Visitors to a new show at the Kelowna Art Gallery may feel as though they’ve stepped into a surreal, dream-like environment. The exhibition is entitled Makeshift and it is created by Toronto-based artist/printmaker Elizabeth D’Agostino.
For her installation the artist has used a combination of etching, screen print, and collage on thin Japanese papers, to bring her detailed hand-drawn images of plants and animals to life. These delicate, semi-transparent sheets lend the installation an airy effect and the works seem to float within the space. The artist has also interspersed sculptures made from paper clay and printed Gampi (Japanese paper). These are displayed on small wooden wall shelves.
D’Agostino has been exploring themes and structures from the natural world, including animals, for several years. She is fascinated by nature in all its diversity and uses botanical illustrations and real specimens as her sources. Although the artist re-purposes elements in her works with a fictional narrative, accurate representation of her animal and plant subjects seems to be an important aspect to her practice. Despite the overall beauty of the installation and its imagery and materials, visitors may notice there is an underlying darker element to the artist’s thinking and work, for example current environmental issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMO), invasive species, and extinction of other species.
D’Agostino is a printmaker who lives and works in Toronto, where she is managing director of the Toronto School of Art. She has a BFA from the University of Windsor and an MFA from the Southern Illinois University.
Elizabeth D’Agostino: Makeshift is on view at the KAG until Jan. 10, 2016.
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water St. For more information visit www.kelownaartgallery.com or call 250-762-2226.