STILL ALIVE by Katie Mazi : Spring/Summer 2017

STILL ALIVE
Katie Mazi
On display at NAC’s Flea Market Gallery

Still life paintings and drawings were commonly created, sold, collected and showcased since the 1300s and continue to be used as source material for artists. The still life is a timeless way to construct a work of art. Common elements include plants, food, flowers, drapery, vases, and jewellery as seen above.

Still Alive is a collection of found, household objects assembled to create a still life scene. The items on display were gathered from second-hand sources including this flea market. They all have gone through a similar cycle beginning at a retail store, to a residence, discarded and then brought together to restore their value. Each item has been through the process of being desired at one time, then unwanted. The intention of including reused imitation plant material along with ceramics was guided by their long lasting and timeless qualities, which are juxtaposed with their fragility and outdatedness. We are reminded of our own fragility, as the things we use, lose, trade, discard and find will often outlive us, as we move in and out of this world. Those who are passing by will view and perhaps document the scene if they choose.
Katie Mazi is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Niagara region. Her installation work immerses viewers into subversive domestic environments, while her photos illustrate vivid and deceptive scenes. She also uses painting and drawing to communicate fluid and immediate ideas. Mazi is most interested in using everyday objects to represent the absurdity of human behaviour, especially in relationship to non-human animals and the natural world.

To see more work visit: katiemazi.com

 

Alicia Nauta: I am the house and the person of that house / Fall 2016

I am the house and the person of that house
Alicia Nauta

Flea Market Gallery
46 Turner Crescent

Opens Sunday 16 October

Images collected from earlier publications, such as home decor guides from the 60’s and 70’s, botanical guides and encyclopedias, and pre-computer graphic design manuals, form the basis of the work. These images are then manipulated by photocopying and cutting and pasting to create collaged compositions, which are then screen printed by hand.

By drawing on shared visual fragments of the past, the compositions are reassuringly familiar. At the same time, these visual fragments are combined in a way that challenge logic, space, and time, leaving the viewer unsettled or alienated, questioning reality. The compositions reflect on the dualities and exchanges present in all forms of human and natural life: with light, there is darkness; with progress, there is decline. Environmental degradation, the crumbling of civilization, abstracted and psychedelic reality, domestic space, and human belonging are key themes that are explored. Within these pieces lies a simultaneous celebration and mourning for a world we are only passing through. It has been here before us, and will remain long after we are gone.

The screenprinted wallpaper, titled Nana and Helper, was inspired by the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, as well as a vintage wallpaper on the ceiling of a room in a family cottage. With this work, the artist depicts a fragment of domestic life: our homes and objects are transitory, temporary structures that offer us sentimental value, helping to ward off feelings of isolation and loneliness. This piece struggles with the desire to find a place to belong to without claiming ownership to that place.

Last Things: NAC Member Group Show at the Flea Market Gallery

LAST THINGS
Selected work by Niagara Artists Centre Members
at the FLEA MARKET GALLERY
Sunday 19 June 19 – Sunday 18 September 2016
Curated by Maggie Groat

This exhibition is a collection of LAST THINGS. Eleven imagined future remnants  – a skateboard, an antennae, a multipurpose device, a kindling froe, an alarm, a postcard, an invisible print, a communication tablet, a weapon, a mold, a camera – objects, tools and visions, created from salvaged, second-hand and found material, and transformed into the shapes of peculiar and provisional future utility.

LAST THINGS includes the work of ten individual artists and one collective, a group of Niagara Artist Centre members living and working in, or those with strong ties to, the Niagara Region: Marinko Jareb, Ketu Kingston, Jimmy Limit, Daniel F. Manchego-Badiola , Jesse F. Matthews, Katie Mazi & Ben Mosher, Donna Szoke, Carrie Perrault, Bobby Ramos,Ryan Rivando, Amber Lee Williams. This exhibition is the result of an open thematic call to Niagara Artist Centre members, organized by Maggie Groat.

The title of this exhibition draws inspiration from the 1987 dystopian novel In the Country of the Last Things by Paul Auster. Set in a speculative future of an urban post-industrial wasteland, it follows Anna, a collector who scavenges and sells useful found objects and scraps. Coincidentally, the St. Catharines Factory Outlet Flea Market—Niagara’s largest flea market and the site of this exhibition —opened its doors the same year that In the Country of Last Things was published.

 

Image by Katie Mazi & Ben MosherTourist Pick, Postcard, 2016

FEVER COAT by Jamie Campbell Sunday 21 February 2016

FEVER COAT
Jamie Campbell

Fever Coat is an open-ended collection of images, which thematically investigates a rare condition particular to the feline species. A diagnosis of Fever Coat is made when, after a feline’s immune system has fended off a major fever or illness, a substantial colour-shift in the animal’s hair follicles occurs, turning the darkest fur into a smoky grey or even pure white. This transformation of the animal’s coat, an outward sign of inner trauma that might otherwise have gone undetected, only becomes visible once the fever has passed. This visual evidence of bygone sickness, much like a photograph, offers insight into the past—but only, by definition, after the condition to which it testifies is gone.

Roland Barthes stated, on the topic of the photograph, “I fear a catastrophe that has already occurred.” Investigating this idea of exposure after the fact, my project uses Fever Coat as a metaphor for the photographic process. Just as Fever Coat unveils illness retroactively, similarly the photograph offers delayed evidence of the photographic subject or situation. In both cases, knowledge is made available only after the fact.

 

Artist would like to acknowledge the support of

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BLACK AND INCONGRUOUS HEADLINES by Anna Szaflarski

BLACK AND INCONGRUOUS HEADLINES
by Anna Szaflarski
Performance on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at NAC
Saturday 26 September 8:30PM

Installation at NAC, The Flea Market Gallery, and the Golden Pheasant
On display until Saturday 6 December

The Niagara Artists Centre presents a reading and three newsbox installations by Niagara-born, and Berlin-based, artist and author Anna M. Szaflarski.
 
NAC will present a reading by Anna from her bi-weekly journal Letters to the Editors on Saturday 26 September. In addition to writing essays, short stories, and conceptual pieces, Szaflarski invites artists or writers from around the world to contribute to each issue of this journal. Eventually, all the issues of Letters to the Editors will be compiled and published in book format. 

The reading will take place on the evening of Saturday 26 September on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace at the Niagara Artists Centre at 8:30PM. The reading will be in advance of a musical performance by N-E-O Trio accompanied with projected visuals.
 
As part of Anna’s return to St. Catharines, three newsbox installations will be on display from Sunday 4 October until Sunday 6 December 2015:

(1) at the Niagara Artists Centre at 354 St. Paul Street
(2) at the NAC Flea Market Gallery at 46 Turner Crescent
(3) at the Golden Pheasant at 244 Ontario Street
  
At each newsbox location poster editions of A Man’s Job by Anna will be available for
pick-up. The poster is comprised of a chronological collection of newspaper headlines tracking the relationship between the employees and the auto industry in Niagara that spans over sixty years (1940-2011). As Anna explains,
 
“I was researching in the library archives for another project, but quickly noticed the frequency of headlines pertaining to GM; unions, lay-offs, which rotated from hopeful to pessimistic with regularity like the wheels of a mill…Together the fluid back and forth begins to lose all meaning; an eventual entropic disintegration.”

The title of the poster edition is a reference taken from a newsletter by Columbus McKinnon, an industrial firm eventually taken over by General Motors. A passage of rhetoric from the same McKinnon newsletter of the 1930s is included on the poster and reflects expectations of the relationship between a man and his employer. An image from the 1980s accompanies the text and depicts laid-off workers during the first major economic recession to impact GM.

This poster edition, A Man’s Job, investigates the expectations from both sides in the disintegrating love-affair between industry and its workers.
 
Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Anna Szaflarski is currently based in Berlin, Germany where she works predominantly as an art writer and artist-book publisher. 

Trappings: Claire Paquet

Trapping by Claire Paquet
Flea Market Gallery
Begins Sunday 25 January 2015

I am fascinated by the daily rituals that govern our lives and the coping mechanisms we use to feel in control of our existence. I imagine that there is a little bit of magic in every repeated, nearly unconscious action that helps us get through our days, and I am compelled to try and exist in this area between the daily and the spiritual. Trappings represents the beginnings of an exploration into an everyday ritual space – the bedside table. Through collection, craft, and reflection, I am building up the trappings of a world that revolves around the bedside table.

— Claire Paquet

NOT FOR SALE: Installation by VSVSVS

NOT FOR SALE

VSVSVS

VSVSVS has amassed many videos on many screens for your viewing pleasure. Weird movements, beautiful moments, and cats have been captured with cell phone cameras and put on display. We compiled these videos in an attempt to share our way of seeing the world. These are the tiny poetic pops that give life a little zing. We hope you find a few moments to enjoy in our display.

 

We are VSVSVS (pronounced versus versus versus), a seven-person collective and artist-run centre based out of a warehouse in the portlands of Toronto, Ontario. Formed in 2010, our activities encompass collective art making, a residency program, a formal exhibition space, and individual studio practices. Our collective work focuses on the collaborative production of multiples, drawings, video works, sculpture, installations, and performance. An open framework allows each of us to play to our own interests and ends, while contributing to a common goal. Working with seven heads is an experiment in being together too much and making things constantly.

Members

Current members include: Anthony Cooper, James Gardner, Laura Simon, Miles Stemp, Ryan Clayton, Stephen McLeod and Wallis Cheung.

Kokedama: The Fragmented Garden

Kokedama: The Fragmented Garden
Installation by Paul Chartrand
Beginning Sunday 3 August 2014

CLOSING RECEPTION SUNDAY 19 OCTOBER at 1PM

Kokedama is a form of bonsai which originated in Japan during the 1600s. A bonsai tree would be grown inside a pot until the root ball was tight enough that it could be removed and displayed without the vessel. Eventually moss became part of the style, covering the root ball with green growth, to be shown on a plate or bowl. This style has been appropriated by a growing number of artists and gardeners in a new format of hanging gardens, where the roots are wrapped with string before being hung in the air. These suspended plants are unique microcosms of larger ecosystems, taking fragmented elements and uniting them into delicate living orbs.

These common plants such as ferns, moss and vines have been brought indoors to encourage a tactile and sensory experience which is normally taken for granted. Despite their mundane appearances, they are all components in a greater living framework which supports and drives the biosphere. The installation is connected through a central support system reminiscent of a tree’s structure. This main trunk branches out and supports all of the smaller kokedama balls, representing the reactionary efforts of people to reverse the growing problem of ecosystem fragmentation. These gardens require the careful observation and maintenance provided by the artist and the support apparatus, or they risk dying off one by one, like the green spaces of southwestern Ontario and beyond.

Paul Chartrand is an artist living and working in Dunnville, Ontario. He recently graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA major in Studio Art and a Geography minor. He consistently investigates the combination of natural and man-made aesthetics in his works, resulting in sculptural and representational hybrids. Social Practice and live plants are used as metaphors for a range of environmental and cultural issues; both are elements that Paul has been exploring since his final year at Guelph in 2013.

Title it Yourself

“Title it Yourself” Public Newspaper
Installation by Jesse Harris
On display every Sunday at the Flea Market Gallery

Beginning Sunday 2 February

Public to publish hand-lettered wall newspaper in St. Catharines Flea Market.
NAC Flea Market Gallery becomes self-guided information kiosk.  Free form collaborative newspaper posted in market stall. Visitors contribute to instant publication. Flea market vendors free to advertise. Popular communication meets public display. Pen and paper provided.

Jesse Harris is a Toronto-based artist. He maintains a message-oriented art practice as a platform for direct communication of his politics and to discuss the limits of free expression in culture. Jesse operates a vinyl sign shop under the name Readers and Writers.

jessebharris.com

Animal Throw

Animal Throw
Installation by Parker Branch
Flea Market Gallery
Animal Throw is on display every Sunday from 27 Oct – 12 Jan

Parker Branch is a collaborative curatorial project by artists Anna Madelska and Jason Hallows that occupies a small storefront space in London, Ontario. The project explores the lateral diversions of meaning that become possible between art, found objects, and natural artifacts.

The Parker Branch project for the NAC Flea Market Gallery draws from the visual culture of the flea market and the display strategies of the vendors’ stalls.  In the installation, printed fleece blankets suggest a nighttime visit from a pack of wolves to a forested corner of the market. Coloured tarps form a rudimentary backdrop, while also transitioning from the DIY walls of the surrounding spaces. The movement of the pack echoes the movement of the objects circulating within the market – a multiplicity, in the Deleuzoguattarian sense, gathered together and organized according to dozens of haphazard logics. Each stall is a multiplicity. The market is a multiplicity of multiplicities (wild things) that functions as a peripheral economy at the edge of the green corridor (where the wild gets in), and at the edge of the economic landscape. Tent city. Wild kingdom.