Throughout two site-specific works, Sandra Brewster’s exhibition “By Method of Communion” employs an intimacy with supplies to convey the insistent but fragile relationship to position that’s produced by diaspora.
Inhabiting the Energy Plant’s clerestory—a slim passage capped by a hovering skylight—is DENSE, 2021–22, a large-scale and painterly photographic work put in throughout the hallway-like house’s two dealing with partitions. As its title suggests, the piece collapses a number of landscapes into each other. On one wall, a steady horizon line in black, grey, and rust marks the define of the Essequibo River in Guyana, the place Brewster’s dad and mom are from: Its turbulent waters are stained a heat clay shade, the pigment dripping towards the ground as if the estuary has exceeded its banks. Throughout from it, the viewer is confronted by one other panorama, this time a sprawling forest scene photomontaged from Canadian and Guayanese areas. Utilizing her trademark technique of photo-based gel transfers, Brewster utilized the photographs on to the wall after which scrubbed the paper and glue away, leaving creases and tears that proof her labor and recommend the fragility of her connection to those locations as residence. Whereas the artist is greatest identified for her blurred photographic portraits of pals, relations, and cultural icons (a concurrent solo exhibition at Toronto’s Olga Korper Gallery options new larger-than-life portraits of figures together with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frantz Fanon, and Nina Simone), right here Brewster makes use of frottage to create a portrait of place, conveying what Black queer theorist Keguro Macharia may describe as “the vary of bodily sensations produced by the insistent touching that’s diaspora.”
Exterior the gallery, Brewster trains the customer’s gaze to a different horizon line: that of Lake Ontario, a physique of water that demarcates town’s edge and but isn’t seen, as it’s blocked by an elevated expressway and a wall of condominiums. Her first public sculpture, A Place to Put Your Issues, 2022 (on view till September 30, 2022), takes the type of a swing set: Its seat, forged in powder-coated metal, is the form of two amorphous figures (a mom and youngster, maybe) who face each other in a heat embrace. Inviting us to take a seat, put down what we could also be carrying, and play, Brewster’s sculpture presents a short lived second of relaxation from which to ponder the panorama.