Oh. My. This is the large-scale collage work of Canadian artist Jennifer Murphy. All of these stunning pieces were in a show, titled In The Shadow of Sirius, that (unfortunately) just came down from the walls of the Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto. To make up for my tardiness, let me give you Jennifer’s beautiful words about this body of work… words that certainly hit home for me:
“Although I have worked in collage since I was a child, I really began to explore large-scale, sculptural collage after the death of a dear friend and close collaborator ten years ago. The work was a way to cope with the grief but also an outlet to hope. This series comes at another time of loss, both personal and I believe collective. We now live in a time of ecological mourning and are in desperate need for paths to rediscover hope.
I began this work thinking about The Tommy Thompson Park and the Leslie Spit here in Toronto. This dump site of rubble and rebar on the shores of Lake Ontario, this “accidental wilderness” of trees, wildflowers, lagoons and submerged reefs. This decades-old landfill, re-activated habitat to migrating and mating birds and insects, amphibians and mammals. I gravitated to thinking about shore birds and waders, those stilt like birds astride that liminal space between earth, air and water.
I find hope in making my work and in places of ruin where wildflowers grow, and in the poetry of those who have felt immense loss but continue to create.”
Sigh. Poetry, indeed.