September 24 – November 7, 2004
Marina Roy is a Vancouver based artist and writer whose works combine interests in historical book illustration with psychoanalytic theory and word play. Past works include a series of illustrations the artist crafted on the fore-edges of books, which illustrate the books’ titles while making overt sexual puns about their subject matter.
For her exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Roy presented an ambitious series of new paintings using glass and mirrors. In these works, abstract ‘blobs’ of paint are poured onto sheet glass; Roy then created representational paintings inspired by 18th and 19th-century illustrational styles on the reverse side of the painted glass. Arranging a mirror behind the glass, the illustration can be glimpsed hovering behind the monochromatic blob. Parallels with Rorschach tests bring to mind and literalize the often sexual nature of suggestion.
Several of the images in the paintings have been used in the accompanying video animation. Using kinetic devices such as bodily emissions or expanding clouds, the relationships between background and foreground are blurred or trade places, operating in much the same way as they do in the mirror painting structures. All of the images are figurative and make reference to landscape traditions, exploiting our abiding interest in nature and human nature.