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The word shade offers comfort, implying shelter, protection, and relief. It simultaneously alludes to that which is uncertain – a spectral presence, an obstruction of clarity, or a gathering darkness.
In this installation, Andrea deBruijn fills the gallery with black printed foliage, inviting reflection on our changing relationship to natural environments. Her leafy contours represent select plant species native to Southern Ontario – Wood Poppy, Cherry Birch, False-rue Anemone, Illinois Tick-trefoil, Red Mulberry, and Spring Blue-eyed Mary – that are currently jeopardized or already extirpated due to human impacts. Preserved like fossils in paper scrolls, they are ghostly remnants of the past. But as they thrive – or decay – over the walls surrounding the viewer, they also anticipate the future: delicate, somber, perhaps a comfort, perhaps a threat.
SHADE occupies the tension between our idyllic memory of how things were and the shadow of ambiguity over what they will become. By giving her print works three-dimensional presence, deBruijn beckons the viewer to confront both the intimacy and estrangement of our kinship with the ecosystems that enfold us. What quiet forms of life make a landscape feel familiar? What do we risk losing here? Can new possibilities grow out of inevitable loss?
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Andrea deBruijn is an artist and printmaker originally from Calgary, Alberta. Her practice combines traditional and digital print methods, drawing, photography, and installation. She earned her BFA from Concordia University and was selected for the 2014-2015 Studio Practicum in printmaking at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She has been an artist in residence at the Kala Art Institute, California; Spark Box Studio, Ontario; and the Skaftfell Centre for Visual Art, Iceland.
At the heart of deBruijn’s work are themes of memory, nostalgia, and the traces of things left behind. Having lived in six cities across four provinces, her ongoing projects contend with ideas of home and belonging. Curious about the traces of home we carry with us, deBruijn uses print media to explore the ways that we inhabit and remember intimate spaces and exterior landscapes. She currently makes her home in Toronto.
Andrea deBruijn acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.