Candice Hopkins is the Elizabeth Simonfay Curatorial Resident, Indigenous Art, at the National Gallery of Canada and formerly the director and curator of the exhibitions program at the Western Front, Vancouver. She is co-curator of the exhibition Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, opening in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in January 2011.
Elizabeth Zvonar graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 2001. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada at Artspeak; Western Front; Contemporary Art Gallery; Mercer Union; Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery; Oakville Gallery; Presentation House; among others. Internationally in New York, Australia, Japan and Belgium. In 2008, Zvonar was the inaugural artist at the Malaspina Print Research Residency and was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the thematic Cosmic Ray Research. Zvonar received the 2009 City of Vancouver Mayor’s Award for Emerging Visual Artist; in 2011 she was presented with the Emily Award for outstanding achievement by an Emily Carr alumna. From 2012-15 Zvonar held the post of City of Vancouver Artist in Residence. Her work has been seen most recently in Canada in the group show On Stage, Recent Acquisitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery and in her solo presentations, I really do believe the best thing a person can do with themselves is expand their mind at Gallery 295, Vancouver and The Challenge of Abstraction at Daniel Faria Gallery in Toronto. Zvonar was the 2015 recipient of the Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award.
Director/Curator of Artspeak 2004–2010.
August 1–September 1, 2007
Ongoing installation in Artspeak’s windows while the gallery and office are closed for August.
Investigating perception and the abstract aspects of knowledge, Elizabeth Zvonar’s practice is rooted in the experiential. Whether weighing in on the meaning of luck (good and bad), examining utopic and futuristic impulses (in the forms and symbols of yogic practices or within the nostalgia of youth and music cultures), her work troubles the distinctions between belief and so-called truth. Recently, Zvonar has been working with mirrors, glass and reflection in her consideration of perception and experience. Her paired mirrors create infinite reflections that both incite notions of the future as well as a slippage into the past. These reflective works provide a context for her most recent project at Artspeak.
Parallel Dimension approaches the instability of perceptual experience. Working with a glass bender, Zvonar will replace one of Artspeak’s storefront windows with a distorted duplicate. The installation will be on display round-the-clock for the month of August while the gallery is closed. The distortion created by Zvonar’s window will highlight and challenge the audience’s expectations of art-viewing, window-shopping and pedestrian browsing. The bowing of the window and the resulting distortion in both its transparency and reflection (in contrast to the expectation of the window as a stiff and straightforward material) suggests the warping of reality. This warping can be specifically linked to cinema and television and the inevitable caricaturization of “reality,” but can also extend to local social realities. The title evokes a quasi-futuristic universe, yet hinges on an antiquated notion of that future. In its focus on the experience of looking and its disruption of the expected, Zvonar’s Parallel Dimension open-endedly questions perceptual constructions and accepted knowledge.
Elizabeth Zvonar is a Vancouver based artist. Since graduating from Emily Carr Institute in 2001, her work has been shown in local, national and international exhibitions, including at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Cohan and Leslie Gallery, New York; Western Front Gallery; Vancouver; Queensland University of Technology; Brisbane; Geisai, Tokyo; and Consolidated Works, Seattle, amongst others.
The artist would like to thank Doug and Pat Healy of Seabird Bent Glass Ltd. for their assistance with this project.