The works of Marcus Berns & Ethel Shoul are shown together at Gerrard Art Space (just West of Coxwell) until Sunday, July 10th, 2016.
You want to go. I missed their opening reception, but there are photos here.
I’m going to mostly let my own photos speak about the art for themselves, and you’ll notice that I’ve, for the most part, photographed their work together because there’s something incredibly special about the way their styles complement each other.
They use entirely different materials: Marc, with his literally heavy sculptures made of steel, that somehow evoke very light feelings, contrasts Ethel with her own brooding sketches, often paired with pieces of the very photographs of the moments that inspire her masterful collages. Their work, at first glance, feels raw, and the gallery’s unfinished edges plays on that tone, but when you give yourself the time to immerse yourself into each piece, or collection of pieces, you are brought into a wonderfully deep and intricate world of the characters or moments they represent or symbolize.
From Marcus Berns’ G.A.S. member page:
Three approaches drive Marc’s sculpture: structural balance, composition and texture. The first two stem from his background as an architect, the third from his fascination with the way metals respond to heat, not only in shaping but in the colour and surface quality which result from the oxyacetylene flame and form the applied welded texture. Most often he has used found objects, scrap and new steel and copper, joined them together into personally evocative and meaningful pieces.
He has worked on his sculpture in London, Johannesburg, Toronto and Chatelus Malvalieux, France in the studio of Paul Flury Sculptor. His work has been exhibited in the UK in Hampstead; the Coningsby Gallery, London as part of the Urbanite Collective; and the Bath Society of Artists. In Toronto he has exhibited at the Pentimento Gallery and GAS (Gerrard Art Space). His work is in numerous private collections in Toronto, Montreal, Vermont and London, England.
From Ethel Shoul’s G.A.S. member page:
Ethel Shoul gravitates to the buzz and theatre of the city: a crowded bus, markets, tattoo conventions, skateboard parks, and life on city streets. The city stage seethes with the movement of bodies, and momentary glimpses, caught on camera. Currently, she has found fascination with circus performers who have become her muse.She begins her pieces with mark making, layering with elements of collage, forming a patina on the surface. The artwork is photographed and produced as a Giclee print with archival paper and inks.
Studied under Joseph Albers at Yale USA | BFA teacher and examiner in art education | Post grad diploma UCL (UK) | Two summer schools at Banff Canad | Experience photographer, Mahogany Designs (UK) for Notting Hill Carnival Album – presented to The Arts Council of England | Awarded The Gwen Shaw Cup for Weaving by The London Guild of Weavers | Commission of a woven triptych for the Woodford Chapel, UK | Commission of six paintings for Pathways Conference Centre, S.A. | Exhibition at Burgh House with weaver Maggie Henton | Coningsby Gallery, founding member of Urban Collective, Pentimento Gallery Canada | First Canadian Place | Show with sculptor Marcus Berns at Burgh House UK | Open Studios, Lambeth | Portico Gallery | Whippersnappers Gallery, Dulwich UK | Gerrard Art Space
If you’re lucky, when you visit, you’ll get a tour from the artists themselves:
But even without their personalized touch, you’ll feel their presence in the gallery, because this is an exhibition with a tonne of heart. Don’t miss it:
Marc saw me taking this next photo and said “That’s the back of it!” I told him “I know, but I like to see it from both sides with Ethel’s works as part of the frame.” After which, I took the following two. Clearly, this is a piece that requires space to walk around it.
This last series highlights a piece of Marc’s that I’m very drawn to. I learned that it’s owned by a philosopher, and I’m not surprised. It has the sort of capacity to make you turn your thoughts around in circles and cycles in the same way that Marc’s manipulated the steel. Lucky philosopher. These photos also spotlight Ethel’s 5 part series, ‘Tattoos’, and also her ‘Smoker’. Her ability to capture light, and highlight it with just the slightest touch of colour commands the viewer to pause and appreciate.
Thank you Marcus Berns & Ethel Shoul, for gracing Toronto with your art.
About Gerrard Art Space: You can also follow them on Twitter @gerrardartspace and like them on Facebook.