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A huge space largely empty: Sylvia Matas

Gallery 1C03


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Sylvia Matas, A huge space, largely empty (detail), 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist.

March 1 - July 25, 2018


Gallery 1C03 is pleased to present a deconstructed bookwork by local interdisciplinary artist Sylvia Matas in its public foyer. A huge space, largely empty is a non-linear narrative of photographs, drawings, and writing that revolves around an unnamed lake. On the first page, a character picks up a stone on a night walk in the country and throws it into a lake. At the end of the book someone approaches a lake where a hole has mysteriously formed in the ice. In between those two pages there are references to sleep, dreams, insomnia, memory, and spatial disorientation. 

Lakes (which can be a symbol for the unconscious mind) appear throughout the book in the written narrative and also as drawings of bathymetric maps (maps which describe lake depth). Each of the three maps appear twice in the book – once in its original orientation and once as a mirror image.

The art of Sylvia Matas focuses on the grey area between reality and perception through an exploration of how we experience our surroundings and the passage of time. Her narratives are fragmented, withholding clear distinctions of beginning and ending, and suggest moments lifted from a larger story. This feeling of incompleteness makes space for completion of the narrative in the mind of the viewer. Through recurrent motifs of landscape, memory, dreams, disorientation, and time, her work explores the act of looking at images and how the viewer constructs meaning.

Sylvia Matas works in drawing, bookworks, and video. Matas received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, England. She has exhibited her art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Plug In ICA, Lantern (Winnipeg), the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Mercer Union (Toronto), and the Maclaren Art Centre (Barrie).

A huge space, largely empty is on display in conjunction with Gallery 1C03’s main exhibition Littoral Landscape which explores the ever-shifting shorelines of Lake Winnipeg. Its presentation has been extended into the remainder of spring and part of summer of 2018.

Gallery 1C03 foyer is an accessible public space that is open seven days per week from 7:00 am - 11:00 pm excluding statutory holidays. It is located on the first floor of Centennial Hall beside the UWSA Info Booth.


For more information contact:
Jennifer Gibson, Director/Curator, Gallery 1C03
1st floor, Centennial Hall, The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Ave, Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9
Phone: 204.786.9253