‘Shadow to Light’ is a contemporary art exhibit that highlights a glimpse of an enriching creative journey adopted by artists from ‘Flick the Switch’ arts collective in Toronto. For a shadow to be present there must be light and this show reflects the poetic nature of the continuous tangling and detangling of the artistic journey, particularly through precarious times. The exhibit consists of a diverse range of artworks that reflect upon themes of nature, memory and identity as this aims to encapsulate the harmony found within life. ‘Shadow to Light’ features a collection of paintings and sculptures that utilize their visual language to translate notions of colour and materiality through embodying a fluid connection between the artists and their creative endeavours.
The representation of our natural environment is evident within the work, as this highlights an essence of a fond recollection associated with something remarkable that may be long forgotten. Contrasting effects of light within the environment, abstracted representations of memorable moments and the juxtaposition between the industrial yet delicate nature of the sculptures all tie in together to highlight a metaphoric transitioning from the shadows and into the light.
Curated by: Marion Flanagan, Sunaina Khandelwal and Angela H. Kim
Event Date: Friday, Oct 15 5pm - 9pm - Sat Oct 16 11am - 7pm
Location: 68 Abell Street, Toronto, ON
Amita Sen Gupta
“Day's end. Its last hurrahs propel me outside beneath the curtain of colours that light up the sky. I witness swift fleeting moments and dramatic views in awe and wonder. Every microsecond of the changing sky reveals an epic story. I anticipate each chapter. How will the story end?”
Every evening, a whole new story unfolds with different lights, colours, tones, and shades—never the same sky twice.
These paintings were born out of a desire to capture the awe and luminosity of the day's changing light through tone, texture, and the movement of brushstrokes. Each painting is worked in layers of paint thinned with mineral spirits, glazes and dry brush to help translate the light of these captured moments.
The inception of Amita’s fascination with impermanence as subject matter began during her final year in Florence at the Ontario College of Art and Design’s off-campus program. There, she developed her first body of work, and was awarded with a scholarship for her Shoe series, Matter Holding Memory. Over the years, the objects of impermanence have grown to include condemned vacant buildings and the play of light in the landscape.
Amita’s current series of paintings highlight Light to Dark, and Dark to Light. Through the darkness there is light, and it is the luminosity of light, in particular, that is the overall encompassing focus in these paintings.
Angela H. Kim is a Toronto-based painter whose work is complex in a range of themes and materiality. Kim has been deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between nature and human propensity. Themes of existentialism, metamorphosis, state of living, and death take place in her art practice that result in the form of landscape, abstract, or something in between. Her most recent body of work employs the philosophical tradition of alchemy. She incorporates encaustic, natural pigments, oil paints, plaster, charcoal, wood, bronze, and sand in her paintings to create 3-dimensional works of art. Her techniques include, but are not limited to, etching, carving, layering, burning, and melting. While exploring new and traditional raw materials, Kim focuses on the spiritual connection that happens during labor-intensive, repetitive mark-making. Her works are a unique balance between representation and abstraction, which she calls “controlled chaos”.
Kim holds a BFA from OCAD University and her training includes Emily Carr University and apprenticeships with several established west-coast artists. Angela’s works have been displayed in local galleries, featured in forums, articles, and magazines, and collected by individuals and corporations globally.
Hagop is an installation artist who works in a range of media, including sound, video, sculpture, digital illustration, painting and collage. His work combines media and digital arts techniques with physical materials including plastic, found objects, concrete, metal wires, copper sheet, and paint.
As an artist, Hagop attempts to engage the audience with new and unexpected ways of seeing the world. His process begins with an idea, tested and reinterpreted through formal experimentation with diverse materials and techniques. His work explores the potential for different forms and assemblages to reveal and communicate spontaneous perceptions and associations. He employs environmental installation techniques that invite the viewer to reflect on their own perceptions and expectations through an immersive experience of the artwork.
In this series of paintings and sculptures, Hagop reinterprets internally and externally experienced images into a tapestry of traditional Armenian ornaments, decaying urban art, and kinetic movements. These works are the result of a creation process that served as a visual diary during the endless hours of the lockdown. They are constructed through the spontanesou juxtaposition and layering of images and forms drawn from past and present and from conscious and unconscious experience.
Heidi E. Keyes
Heidi E. Keyes is an acrylics artist residing in Toronto. Her creative practice explores mystic, mythological, and spiritual truths, which she paints intuitively. The artist is self-taught with tutelage and mentorship of New York Magazine's Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic, who helped her get started in painting. Heidi is concerned with contemporary culture and particularly changes in frequencies as we move through the post-Trumpian chaos, Covid-19, climate change. She believes in ongoing artistic education. Heidi envisions us moving towards a collective awareness, metamorphosis, a spiritual awakening, light with the help of nature.
Heidi studied Art History in Italy and Toronto at the University of Toronto with ongoing courses in contemporary art via Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, OCAD, and the Toronto School of Art. She has been exposed for the last 25 years to a multitude of galleries, museums, and artist studios. She has worked and volunteered in the arts, in museums, art centres and for artists in various capacities.
A self-taught artist, Jennifer uses art to heal and get in touch with her emotions. She was diagnosed with cancer back in 2017. It wasn’t a terminal diagnosis, but it was enough to cause some anxiety. These pieces represent a sampling of what came spilling out as she cycled through a handful of SSRI medications prescribed to her over the course of 2 years.
Artwork by Natalja Heybroek is underpinned by its exploration into the fluid nature of life. Whether leaning into detailed intricacies or gathering an overview perspective, the work is an inquiry into the subjectivity of human experience.
It draws on the opulent use of materials, where abstraction and expression in the artwork lend themselves to connect with the viewer on an experiential level. Moving the mind towards a more immediate connection with the senses.
The overall style is particularly expressive and emergent, with significant compositions and a veiled sense of movement. It embodies material exploration inspired by the natural world, revealing the unusual capabilities of materials. This infinite search for opening up boundaries creates unexpected intrigue in the artwork.
Intertwined with the aesthetics are insightful concepts which bring the work to life. Peering through the lens of human perception, insights emerge around the topics of identity, instincts, emotion and philosophy of the mind. Each presented insightful interpretation becomes an invitation to contemplate.
Morgan's body of work entitled "RAINING COWS" expresses the inspiration he gets from rain, colour and his love of cows, colours and shapes. The cows are graphic, however, one can actually see the layers and splashes of rain creating a 3D like floating effect. The colours, clouds, rain and the graphic application all come together to create calm and a feeling of happiness. In these stressful and turbulent times, Morgan wants “Raining Cows” to make people happy and to make them smile.
Morgan launched his Raining Cows “Walking Art” jacket collection on the runway of Fashion Art Toronto during Fashion week. It was where art, fabric and imagination come together. Morgan exhibited a solo show called, “The Land of Raining Cows”, presented by Steam Whistle. Morgan and his brain sculpture “Blue Sun”, participated in the Baycrest TELUS Health Brain Project which was exhibited around Toronto. Morgan was also a part of the official TIFF gallery during the Toronto Film Festival. Seven of Morgan’s “Raining Cows” were featured on Samsung phone cases at the Artist’s Spotlight in the new Samsung Experience Store, Eaton Centre. The world of art is changing, therefore Morgan has released a collection of Raining Cows NFT’s on various market places.
Morgan and his Raining Cows have been featured in The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, BlogTO and Narcity Canada. He has also partnered with Samsung, BlogTO, TELUS and Steam Whistle. Morgan's work can be found in collections across Canada and internationally.
Marion Flanagan is a multi-disciplinary Canadian artist working in Toronto and London, UK. Her work moves between sculpture, painting, photography, and installation, always considering the materiality of the chosen medium and its potential for narrative expression.
Flanagan’s practice investigates the fragile relationship between humans and nature, the uses and abuses of resources and spaces, and the attempt to define areas of commonality between the bodies of human beings and the substances of the natural world. This research takes in a broad range of specialisms from geography to politics to biology. An insistence on the analysis of petroleum production has emerged from recent works. Using synthetic rubber (a petroleum industry by-product) combined with cement, and metal, she references the movement of toxic materials through the natural world, and into our domestic lives. When painting, Flanagan uses monoprinting as a primary structure, and then builds texture and colour in slow abstract forms. The resulting works seem by turns industrial and natural; they are reminiscent of terrain-mapping, surfaces of water, pollution, or images from a microscope or drone camera.
In the end, Flanagan’s work reveals the impact of our actions upon the natural world at a local and global level. She encourages us to create a world that treats our environments and fellow beings with care.
She completed her MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London (UAL) in 2020. Flanagan has shown her work extensively in the UK, France, and Canada.
Shannon Dickie is a Toronto based-oil painter with a love of colour mixing. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph with a major in Studio Art and a minor in Art History.
A member of Flick the Switch Art Studio, Shannon has an active studio practice as well as being an Art Teacher for a Downtown Toronto School. Showing with Art Interiors and Blue Crow Gallery, Shannon likes to share the experiences of memory and nostalgia with the viewers. Her soft blurred painting finish allows
the viewer to interpret their own memories for the scene. Shannon continues to find new ways to depict her dreamy figurative landscapes.
Shorelines are defined as “the line along which a large body of water meets the land.” For the paintings of her series, "Shorelines," Shannon captures the family memories that happen at this magical place. Beaches are an iconic part of childhood in the summer. They provide a location for swimming and sand exploration.
Shannon is drawn to these moments as a way to share the nostalgic feeling of a day at the beach.
Sunaina Khandelwal is a multimedia artist who has graduated with an MA in Fine Art from the
University of the Arts London, UK.
She is currently residing in Toronto and her personal practice explores the status and meaning of colour within both Indian art history and the western
Khandelwal believes that colour is often perceived merely as a picture making tool whilst the significance of its pre-existing ideologies and histories are overlooked. As a result, her work is concerned with how the pigments we painters use today, are contemporary re-enactments
of their historic selves by manifesting
an essence of a cultural past that is embedded within their materiality.
The artist often creates her own pigments from clay, rocks and charcoal in order to reference fragments of a material history from a contemporary position. The process of hammering, crushing, mixing and grinding the pigment into a paste plays an integral role in Khandelwal's practice since this resonates with how colours were first created during the prehistoric era. Through this methodology, the artist retraces pigment history from a contemporary perspective. Alongside the use of handmade pigment, Khandelwal's artworks incorporate 'store bought' oil paints as she looks to question how the specific categorisation of these contemporary
colours challenges our visual perception of the artworks we encounter.
Susan N. Stewart
"Sometimes we feel like Rapunzel, wandering lost in a forest, blind, the rug pulled out from
under our feet, assumptions about ourselves and the world shattered
Eventually, through inner work, we can find ourselves on top of the mountain viewing our
struggles with more clarity. Seeing the bigger picture.
Until life feels we are ready (or not) for another roller coaster ride into darkness and confusion.
Hopefully this cycle of shadow to light, where the hidden parts of ourselves emerge out of the
darkness to the light of consciousness brings us closer to self knowledge, self love, and a
patience with others on the same bumpy journey."
Susan N. Stewart is an award-winning artist with works in private and corporate collections in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Melbourne, Montreal, Toronto, Germany and Bermuda.
Vaz Gyulkhandanian is a Toronto-based artist and creates work cenred around the theme of animals and nature. Gyulkhandanian is interested in the relationship between animals and humans and he aims to translate this relationship into a pictorial form. The artist is influenced by Surrealism and by artists such as Salvador Dali and Alex Colville, both of whom depicted animals in their art. Gyulkhandanian creates an atmosphere of mystery and suspense in his paintings. For example, in the painting “The Running Dog,” he aims to create a space where the viewer is left to their own interpretation of the piece, sometimes relating to individualistic experiences.