Genna Kusch and Morgan Wedderspoon
January 13 - 31, 2009
Reception: January 29th, 6-8p
Genna Kusch, Untitled, woodcut, 2008
I am interested in Western European children’s stories and rhymes and how innocence acts as a mask for wickedness, lulling the reader into a false sense of security. My work explores depictions of “good” and “evil” that are written for children and presents visually those moments, gained through maturity, when one realizes that there is a disturbingly grey area between these “opposites.” It is upon closer examination that the moral of the narratives depicted in these images becomes ambiguous. By isolating archetypal characters and inserting them into different environments and narratives I hope to convey my personal experience of these stories and how they have affected me. Tension between the images is further explored through treatments of the surfaces, leaving the viewer to question which of the images is ultimately more dangerous.
Genna Kusch (1986, London, Ontario) is a 4th year Fine Art student at Queen’s University studying printmaking. She has exhibited in London , Kingston and Toronto but is still looking for a home base. Eventually she would like to pursue a career in teaching but for now she is content to make some art and maybe get a cat. She likes English literature, comic books and epiclly flawed heroes.
Morgan Wedderspoon, Hybrid Diver I, etching, 2008
Evoking the history of exploration by drawing on designs from archival photos and illustrations, the reconfigurations of environment suits illustrated in Explorers might belong instead to a fictional or future realm. The suits transform their wearers into bizarre humanoids with abnormal proportions, eerily surrounded by an atmospheric haze. Like their predecessors, there is a sense that these suits will be tested by the conditions they will encounter, that their ability to protect in real situations and withstand harsh environments has not yet been fully proven. This risk is one we have chosen to face willingly in pursuit of scientific discovery and progress, but with the environment undefined and the tasks to be performed unexplained, these etchings highlight the danger and uncertainty of such a mission.
The unusual Specimens of Sea Life are combinations based on Albertus Seba’s 18th century illustrations. Like a collection of alien life forms yet to be discovered, they represent a tireless human impulse to explore, discover, collect, and catalogue. They aim to question the reliability of the records we keep in our attempts to pin down truth, acting as a reminder that our understanding is an approximation of reality, ever mediated by our perceptions and communicative processes.
Originally from the Niagara region, Morgan is currently completing her fourth and final year of study in the Bachelor of Fine Art program at Queen’s University, a journey which has been greatly aided by supportive colleagues, professors, friends, and family. She has enjoyed a recent return to drawing in her printmaking and doubts she’ll go back. One day, she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree, but next year she wants to travel to a far away place where she can keep working and get inspired.