Shary Boyle: Scarecrow opens October 20, 2017

Shary Boyle: Scarecrow opens October 20, 2017

October 19, 2017

Artist Talk and Exhibition Opening: Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 7:00 PM | Free Admission

Scarecrow by Toronto artist Shary Boyle introduces us to an unlikely couple. Frozen in a “sad but strangely sexy” embrace—as the artist describes it—a homely life-size scarecrow sinks limply into the outstretched arms of a women encrusted in celadon ceramic tiles. Recently donated by Boyle to the MacKenzie Art Gallery, the work is the centrepiece of an installation designed by the artist using selections from the MacKenzie permanent collection. The result is a fresh reading of one of her most provocative sculptural installations of the past decade.

Like the sparkling white cave of her 2013 Venice Biennale installation, Scarecrow’s golden pile of straw transports us to a secluded spot that is both out-of-place and out-of-time. Boyle’s father was born and raised on a small farm near Melville, Saskatchewan. According to the artist, the sculpture was “influenced in part by the haylofts of the region,” spaces she imagined when thinking of the daily lives of her paternal grandparents. While the setting may be familiar to many from this region, the juxtaposition of figures is not. What is going on in this plaid-on-porcelain mismatch? Despite its sexually charged imagery, the couple raises questions more than eyebrows. Read more...