October 1- 31, 2009
Opening Reception Thursday, October 1st from 7-10pm

Since moving to Toronto from New York in 2005, Julie Oakes has been using spiritual narratives derived from Eastern iconography to create her art. Her body of works is based on a simple premise: In order to empty the mind, it is necessary to liberate from all disturbances – yet the world is rife with distractions. Oakes introduces elements that serve a dual purpose of both constructing a new visual reality and maintaining a composed balance.

The work in Genesis will include pieces from The Buddha Composed (2008), The Life Screen (eight silk screen images that form two sides of a Shoju screen were designed to recognize the serendipitous combinations and variety in life) and The Weeping Monkey (a bronze piece where the Buddhist trickster, and also the lowliest of the primates, weeps in a pool of his own tears).

New work consisting of gouaches, ceramics and bronzes elaborate on biblical beginnings that culminate in the installation The Ark. The mythical Ark, having floated for aeons, has finally come to rest and the animals are descending upon a sweeping curve to land on the floor of the gallery. With fifty species modeled in clay, The Ark is part of a larger installation titled Swounds proposed for the Canadian Clay and Glass Museum that addresses the sense of disconnection that resides in the correlation between a loving God and the reality of violence and death. For more images, visit julieoakes.com.

Oakes combines the philosophical with a modern trend towards spectacle.