Melanie Isis Tinken works some magic

First, let me say I love the way this show is installed … the look of it.

The artist chose the colour for two wide bands of paint, running the length of the white gallery walls. They catch your eye, even from the street. The exhibits are neatly showcased, as you see. Smart.

I am showing these examples because they are already viewable, larger, here.

Each frame contains a vintage photo of a person or persons unknown to Tinken. They have been collected at flea markets and the like. She ponders them slowly, turning them in her imagination until she understands what she wants them to be. Then, by hand, with needle and thread, she transforms each image into something unique and expressive.

The embroidered patterns and icons, when seen in the gallery, remain clearly distinct from the photos they alter. This is important, because the viewer can mentally flick back and forth between the original picture and the interpretation. The game is kind of lost in the web photos. I think you have to see the actual objects to get what Tinken is doing. I don’t recall seeing anything quite like it … and I do like it.

Melanie Isis Tinken: The Numinous Dead, November 14 – December 2
Gerrard Art Space
1475 Gerrard Street East Toronto
Hours: Wed-Sun 2pm-7pm / Mon-Tues CLOSED

4 thoughts on “Melanie Isis Tinken works some magic”

  1. These pieces blew me away. Her embroidered work had this amazing depth that added to the story of the already mysterious pictures. I just loved it!

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  2. Melanie’s work is staggeringly unique. The vision of bringing life back to old photos (and the lives they tried to capture way back when) and making them both relevant and artistic is brilliant!

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