Parallel Universe28.07 – 10.09 2022
July 28 to September 10, 2022
Stephanie Temma Hier
Justin Liam O’Brien
Catherine Telford Keogh
Bradley Ertaskiran is pleased to present Parallel Universe, an exhibition featuring the work of Shuvinai Ashoona, Dexter Barker-Glenn, Nicolas Grenier, Stephanie Temma Hier, Justin Liam O’Brien, Sophie Ruigrok, Catherine Telford Keogh, Joseph Tisiga, and Guimi You. Together, the exhibited artworks offer the viewer a glimpse into real and imagined planes of experience, ones that oscillate between consciousness, the digital sphere, and the anchored or goopy fabric of our three-dimensional world.
In some artworks, the inner workings of the artists’ psyches leak out into the physical realm. Sophie Ruigrok’s pastel drawings are rooted in psychoanalysis and the unconscious, in which contorted dreamlike figures perform varied states of ecstasy and anguish, in a gold palette similar to historic images of religious devotion. Justin Liam O’Brien’s stylized portraits combine the nobleness of Ancient Greek piety with the flattened aesthetics of 3D modelling yet show figures with palpable interiority, their drawn-off gazes looking beyond the viewer into another realm.
Shuvinai Ashoona and Guimi You’s works are laced with the tinge of memory, where time and place are unclear but deeply personal. Ashoona’s drawings show vibrant, intimate scenes of community and daily life, in which foreground and background, people and landscape merge into flattened pictorial planes. You’s paintings are colourful scenes of a town she once lived, depicted in soft, loose brushstrokes reminiscent of a hazy memory or an imagined place.
Other works play with the uncanny, offering a flipside to life as we know it. Stephanie Temma Hier’s works include representational oil paintings encased in lustrous ceramic consumables in bizarre arrangements, a sort of silly, obscure tumble down the rabbit hole. Equal parts legend, fiction, and hallucinogenic trip, Joseph Tisiga’s richly detailed watercolour works show imagined scenes of solitary, animal, and cult-like figures in unlikely environments. Catherine Telford Keogh’s sculptures carry the language of both readymade sculptures and ASMR videos by combining marble and granite with synthetic detritus like Advil, soap, and beef jerky, a portal into the sticky underbelly of web and physical worlds alike.
Touching on the timely and increasing conflation of physical and digital boundaries, Nicolas Grenier and Dexter Barker-Glenn’s works borrow the aesthetics of web culture and technology. Grenier’s paintings, composed of a hypnotizing gradient and pixelated architectural forms, appear almost digitally made in their precision and overall aura or blue-light-like glow. Barker-Glenn translates the surface textures of 3D-modelled objects onto abstract paintings while borrowing subject matter from traditional vanitas (the apple, the skull, the fly)—objects and symbols intended to convey the transience of corporeal life.
Parallel Universe seeks to recognize the endless opportunities and tools used to augment, enhance or dissociate from reality, while acknowledging a deep and persistent desire to escape it, all the while reminding us that art has always offered alternative experiences, beyond the real and the known.
Exhibited artworks by Justin Liam O’Brien, Guimi You and Sophie Ruigrok courtesy of Monya Rowe Gallery, Make Room Los Angeles, and The Sunday Painter, respectively. Shuvinai Ashoona’s work presented in collaboration with the Dorset Fine Arts/West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative.