I keep looking for the story /short film for a hallway (detail) magazine fragment collage on cradled board with back-painted glass (black) copyright Cate McGuire 2016 all rights reserved
401 Richmond Street West suite 115
Southeast corner at Spadina
August 3rd-13th 2016
Opening Saturday August 6th 1pm - 5pm
Solo Exhibition –
It is inescapable.
As we get older the world around us is not the same world that we grew up
in. We move from home to home and the
people are not the same people that we have always known. People and places come and they go, they disappear
or they die, and change is ever present.
All of the personal
connections that we have can be seen as spaces.
They form in our minds. Some of
them feel like home, and some don’t.
We hold worlds of
images in our minds and in our memories. The things that we have seen, the
experiences we have had and the people that we have known make up the library
of pictures in the mind. Those of us born in the last century are fortunate
enough to have had so many images and objects actually lying around to remind
us of time that has passed. We have been and still are surrounded by media and
objects and environments and they are each a perfect reflection of the time and
place in which they were made and the people who made them. Those images become a language for talking
about those times using pictures. We have a visual literacy that has steadily
been increasing over these hundred years.
This body of work is
an attempt to build those spaces (people, places, memories, homes) using
fragments from popular magazines.
Magazines are ‘old school’ media, tangible ephemera in an age of digital
mist. Many of the magazines these images are made of are women’s magazines and
decorator’s catalogues that I have cleared out of my parent’s house. They are
familiar friends. A kind of nostalgia is unavoidable. They were in the bathroom, piled in the
family room, and they lay on the coffee table and all over the house.
I was a kid from the
suburbs. I have lived a safe comfortable
life in a country with plenty. I am a
mother. I have a family and I work in my
own home. Mine is a life that is all about living indoors and has often been
about finding ways to connect to the rest of the world despite rarely leaving
the house, sifting through the traces of what lies around, this everyday stuff,
to try and understand this life. Cutting
and pasting pieces of magazines together I find that I can weave together themes
that I might not otherwise. This is not
a random process, but because I am relying on what already exists, it is
random-ish. It’s like trying to make a
recipe using only what you already have in your kitchen.
I had been building
images with collage for years, but had never really honed in on exactly why
this particular process meant so much to me. It has become a very emotional
attachment and more than an intellectual exercise or a technical skill. Why it
matters goes beyond exercises in geometry and spacial complexity, for me. Way beyond. An image can move us through
time, the way that a smell can take you a place and time in your memory. I
believe we have that same trigger with images, especially because we are such
an image literate society. Maybe each
fragment resonates with the time and place in which it was printed. Recomposing familiar images is how I get to
what came before me – as well as how I process what is going on around me. It is also how I choose to build the future,
It is more than
Each image is frozen
at a moment where everything is integrated, inside and outside, indoors and
out, thought and memory spliced, as well as time and place. This is the landscape that interests me.
There is a dollhouse-like quality because the painted glass frame acts as a
hole in the wall, or an aperture, showing what is happening in the space on the
other side. Then they are made believable, like a good story.