Project Space

Rocky Dobey

Dark Age Ahead


October 29, 2021December 18, 2021


  • Detail taken from Rocky Dobey's screenprinted poster for the exhibition 'Dark Times Ahead'.
  • Rocky Dobey working on an etching [process shot].

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The long history of vicious weapons adorned in beautiful engravings is remembered and reflected in this exhibition by Rocky Dobey. The title is inspired by Jane Jacobs’ 2004 book “Dark Age Ahead”, in which her insight about the US embracing Trumpism was prescient.

Dobey’s interest in medieval Byzantine style is influenced by his childhood spent looking at religious icons during orthodox mass, and serves as a metaphor for the contemporary political forces that seem to want to leave democratic governance behind and steer us into another dark age.

A monumental double-blade sword, covered in medieval-influenced etchings, hangs in the middle of the gallery. Chine-Collé prints, taken from the steel sword adorn the walls. The sword is sharp, polished, and covered in intricate details. The artist notes:  This weapon looks vicious but is useless as a practical tool. I am not making a literal statement about going back to the 13th century, but I sure wonder what lies ahead.

Rocky Dobey’s primary artistic practice is his street art and political posters (i.e.: Anti-globalization – Quebec 2000, Reclaim the Streets, Prison Justice, Anarchist Gathering – Toronto 1988). He has been installing street art in Toronto and other Canadian cities for 40 years since he started doing street posters and graffiti in the mid-1970s. In the mid-1980s he installed painted billboard political parodies on abandoned buildings. He has installed concrete sculptures, street-post mounted books and political, historical plaques around Toronto streets. His most recent art is etched copper plaques bolted to street posts and illustrations for various political movements. For more information, visit Dobey’s website here.


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