A Cabinet of Curiosities, curated exhibition


ELISSA CRISTALL GALLERY is delighted to present “A Cabinet of Curiosities” a group exhibition curated by Darius Stein with artists:  Luke Armitstead, Sarah Davidson, Paul Halley and Juliana Silva.

“A Cabinet of Curiosities” takes a look at two and three dimensional artworks that occupy a space located between fact and fiction. Historically, cabinets of curiosities were comprised of an encyclopedic array of objects whose categorical boundaries were still to be defined.  While generally associated with the natural world, certain objects contained within these cabinets were faked which in turn blurred and compromised the lines of historical truth.

The works selected for “A Cabinet of Curiosities” embody a deep-rooted familiarity with the natural world, but in the same instance feel “otherworldly” within their own personal mythologies. The gallery space, thus, becomes the entry point for the imaginations journey into the realms of the unknown.

Selected works

Luke Armitstead

Luke Armitstead was born in 1989 in Seattle, WA.  He received a BFA in 2011 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed a Post Baccalaureate In Ceramics at University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014.  Luke has primarily been working in Ceramic Sculpture, yet also works as a painter, and designer.  His work is intuitive, colorful, and abstract, however it is often fueled by concepts that seek to relate to, or interact with people, landscape, and design.  He has exhibited in Chicago, New York City, Seattle and BEERS Gallery, London, UK.  Luke is currently a Resident Artist at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA.

Sarah Davidson

Sarah Davidson is a visual artist based in Vancouver, BC. Her recent solo exhibitions include Dynamo Arts Association, the Gam Gallery, and Chernoff Fine Art. She was also included in a two-person exhibition at The Bakery (Vancouver) in October, 2016. Davidson is a member of the four-person artist collective Puddle Popper alongside Sonja Ratkay, Melanie Thibodeau, and Juli Majer. In 2016, Puddle Popper showed at Dynamo Arts Association and the Vancouver Art Gallery (for the Vancouver Art/Book Fair). Davidson has contributed art criticism to publications in Vancouver and Norway, published artist books in collaboration with Project Space, DDOOGG and Moniker Press, and run artist workshops for Artists for Kids (through The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art), and the Arts Council of New Westminster. In August 2016, she took part in the AiR Sandnes residency in Sandnes, Norway. Davidson is a graduate of Emily Carr University (2015), where she was awarded the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Scholarship. In fall 2017, she will begin the MFA program at the University of Guelph.

Paul Halley

A Vancouver based artist, creates wooden sculptures whose forms are largely inspired by silhouettes found within nature.  Growing up along the Eastern coast of Canada, Paul was influenced greatly by elements naturally carved and shaped by the movement and flow of water.  Many of Paul’s sculptures arise through carving and manipulating sections of wood that have already been partially formed by the waterways along which they emerged.  He uses these naturally carved lines as guides to the creation and completion of the final formed piece.  Halley attended the Alberta College of Art and Design and received his BFA from Emily Carr University in 2000. He has exhibited at Charles H Scott Gallery, Capilano University and Dynamo Gallery.  

Juliana Silva

Juliana Silva was born in Colombia. She received her MFA Degree from Emily Carr University, 2017, and her BFA from The National University of Colombia. She participated in an academic exchange at Concordia University in Montreal and recently she participated in an artist residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

The issues surrounding her work are related with materiality. She approaches materials as potential objects functioning as cultural signifiers. The materials she engages with come from observations to ornamentation from popular culture and home decoration. Through a psychology of the ornamentation she challenges nature-­‐culture dualities. In this tension, she scrutinizes the human need to control almost everything around.  She inspects the actions and signs embedded in ornamentation to exert control. She invites us to question our vulnerabilities as human beings.  Silva gives form to her ideas through painting, sculpture, photography and installation. Silva has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions since 2001, and in 2012 she had her first solo exhibition.