Dear Alice draws inspiration from the allegorical potential of Lewis Caroll s texts, which remain as prescient as ever. Like Alice, we struggle to make sense of dizzying systems of power and the lure of consumer culture. And like Alice, we also journey to pursue the dream.
Dear Alice: Reflections from the Looking Glass
THE ART OF LOUISE BLOOM
Pia Bouman School of Ballet Exhibition Space
November 16 – January 30
Artist in attendance at opening reception, Friday, November 16, 6-9 pm
First Toronto solo exhibition of Quebec artist Louise Bloom
Bloom’s “Dear Alice” collection of prints and paintings explore consumerism, gender, and environmental decimation, as well as antidotes for the spirit in the 21st century.
On view from November 16 through January 30, “Dear Alice” draws its inspiration from the allegorical potential of Lewis Carroll’s texts, which remain as prescient as ever. The eponymous character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871) has been Bloom’s chief muse since 2000. Bloom has produced numerous original prints (etchings and lithographs), hanging scrolls, artist books, oversized book pages, diptychs, and collage series that reinterpret and reconfigure illustrations from Carroll’s novels. The works incite a dialogue between iconographic images from the past and present-day imagery pertaining to consumer capitalism, appetite, desire, destruction, and spiritual rebirth.
Bloom’s creative process derives from a sincere conviction that narrative is a vehicle for transformation. The works invite close readings and aim to surprise, stimulate, and even unsettle. At times reminiscent of Daumier and other visual satirists who have been concerned throughout history with systems of power and their abuses, Bloom’s “Dear Alice” collection explores themes that range from the false promise of the American dream and ecological devastation, to gender inequality and desire.
The sumptuous color and fluid draftsmanship of the larger paintings marry caricature and realism, producing works of penetrating and fantastic symbolism. The print works combine both illustration and text; the result is a merging of medium and message that mobilizes irony to unseat viewers’ expectations. Thus, the collection celebrates Carroll’s thematics and Sir John Tenniel’s masterful illustrations while also redeploying them to inventive and potent effect.
About the Artist
Bloom’s professional career spans 30 years of exhibition, teaching, and mentoring in Canada and abroad. Since 1987, she has cultivated her printmaking skills at notable studios such as “l’Atelier de l’Ile” (Val David, QC), “Atelier Circulaire” (Montreal, QC), and “Equinox Press” (Carmel, CA). She has developed a trademark aesthetic in the process—one that often combines text and image. Bloom also paints in oil, creates in mixed media, writes poetry, and teaches yoga and meditation; she coaches artists in life skills and supports their creative process.
Opening Reception Friday November 16, 6-9
PIA BOUMAN SCHOOL FOR BALLET AND CREATIVE MOVEMENT
6 Noble Street, Toronto (Queen and Dufferin)
Information: Esther Bouman – 416-533-3706
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