Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens
Over the past several years, Montreal-based artist Tricia Middleton has developed a far-reaching body of work that astutely zeroes in on the degradation and transformation inherent to material culture. Working in large part with what she terms “runoff"—discarded objects collected from public spaces, dust and debris created during her working process and remnants of past artworks—Middleton's practice cannily traces the inexorable migration of form and matter toward their own end.
For Form Is the Destroyer of Force, Without Severity There Can Be No Mercy, Middleton has staged Gairloch estate as the uncanny aftermath of a natural disaster—an otherworldly ruin as glistening as it is decrepit. Collapsing practices of painting, sculpture and architecture, this immersive environment is constructed through the accumulation of both materials and ideas. Middleton harnesses wax, paint, fabric, and other workaday materials in service of animating forces impervious to human intervention, such as the unyielding machinations of time and the brutal strength of nature.
While Middleton's work offers an opportunity to reflect on the inevitability of these forces, it is just as readily engaged in reassessing the relationship between the natural and the cultural, where the laws that govern nature's systematic creation, destruction and regeneration offer a rich allegory for the production of art and ideas.