La maison des artistes visuels francophones: Touchless - Sacha Kopelow, June 27 - July 27
"Born and raised in rural Manitoba, Sacha was well schooled in getting her hands dirty, being curious about her surroundings, and being observant and introspective. Having completed degrees at U of W, she ventured out to many far-flung places to work in environmentalism and social justice, returning decades later to achieve a fine arts degree from NSCAD University. An undercurrent of all these pursuits, Sacha searched for love, investing in fiery romances, dedicated embroilments, regrettable mishaps, star-crossed passions, unfortunate cons, and forgettable dalliances. It is from this wealth of emotional adventure and this long-term loneliness that Sacha's interest in what it means to be a modern-day spinster grew.
Cultural concepts and realities of spinsterhood are often overlooked contemporarily, as women are increasingly seen as independent and afforded self-determination. This work gently voices the loneliness and disappointments faced by women who by demographics, misogynist beauty requirements, unfortunate timing, personal standards, etc. become today's unwilling spinsters. This snarl of traditional and contemporary quicksand is represented by a combination of classical mediums and modern themes (feminism, sexuality, autonomy, social isolation). This project pauses on those so often overlooked, exploring longing, insecurity, and sexual abandonment. To be alone, out of step with dominant culture and the overwhelmingly celebrated lives of standard families, is a state of quietude and frustration, of witnessing, of precarious resilience.
The brass paintings are in the tradition of "lover's eye jewellery" of the 1700s, in which a beloved would gift a miniature painting, typically of an eye or a breast, similar to the sentimentality of keeping a locket of hair, or of today's more aggressively pornographic "sext". Each painting depicts a portion of my skin, so that the overall effect is a sea of flesh tone and brass, evoking an abstract sense of sensuality that lacks a conclusion. With very few overt symbols, the series holds a muted tension of open-ended vulnerability, unsatisfied.
Cast glass figures are anchored in the expanse of the bed, sheets in disarray, in the intimate poses of those who know they are not observed. A pile of clothing on the floor twinkles faintly from the earlier hopeful possibilities of the night out, discarded now in disappointment. "