Mary-Lynn Ogilvie : Glimpse

Fri. January 22nd 2016 - Fri. February 12th 2016
@  Odeon Alley
In a recent study the viewers of a Damian Hirst painting were observed, and the time spent in front of the painting was recorded. The amount of time was very brief (see below). While the popularity of visiting galleries has increased over the years with many new high profile galleries being built and filled with contemporary art, this seems in contrast to the actual experience of viewing art and how meaningful this experience is. With this installation of Glimpse at The Ministry of Casual Living's Odeon Alley window space I am interested in the way art functions in a society that relies on specialization and imposes a constant overload of imagery, often to the detriment of meaningful visual experience. I believe art in public spaces allows a kind of back door approach through familiarity to meaning. A personal experience I had illustrates this. Each day I would pass by a very large abstract painting on my way to and from work. I did not like the painting particularly but it came to represent a more random and intuitive way of thinking that was far from what I was experiencing at that time. Ultimately my life was changed for the better through this. James Elkin writes about a man who hated everybody and just about everything except a painting he would visit on a regular basis not because he loved it but somehow he was able to engage with it without hatred. The significance of art in this man's life cannot be underestimated. At a distance this installation can be read as a grid of spots; upon closer examination however the spots become more like portals. I like to think they can be small views into some other place. This installation can viewed as a progression through a number of brief encounters, over a period of time. A glimpse becomes a gradual familiarity.

Anthraquinone -1 Diazonium Chloride: by Damien Hirst
Total Viewers: 379
Average Dwell Time: 5 seconds
Longest Look Time: 30 seconds


I have been obsessed with cutting out circles for sometime and don't plan to stop. I have done any number of paintings that incorporate them in a grid pattern or in a more random placement. On their own they have covered walls, been folded or mounted for a 3D effect. Cutting this way is a bit like editing or perhaps robbery in than I take small pieces out of their original context and reuse them elsewhere.

I was born and raised in Toronto, I studied at OCA (OCAD U) and then lived in Europe. Victoria has been my permanent home for some time now. Aside from circle cutting, painting is my main interest in which I sometimes allow the unstretched canvas to move away from the wall by the use of cutting or folding. Collage is often an important element in what I do and of course there are all those circles.

Contact: [email protected]
Presented by: The Ministry of Casual Living
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