middle of the night; there could be life in inanimate things.

Vanessa Brown works in the space between strength and fragility through an alchemical fusing of steel, pigment, and glass – sculpture flirting with painting, a symbolic narrative collage, form as gesture or character. This exhibition brings together new installations and recent works, ranging in scale from grand to intimate. It is a proposal in material, colour, light, and sound; a coming-into-being, an invitation into an emotively charmed circle.

Vanessa Brown works in sculpture, painting, and photography. Her primary medium is steel and she attempts to parse its associations with industry, weaponry, and brutality, and its subtler qualities such as pliability, versatility, and slightness. The imagery in her work draws from various sources including landscapes, historical crafts, recurring symbols from her own dreams, as well as the work and biographies of other female artists. She is based in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish Territories. Brown graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University, Vancouver in 2013 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award. She has exhibited in Canada, Germany, the USA, and Mexico, notably with solo and twoperson exhibitions at Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver; Erin Stump Projects, Toronto; and group exhibitions at the Nanaimo Art Gallery; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; and King Street Station, Seattle.

Esker Foundation

4th Floor, 1011 – 9th Avenue S.E.
Inglewood, Calgary, AB, Canada T2G 0H7
Tues to Sun 11 to 6, Fri 11 to 8, Monday closes

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