O'Born Contemporary


After The End

First Annual Emerging Artist Exhibition

January 14 – January 28, 2012

Opening Reception:
Friday, January 13, 6 – 9 PM


exhibition summary

In keeping with our mandate to discover and promote Canadian emerging artists, O'Born Contemporary is pleased to announce its first annual emergent artist exhibition, After The End, an Apocalypse themed exhibition. A prize will be awarded to one artist for best-in-show, and announced on opening night.

Emerging local artists, working in painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, digital collage and mixed media confront the environmental, biological and psychological implications of a full doomsday.


Sylvia Adamcik
Bryan Belanger
Nathan Cyprys
Scott Everingham
Frank Gross
Hanna Hur
Adriana Kupych
Ryan Louis
Anna Mifsud – Sweeney
Sophia Solaris
Monika Traikov
Ian Willms

exhibition statement

'The 2012 Phenomenon' comprises a number of belief systems that suggest that this year will be met with cataclysmic or transformative events that will bring about our final destiny. Twelve local emerging artists successfully answered our call to confront the environmental, biological and psychological implications of a full doomsday. The combined result takes shape for After The End, O'Born Contemporary's first annual emerging artists exhibition.

Ian Willm's vision of an apocalyptic future comes from our immediate past with Abandoned Neighbourhood. The demise of Detroit, once the most prosperous American city is a timely analogy for the demise of our planet. We've witnessed the fragility of the capitalist economy; Willms put forth even greater potential consequence to this recent irresponsibility. Frank Gross suggests a post-apocalyptic landscape of broken concrete, a material that is sure to survive us on earth. It is, after all the stuff of ancient calcified crustaceans. It was here before us and will remain after we depart. Sophia Solaris' contribution is also about what is left behind: Trash. With White Hope and Blue-Collar-Blue, discarded objects are elevated in formal exploration. Solaris' non-representational works question our North American habit of living as though there is no tomorrow - fitting, as we discuss a time where such is indeed the case. Scott Everingham's process of adapting the "ephemeral quality of time, light and movement"1 lends itself well to our contemplation of The End. This alternative landscape is equal parts menacing and intriguing, suggesting a time and place that has not yet existed.

Bryan Belanger is among the artists, concerned with the biological implications of a complete destruction of the world. His process involves casting fruit in immortal plastic. On one hand, we observe an apple, extraordinary, mid-explosion due to chemical processes that occur while the plastic cures. But we are also moved to contemplate the plastic, itself. This oil-based material is used to preserve the appearance of the fruit but it also renders it inedible. Perhaps a reminder of a time long-past and a cruel joke to those remaining after the end. Nathan Cyprys turns the camera upon himself, a living corps. In his work, entitled Mud Forest from the series Buried, Cyprys is laid to rest in a shallow grave, symbolic of both "our unavoidable mortality and his attempt at rebirth... an exercise in escapism of death."2

Adriana Kupych's drawings of human anatomy, more meat than body, are less a biological representation than a physical representation of the mind. Nevertheless, they trigger fears of human gene manipulation or the effects of a nuclear annihilation. Anna Mifsud-Sweeney offers up a portrait of a survivor for our consideration: Cameron gazes downward, ripped and wounded, put forth as a visual manifestation of the loss and helplessness that any remaining person might endure. Ryan Louis brings us a literal interpretation in collage. Mayan iconography is more than a suggestion of the phenomenon in question. A scientific laboratory is nearly rendered abstract, as impossible reflections purport a time of external chaos in Sylvia Adamcik's A Duplicitous Lack of Foresight. There is no subtle suggestion here about the cause of the end. Monika Traikov's work does not look to a time or place after the end but reminds us of our future past. Distorted, sometimes oozing viewfinders suggest a similar perversion of one's memories - significant, at a time where that is all that remains.

Hanna Hur's drawings of loss and ending perfectly encompass the theme of this exhibition, speculating on "a hypothetical universally experienced finish."3 The theme of O'Born Contemporary's first annual emerging artists exhibition is just that - hypothetical. It is an opportunity to postulate without expectation of accuracy. It is an opportunity for artists to create work to a prescribed yet broad subject or to re-contextualize existing pieces within a new framework.

1 Excerpted from Scott Everingham's artist statement, 2011.
2 Excerpted from Nathan Cyprys' artist statement, 2011.
3 Exceprted from Hanna Hur's artist statement, 2011.