George Gilmour Members’ Gallery
People always say to be yourself. The difficulty arises from the assumption that the self is a solid, secure entity born of choice rather than various fragments composed of experiences, memories, learned behaviour, and defense mechanisms. Early on as an artist, Dorona Zierler went through an unconscious process of self-othering, separating herself into fragments that could perform their required roles, perhaps influenced by how she was, or wished to be, perceived. These fragments rarely “fit” together to create the aforementioned self, rather over time they have formed sub-personalities, each with their own motivations, competing with each other to be heard and fulfill their desires. Zierler’s current work takes the form of hand-printed clothing to act as a physical representation of a mental state, representing and reinterpreting various tropes related to the psyche. The end result contrasts photography with the original prints, reflecting on both internal complexities and the artist’s growing desire for community engagement and viewer interaction. The pieces exist in their truest form when being displayed as wearable items, as the “characters” only exist when the prints are worn.
Dorona Zierler is a Toronto-based artist and writer whose work follows a multifaceted approach that combines printmaking with drawing, photography, sculpture, and installation work. The recipient of the Emerging Jewish Artist Fellowship (2012), the Japanese Paper Place Award, and the York Bookstore Award, Dorona’s practice is strongly informed by the complexities and contradictions that emerge from the overlap between multiple social, spiritual, and artistic communities. Her work frequently addresses themes of transience and flux, caught drawing from the past and simultaneously attempting to escape it. Since graduating from York University in 2014 with a honours BFA with a focus on printmaking, Dorona has continued growing her practice independently and through the community at Open Studio.