Note from Curator: DOOMLOOP brought together works by Manitoba's Shaun Morin (slomotion) and Yellowknife's Jonah Cutler. This show travelled to 3 locations; to Sombe K'e Park in YK, to the Tlicho community of Behchoko, NT (Chief Jimmy Bruneau School), and to the SnowKing's Winter Festival (parked next to the snow castle on the YK Bay).
Jonah’s large-scale drawings explore nihilism – albeit not without humour – describing conspiracies, dark fantasies, emotional sinkholes, black stars. Other of his works are more abstract, and seem to allow contemplation of beauty and grace. Over the years, Shaun has developed a personal iconography – symbols that describe his own inner life. He often paints things that are wounded or broken in some way. I love how almost all of his paintings describe something going wrong. A cassette tape comes unspooled, a girl’s ice-cream cone is overturned, a ladder-rung is sawn through. These small plywood paintings are like a tragedy of small, awkward moments that when seen alltogher communicate a larger kind of pathos.
Excerpt of Shaun's artist statement:
The blending of subject matter within my work aims at invoking both tragedy and humour, contrasting the feelings I have in regards to living in the world today, the mixed emotions that come together as you search for answers to deeper meanings in the material/spiritual life we live. Mixing a variety of imagery as well as mixing the stylistic genres is important for creating the visual nostalgia that I am after - an eclectic blend of old cartoons, psychedelia, historical periods in time, current and past events, advertisements, comics, children’s crafts, 80’s memorabilia, etc.
The subculture of graffiti and skateboarding has definitely inspired my work. Scrap wood and cardboard materials were used in my past due to their durability for use in street art installations. These materials sometimes lend themselves to DIY and outsider art due to their crudeness, but I have embraced the low-tech hand painted sign associations within the so-called outsider or ‘low art’ category.
Excerpt of Jonah's artist statement:
I make detailed drawings that have obsessive qualities. Every space and plane is saturated with small, repetitive marks. I use technical pens, ink, pencils, acrylic paint, watercolor, coloring pencils, crayons, twine, tracing paper and pastels on thick, sturdy paper. I try not to think about the direction of my practice. I make each new drawing intuitively, based on the experiences of making the previous one. Once a piece is finished I put it away, out of site, and quickly begin a new one. I make drawings because I am searching. I am trying to know myself and trying to know creation. My drawings are crowded with references to philosophical theories, conspiracies, science fiction, and pop culture. Making marks on paper – both representational and abstract - is a way for me to arrive at questions that may be buried in the subconcious.