Floral Overload // Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell

Exhibition Dates: Friday July 29 – Friday, September 2, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday August 5 @ 5-8pm

Virtual artist talk: Saturday August 6 @ 1pm CST
ASL interpretation will be provided and live captions will be enabled.
This talk is free to attend and open to the public.

Click here to view the Artist Talk

Exhibition Text by Alyssa Bornn.

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Martha Street Studio is pleased to present Floral Overload, a solo exhibition by Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell (QC).

Floral Overload inverts the hierarchy of art through an overflowing installation as anachronistic still-life, inviting viewers to delve into the worlds of printmaking, ceramics and decoration against the backdrop of botanically-scented wallpaper. Over a screen of flora and fauna, Dinan-Mitchell intervenes with successive layers of elaboration; varying from monochrome works to highly saturated hand-painted silkscreens and printed ceramic plates exploring the artistic genre of still life, Dinan-Mitchell appropriates and updates this historically pictorial genre, declining it in several states and scales.

From contour drawing to installation, Dinan-Mitchell uses the codes and rules of composition of traditional vanities: the central point of view, the narrow frame and the closed composition, set against some of her favorite objects. Jewelry, ornate porcelain, books, skulls, flowers, insects, fruits and corals are therefore interwoven and symbolize sometimes the vanity of wealth, power and knowledge, sometimes the mortal destiny of human life. To these classic elements and conventions of the still life, Dinan-Mitchell integrates a visual vocabulary of her own.

Artist Statement //

In Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell’s work, we, as viewers, are impelled to revisit whole swathes of art history, and to reconsider styles, genres and techniques we would normally think of as incompatible. In her syncretic approach, Dinan-Mitchell brings together a wide range of influences and methods: the baroque, 17th-century Dutch still life painting, the chiaroscuro, contour drawing, etching, Japanese and Western film aesthetics, screenprinting, ceramics, sculpture, and other, more recent elements such as surrealism and botany.

Dinan-Mitchell fully owns the decorative nature of her installations, inverting the hierarchy of low and high art. Indeed, she designs intimate and familiar mise-en-scènes where strangeness, freedom, seduction and humour can truly coexist. Audaciously time-travelling, gleefully conjuring up anachronisms and provoking impossible encounters between incongruous objects, Dinan-Mitchell constantly throws us off the scent.

Artist Bio //

1977, Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell works and lives in Quebec City where she explores silkscreening, ceramics and painting.  She has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) from Concordia University (Montreal, 2002) and a Masters in Visual Arts from Laval University (Quebec City, 2007). She has been awarded several grants and prizes including Plein Sud (2011).  Her work has been shown in several artist run centres such as Open Studio (Toronto), CIRCA art actuel (Montreal), and TRUCK (Calgary).  She has also shown her work in major events including La Manif d’art (Quebec Biennale 2017) and Orange 5 (2015). She has participated in residencies in Thailand, Australia, Germany and Belgium.

Cynthia can be found online at cynthia-dinan-mitchell.com and on Instagram @cdinanmitchell

Exhibition documentation by Sarah Fuller, below.

June 28, 2022