Exploring extraordinary art in the everyday

A new show at the Union Gallery challenges us to see the beauty in everyday objects and the charm of our daily lives

Come and change come and change into anything you will is on at The Union Gallery until Feb. 9.
Come and change come and change into anything you will is on at The Union Gallery until Feb. 9.

After a stressful first week of school, many students want to kick back and catch up on sleep on the weekend or maybe even watch that episode of Jersey Shore they missed. Instead of enjoying some much needed sleep, I headed out to view the new art show Come and change come and change into anything you will, located in the main space of Union Gallery.

Much to my surprise I found that the calming artwork was much more fulfilling than a few extra hours in dreamland. The new show is by Karina Lusink, who’s in her fourth year of her Bachelor of Arts degree at Queen’s and Min Shin, a Queen’s student in her final year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. The show is an exploration of the different states of the human mind.

The artwork is a perfect expression of the mind and breaks the boundaries of traditional artwork—most of it expands outside of the canvas, often not using traditional canvas at all. One such work was Lusink’s piece “Heart of the Place,” which uses stripped tree branches jumbled around on a platform, representing the often muddled state of the human mind.

What’s striking about this show is the reliability of the artwork—a major component of the show’s exploration of the mind is the recollection of memories.

“My art is a result of collecting reminiscences of fleeting moments,” Shin wrote in her artist statement.

These moments are something everyone can relate to; the lost hopes, the crushes that never knew your feelings and the small regrets of life.

These ideas are best reflected in Shin’s piece “On My Sleeve,” a work done on rice paper with small drawings in black ink. The drawings seem more like little doodles found in the margins of notebooks or in the back of diaries, compared to something carefully crafted and planned out. What’s interesting is the importance Shin gives the little drawings—she makes them profound when they may not have been. She recalls these simple moments that we all have, but forget about in the business of everyday life. “On My Sleeve” reminds us of these tiny moments and brings the artist and audience together.

The small drawing that was particularly affecting was a drawing of two pairs of glasses, accompanied by the text “I always wanted grandpa’s glasses. I wish I had told him.” Shin’s intimate reflections encourage the exhibit’s viewer to reflect upon those intimate, almost forgotten details of our lives.

Lusink said that’s one of the aims of the show.

“By using found objects I wish to invite the viewer into a reflective, meditative atmosphere of inward growth,” she wrote.

The show truly excels in creating this reflective state and each artist does so in their own unique way. Lusink focuses more on landscapes, painting striking pictures using soft colours and natural materials like tree shavings.

Shin moves away from the traditional bounds of artwork of works on paper or canvas and creates her pieces using an assortment of everyday materials that evokes memories like watches, seashells and keys.

The different approaches of the two artists only adds to the experience of the exhibition, but makes the viewer wish they were both given the opportunity to have their own show. Where their talents could be shown in an individually This show is not to be missed—amidst all the papers, readings, and dreaded early morning classes it reminds students of their lives outside these scholarly walls.

The show is open now at The Union Gallery, located in Stauffer Library from Jan. 16 to Feb. 9. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An artist talk is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m.

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