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Winnipeg artist Louise Jonasson has long been curious about the possibilities of the fragment. This was evident in her 1994 Gallery 1C03 exhibition, Atlas with Tentative Title, and is reflected in her latest show, Island Souvenir, which contains two bodies of work that take on new meanings as a result of fragmentation and recontextualization. Island, for example, began as a single painting, but was then divided into quarters. Similarly, Souvenir is a suite of 20 mixed media works originating from 5 paintings of islands. By placing these topographical fragments onto new, larger grounds, Jonasson has the opportunity to begin a visual dialogue between the two parts. The imagery she carves onto her grounds responds to the formal qualities of the initial canvas pieces. As such, her works examine relationships between form and content, nature and culture.

Jonasson's paintings invite introspection. The artist is rewarded when her audience takes the time to dialogue with her art: "I want my work engage people emotionally, psychologically, physically, on as many levels as possible. I want the viewer to be aware of themselves when viewing the work. And I want the work to have enough possibilities to appeal to many, regardless of age or background."

Because she finds it difficult to put her art into words, Jonasson often resists titles and other written explanations. For her, art is a visual language in which she can express her "wonder of the world", try to make the imagined visible, investigate the tensions between simplicity and complexity, and express concepts as well as states of being.

There will be an artist's talk in Gallery 1C03 on Friday, November 3 at 12:30 p.m.


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