Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
What Canadian hasn't experienced wind-blasted, bitter cold snowstorms? Tania Kitchell is one artist who has an anti-freeze solution to frigid winter weather. She has created playful, amusing, and altogether absurd garments to rebuff the icy chill. For example, her colourful, cozy head gear prevents those 'ice-cream headaches,' while cuffs, coils and collars seal out snow, wind and drafts. Fuzzy, felt snowsuits are designed to hug the body for dexterity and warmth. For comfort and coping, she has crafted 'mitts with splits' and multi-coloured protection for the single pinkie and index fingers. This artist leaves no body part neglected.
Kitchell subverts winter chill what many think of as unpleasant and gives it a defiant twist providing humourous 'toasters' and 'defrosters.' The exhibition also includes a number of photographs that have a performative aspect the artist frolicking in the snow, and hugging a huge snowball while scantily dressed. In them she exhibits no signs of discomfort, as play and animation dispel the sobriety of reality. We see her exhibiting bodily pleasure in snow as well as searching for a way to defend herself against its pain. Kitchell articulates ideas and then sets them in motion creating a space of slipped categories and subverted meanings, which potentially lead us to question our own awareness of climate. Compared to the serious, fetishistic realm of outdoor wear shops geared for foul weather defence Kitchell's creations have the effect of a strong anti-depressant. Underscoring it all is the notion of the everyday, the record and the marking of time.
Tania Kitchell is a Toronto-based artist who studied at the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Arts Plastique and Parsons School of Design in Paris. Kitchell's art practice is an integration of her interests in both the visual arts and the world of design.
Curated by Marnie Fleming