Lauren Schaffer, Visiting Artist Talk

Lauren Schaffer, visiting artist talk
Wednesday, May 22, 12:00 PM
Anna Leonowens Gallery, 1891 Granville Street

Visiting artist Lauren Schaffer will discuss her exhibition “Dirty sweep” at 12 Noon on Wed 22 May. Everyone is welcome!

Exhibition: May 21 – June 1, 2019
Opening reception: Tuesday, May 21, 5:30 – 7PM

Lauren Schaffer is a multidisciplinary artist living in Toronto. Inspired by the limits of perception and research around the intersection of human and animal behaviour, her work encompases sculpture, installation, audio and video. She has received her undergraduate degree from the NSCAD University and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and been featured in Canadian Art, C Magazine and Espace Magazine. Her work is held in various private, public and corporate collections.

Less than twelves paces from Toronto Artist, Lauren Schaffer’s kitchen door lies the entrance to her studio backing onto an alleyway at the end of the yard. The two portals bookend this brief passage through the outdoors with its microbes and leaf mold, its insects and animal life-stations of the day and seasons. One of the doors marks the threshold to the familial and domestic routine while the other opens onto the discipline and solitude of artistic practice. Over the past several years, Schaffer’s traversal along this circuit with its infra-think natural barrier has provided much fodder for her work in digital videos and sculpture through which she has consistently engaged in entomological and domestic themes.

If those are somewhat idyllic sounding broad-strokes, the dualistic structure of Schaffer’s project hones a further, more complex subset of interests and preoccupations. Working, as she does in both sculpture and digital media, their respective processes form an uneasy binary system.  The videos, which opportunistically document mostly happenstance encounters with mayflies, ladybugs and other members of the insect word are fugitive and ephemeral. They are voyeuristic. Taken together, the short studies invoke a pattern of intense personal pathos in the registry of scale between the artist and her tiny subjects-even as the recordings are edited at the clinical behest of a keystroke, broadcast far and wide at lightning speed.  The sculptures, on the other hand belong to a much slower, more tactile, almost alchemical yet playful order of operations. Impressions are taken; liquids poured into recesses and hardened. New objects emerge. In time a multiplicity of small recombinant forms in materials such as wax, plaster, silicone and brass, accumulates along a frisson of referents t the Modernist Canon.  Created in tandem Schaffer’s sculpture and video work thus lean against each other balancing precariously and shifting on the question, central to her project: Where will things come to rest?

-Jennifer McMackon
Toronto, May 2019