Board Picks: Alyssa Bistonath

While walking through the gallery taking in this year’s collection, my eyes went directly to three artists who used bold colours while depicting natural elements. They express a type of melancholy through their subject matter, which makes their use of colour all the more satisfying.


Steven Beckly, Untitled, 2016, Colour Transparency, 12.5” x 17.5”, $275

I have long admired Beckly’s sensuous photographs. He photographs with care and with a keen eye for light and detail. The veins of the leaf spread from the silhouette as if they are thoughts that an anxious hand might absorb and understand. 


Meagan Christou, Abbadon, 2016, Inkjet Print, 8” x 10”, $300 (framed)

The oval that encompasses Christou’s piece reminds me of a cameo, but the darkness of the image speaks of a different type of nostalgia. The bird, often caricatured or caged is elusive in this frame, creating abstract streams of colour. 


Jennifer Murphy, Roses, 2015, Collage on Paper, 34” x 48”, $4000 (framed)

Murphy’s piece, large and declarative, is the kind of piece that you want front and centre. Perhaps the most colourful image in the collection, I appreciate how the botanicals and the expression of the monotone face play with and against each other. It is definitely a piece that begs the viewer to become lost in thought.  

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Board Picks: Michele Pearson Clarke

There are years when you never leave home, and then there are years when it seems you are hardly at home at all. In a year when I feel like I have been almost constantly on the move, these four Photorama works resonate with where I’ve been and what I’ve seen.


Talia ShipmanNot the Holiday Inn, 2016, $650 (Framed)

There is no desert in Trinidad where I grew up, yet I am endlessly captivated by these landscapes; particularly in the American southwest, where you can expect to see the most dramatically beautiful topography, but you’re also never quite sure what you may come across, out in the middle of nowhere. Talia Shipman’s Not the Holiday Inn captures this tension perfectly. Part of her 2016 installation, Meet Me in the Middle—which recently sold to a New York collection at Art Toronto—Shipman’s print inserts turquoise cactus sculptures into a desert scene, inviting us to consider their (and our) uninvited presence.


Katherine KnightFerry Study, 2016, $1000 (Framed)

From the desert, I went north, experiencing the stark and rugged aesthetics of the subarctic Canadian north and Alaska. The slightly askew ship models in Katherine Knight’s Ferry Study remind me of how I felt being there. In reconnecting these models to their home landscapes, Knight’s images point to the ways in which ongoing colonial legacies continue to distort life in the north.


Jessica ThalmannPleats of Matter (Ross Building), 2016, $1000 (Framed), $800

My ideal trip involves time spent in cities combined with time spent in nearby nature, and in Pleats of Matter (Ross Building), Jessica Thalmann’s geometric topology connects the current development and gentrification of Toronto to similar processes underway in every city I have visited this year. In looking back at the failures inherent in the concrete of Brutalist architecture, Thalmann reflects on what awaits all of our glass and steel in the future.


Frances PatellaWest Ravine, High Park, 2016, $350 (Framed), $250

And no matter how far you roam, you can’t escape what’s waiting for you at home. Though a place of respite for many Torontonians, Frances Patella shows us High Park in a new light, as a site of destruction charred by flame and smoke. But as documentation of a controlled burn, West Ravine, High Park illustrates the possibility for regrowth and regeneration following devastation. Given the current global mood, maybe burning it all down is the way to go.

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Staff Picks: Nicole Cropley

Falling in the last week of November each year, Photorama for me marks a changing of the seasons. The vibrant fall foliage is starting to wane and there is perhaps just a hint of frost. It feels fitting, then, to select for this blog post Kristie MacDonald’s Mechanisms For Correcting the Past (Avalanche, Sigerfjord Norway), Annie MacDonell’s Hoarfrost on Black Diamond, and Sarah Sands Phillips’s Untitled No. 44 (Photographs of Canada), each of which take the documentation of nature and natural phenomena as their subject. All three artists are working with found images, for MacDonald an archival photograph and MacDonell and Sands Phillips, books of photography that catalogue the Canadian landscape. The artists draw attention to the aesthetic construction of these images through their manipulation of form and their emphasis on the materiality of the document.

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Kristie MacDonald, Mechanisms For Correcting the Past (Avalanche, Sigerfjord Norway), 2014, $750 (framed), $550.

Kristie MacDonald’s Mechanisms For Correcting the Past (Avalanche, Sigerfjord Norway) is part of a larger body of work that appropriates archival documentary images from the aftermath of natural disasters. In this image, a home has been toppled during an avalanche and now rests almost completely on its side. MacDonald “corrects” the damage by reorienting the photograph so the house sits upright. Smears and inky fingerprints tarnish the surface of the archival photograph, and MacDonald’s intentional misalignment of the image in the frame draws attention to its borders.

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Annie MacDonell, Hoarfrost on Black Diamond, 2010, $1800 (framed),

Annie MacDonell’s kaleidoscopic Hoarfrost on Black Diamond is constructed with a page from Canadian photographer Roloff Beny’s 1967 book To Everything There is a Season. A close inspection reveals the typed page number 176 right of centre on the bottom and its mirror on the top left, and there is an ever-so-slight rise and fall of the paper where the pages are taped together. The black-and-white collage repeats and rotates the image into a chimerical reimagining of the landscape where snow-covered tree limbs take on a mechanical or insect-like quality.

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Sarah Sands Phillips, Untitled No. 44 (Photographs of Canada), 2016, $900 (framed), $700.

For her ongoing series Photographs of Canada, Sarah Sands Phillips carefully selects photographs from the pages of books, then sands them down to leave only their underlying compositional structure. In Untitled No. 44, the landscape has been completely eradicated; the only vestiges that remain are the characteristic browns and greens of the Canadian boreal forest.  The physicality and fragility of the document is emphasized by the torn bottom edge and a hint of the image on the other side of the semi-translucent paper.





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Staff Picks: Daniella Sanader

Somebodies, Somethings

For this year’s Photorama (my first as a staff member at TPW!) I find myself drawn to works that approximate the human body, yet stretch at the limits of what that representation can mean. These are bodies captured in fragments, residues, creases, and gestures, bodies both playful and ambiguous in their own forms of messiness.


Kelly JazvacSchweppervescent, 2016, $2300.

When I first decided to write about Kelly Jazvac’s wonderful Schweppervescent, I was going to mention that the title sounded like an absurd cross between a marketing tagline and an onomatopoeia that you have never heard yet immediately, somehow, recognize. I stand by that characterization, but a quick Google search has led me to the fact that “Schweppervescence” was also a brand campaign for the ginger ale/club soda brand Schweppes (perhaps that’s where the subliminal familiarity came from). It’s appropriate, regardless, since Jazvac’s work incorporates salvaged sign vinyl and printed banners; the material supports for advertising and promotion. Yet looking at these fractured bodily shapes, the word takes on new sensations in Jazvac’s work: these aren’t balloons bursting clean and fresh, but something sticky and residual, an exuberant mess that maybe you want to keep around.


Kelly UyedaSecond Thoughts, 2016, $300 (framed), $175

Kelly Uyeda’s print Second Thoughts may seem quiet at a small 5×7”, yet the more I sit with it, the more I see. These strange blotches of black wrinkles, like leather-clad elbows, shoulders and knees. Or are they even body parts at all? It’s hard to know for sure, but Uyeda’s intriguing, dark and deceptively simple taxonomy creates a lot of space for divergent readings.


Lili Huston-HerterichRight Middle, 2015, $500

Lili Huston-Herterich’s silver gelatin print also plays with scale in some interesting ways. Right Middle takes the visual structure of a fingerprint and stretches it outwards, becoming both sketchy and mountainous at once. My associations could continue: rings on a tree, crop circles, loose doodles in a notebook—I’m finding things both large and small, mundane and grandiose in Huston-Herterich’s print. Yet these disparate reference points are all mechanisms for storing data, for recording traces of presence and growth. A fingerprint’s twists and whorls act as a stand-in for one’s identity, often in a clinical or criminal framework. Huston-Herterich considers this work part of a series of self-portraits—and the smear on the upper corner? Made with ink on her finger.


Alvin LuongBaby Richard Serra (Right Angle Prop), 2016, $600

Lastly, Alvin Luong’s Baby Richard Serra (Right Angle Prop)—which was made exclusively for Photorama 2016—may seem an odd choice for a blog post focused on bodies. Yet lately, I’ve been really interested by rhetorics of instruction and tutorial, and how these communicate bodily movements in different ways. Luong’s how-to guide for building a Serra replica approximates an IKEA instruction manual, complete with cut lines, directive arrows, and the classically ‘neutral’ cartoon figure that pieces it all together. A lot about this work makes me really happy, from the cheekily diminutive title to the mini-version of Gallery TPW in the bottom right corner (!!!), complete with our garage door. That’s right, if you’re having trouble putting your Baby Serra together, you can call us anytime. We’re happy to help.

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Photorama 2016

Meera Margaret Singh, Stripes, 2013

Meera Margaret Singh, Stripes, 2013

Gallery TPW’s 30th Annual Fundraising Exhibition

Collector’s Preview: Gallery TPW Collector Members are given first opportunity to purchase works on Thursday, November 24, 6 – 9 pm

Opening Reception: Friday, November 25, 6 – 9 pm

Sale continues: Saturday, November 26, Noon – 6 pm + Tuesday, November 29 – Saturday, December 3, Noon – 6 pm

Admission to Photorama is FREE.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Gallery TPW’s annual Photorama fundraising exhibition, featuring over 100 artists exhibiting contemporary photography and lens-based work.

A complete list of participating artists is available online.

Become a Member

On Thursday, November 24th, 6 – 9 pm Gallery TPW invites Collector Members to attend an exclusive Collector’s Preview of Photorama 2016. Collector Members are given first opportunity to purchase art works before Photorama opens to the public. Collector Memberships can be purchased online for $75 or by contacting the gallery at 416.645.1066.

Photorama opens to the public on Friday, November 25th, 6 – 9 pm with an opening reception and the sale continues until Saturday, December 3rd.

About Gallery TPW

Gallery TPW is an artist-run centre dedicated to the presentation and critical investigation of contemporary lens and screen-based art. In 2014, Gallery TPW undertook a major project, transforming a 3,300 square-foot frozen fish warehouse into a sleek, accessible facility dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary art. Opened in Spring 2015, TPW’s space at 170 St Helens continues the gallery’s 39-year legacy of facilitating critical discourse through its exhibitions, screenings, live events, public discussions and commissioned critical writings.

Follow us Online

Gallery TPW will be blogging and tweeting during Photorama. We post staff picks, information about the artists, sales updates, images from the opening and more. Follow us on  Twitter, on  Facebook, and on Instagram.

Media Contact

Nicole Cropley
Gallery Manager
416.645.1066 /

Gallery TPW
170 St Helens Ave
Toronto, M6H 4A1

Thank you to our Sponsors
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, blogTOPasquale Bros. Downtown Ltd., Lansdowne Brewery, Yongehurst Distillery


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