Chris Morin and Gabby Da Silva at AKA
MAGIC EYES explores the concepts of surveillance, both real and imagined, within a world that’s equal parts whimsy and despair. A heaping dose of real-life mundanity among the strange and surreal, this piece presents paranoid marches, vice, and indifference in cartoonish colours and characters. Distractions reign supreme, neighbours regard each other warily, screens provide entertainment at best, anger at worst, while nerves unravel. Presented in panoramic view, MAGIC EYES aims to be a visually striking celebration of images that are warm and friendly and familiar, but, upon closer reflection, invite the viewer into a world where even unnoticed gestures have deep, resonating ripples.
MAGIC EYES is an illustrated billboard. It’s also a piece of digital augmented reality. Use your smartphone to see a tiny piece of animation that you can hold in your hand. Download the Artivive app from the App Store and scan the central character for a surprise!
Working in-between the digital, print and adhesive realms, Chris Morin creates visually-striking illustrations that are boldly whimsical yet offer sly nods to the environment surrounding them. These images are presented as something out of the ordinary juxtaposed with something familiar, such as a place to get pizza, where we walk our pets, where to people watch, consume culture, endure the weather, and where we meet and sweep each other off our feet.
Chris Morin has exhibited work in galleries and festivals across the world. In addition to putting together a digital installation for the LUGO event at the Remai Modern in 2019, he has assembled installations for Saskatoon’s Nuit Blanche festival in 2018 and 2019, and had his illustrations featured in New York’s iconic Times Square on a massive digital billboard as part of the ZAZ10TS group art show in 2020.
The Shoestring Gallery: The First 10 Years
Gabby Da Silva
Digital project 2022
Gabby Da Silva joined AKA in the summer of 2021 as our curatorial assistant. Working with our archives Gabby noticed the Shoestring Gallery; the art collective before it became AKA in 1982 was founded in 1971, marking 50 years. Wanting to recognize and commemorate this anniversary Da Silva developed an online project focusing on the first ten years of the Shoestring Gallery.
The work animates the programming of each of the Shoestring Gallery’s three previous locations, where each video represents a location of the Shoestring Gallery throughout 1971-1981. In each video the years slide in, then out again, looping; as if they are forever tied to that time and place.
Gabby Da Silva is an emerging artist fascinated with the collaboration between digital and physical mediums. Within a conceptual approach, she makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the questions of how they can be presented. Born and raised in Saskatoon SK, Gabby comes from a close family whom she credits for their strength, especially when she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder in 2019. Her work responds to both her surrounding environments and everyday experiences. Currently finishing her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Saskatchewan, Gabby is constantly finding new ways to express herself and her communities.
AKA is an artist-run centre operating on Treaty Six Land that encompasses the traditional homeland of numerous First Nations, including Cree, Dene, Plains Cree, Nakota, Saulteaux, and Ojibwe, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
AKA’s gallery is currently operating as artist’s studios.
Office hours by appointment Thursday and Friday 10am to 2pm.
Projects and events are free and open to the public