We are very excited to announce playthings, a solo exhibition from Cassia Powell🪡
1190 Queen St. W., 2nd floor
October 23 - 30
Opening reception: Thursday, October 27, 7 - 9pm
2 - 6pm Tuesday to Thusday
12 - 8pm Friday to Sunday
playthings is a solo exhibition by emerging artist + curator Cassia Powell. The exhibition features an array of mixed-media installation-based pieces, often using a combination of oil painting, soft-sculpture, and both hand-sewn and machine-stitched elements. Each piece of fabric used in “playthings” is sourced from found or given materials, such as: Their grandmother’s quilt, velvet and silk scraps from their parents’ wedding, shirts given from friends, trimmings from a discarded baby blanket, and a mixture of found blankets, sheets, pillowcases and embroidery thread.
playthings acts as a virtual memory bank to reflect on the vulnerability and innocence of childlike imagination, while visiting the feeling of fear and discomfort of eventually being forgotten. The viewer is able to physically interact with each work, whether it’s the feeling of being embraced by a web of quilts, or closing up to an intimate hand-made toy, and acts to engage in a form of worldbuilding or spacemaking. This, alongside the ambiguous relationship of the figures depicted in the painted aspects, Powell is actively exploring the intimate, personal labour involved in this form of worldbuilding. Using the concept of care as a symbolic, revolutionary act, playthings criticizes the normalities – the fear and the discomfort – of living in heteronormative societies.
Cassia Powell (she/they) is an emerging contemporary artist and curator based in the unceded lands of Lekwungen-speaking peoples, otherwise known as Victoria, BC. Powell is a BFA Visual Arts honours graduate from the University of Victoria. They are the co-founder of the Dirty Dishes Collective; a curatorial project which aims to support emerging artists and cultural practitioners as a site of critical discourse, creative experimentation, and community engagement.
Between their personal artistic practice and their curatorial focus, Powell emphasizes the critique of institutional and academic dynamics, and champions the importance of vulnerability and space-making within contemporary art spheres. They utilize these themes by using interior spaces, homewares, food, and digging into the dichotomy of comfort and discomfort, all with a visual focus on “lowbrow” art and pop-surrealism.