Wrik Mead: Introspective Memory Explored In New Animation And Drawings Exhibition

Wrik Mead

PayneShurvell Gallery in Shorditch will be showing the work of Canadian Artist Wrik Mead from 13 September – 26 October 2013. The exhibition will feature an hour-long animation depicting one year of the artist’s fractured life, along with a series of original works on paper.  Draw the Line is curated by Mark Waugh.

 ‘1975’ is based on a collection of hand-drawn animated sequences that contain figures performing simple acts and gestures. These sequences are set against a chalkboard backdrop, a familiar signifier for learning and discovery for a young boy of 13.  The focus in this work turns to the artist himself and is built on personal memory and introspection. The intimate and slow process of animation, bringing drawings to life, is ideal for this self-reflection. Each animated sequence contains characters playing out key moments during this year. These quasi narratives are loose interpretations of actual events allowing viewers to attach their own meaning and interpretation. Each animated character is drawn with a white outline to mimic chalk, referencing the earliest form of animation, more specifically, James Stuart Blackton’s chalk-board animation Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. Created during animation’s infancy at the turn of the last century, it now appears innocent, awkward, full of errors, yet it is still captivating.

Wrik Mead is considered Toronto’s prolific poet-priest of pervert pixilation. He has accumulated a unique body of more than twenty animated miniature narratives: queer fantasies, parables, dreams, and even documentaries.”* His films are psycho-dramatic by inclination, first person narratives of desire and accommodation. They’re a mix of painstaking pixilation, fairy-tale allegory and queer-identity and are preoccupied with the materiality and the tactility of film itself. In 1997, Toronto based PleasureDome presented a retrospective of his films that later went on to travel across Canada. In 2006, the CFMDC released a DVD compilation of his work with a study guide as part of the Artists’ Spotlight Series. Recently, he was included in the book The Sharpest Point: animation at the end of cinema and the OMSKBOOK, which was published by the London based artist collective OMSK.

Wrik graduated from the Ontario College of Art with honours in 1988 majoring in photography. He was part of the artist collective HomoGenius and following their first exhibition at Mercer Union in 1990 they produced several self-published books. He recently returned to his studies in 2004 and received his MA Fine Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London (UK). He currently lives and works in Toronto and teaches in the Integrated Media and Photography Departments at OCAD University.

Photo: 1975 still:  based on a collection of hand-drawn animated sequences that contain figures performing simple acts and gestures.

Draw the Line is curated by Mark Waugh.

PayneShurvell/16 Hewett Street/London/EC2A 3NN/Telephone: +44(0)20 0011 4115   www.payneshurvell.com

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm and by appointment


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