Mere Phantoms: Undergrowth

Mere Phantoms, Garden of Earthly Delights, PuSH Festival, Vancouver, 2017. Photo by Dennis Ha. Image courtesy of artists.

Mere Phantoms: Undergrowth

Curated by Karly Boileau

April 6 – June 22, 2024
Opening Reception & Workshop: April 6, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston

In Mere Phantoms’ latest exhibition Undergrowth, the gallery, garden, and library converge in a display of shadow and light. Imagination runs free as we think about the worlds existing beneath our feet in this immersive environment created by the artistic duo for Cambridge Art Galleries, Idea Exchange, Preston.
– Karly Boileau, Curator

Undergrowth is an interactive shadow installation that invites the audience into a metaphorical journey to contemplate life’s cycles both physical and psychological.

Much like stories, memories, hopes, disappointments, joys, and grief that lurk underneath our skin, an entire universe teems with life under our feet in the undergrowth. Invisible at first glance this world is filled with plants and creatures living in symbiosis and in constant metamorphosis.

What can we learn if we look closely?

Inviting the audience to move through the gallery using mobile lights, the artists create a playful flip of scale where the small intricate paper cutouts become large scale shadow scenes.
– Mere Phantoms

About the Artists

Mere Phantoms is a Montreal (Tiohtiá:ke) based duo. They are artists Maya Ersan (she/her) and Jaimie Robson (she/her). Drawing on traditions of shadow theatre, early cinema and papercutting, they create interactive installations and performances positioned between spectacle and experience. These works function as analogue immersive environments that rely on audience participation and explore the possibilities of situating the audience as performer.

Mere Phantoms, Garden of Earthly Delights, PuSH Festival, Vancouver, 2017. Photo by Dennis Ha. Image courtesy of artists.

Related Programming

Life in Soil
Saturday, April 20, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Cambridge Art Galleries, Queen’s Square
Register Here

Learn about the life in soil as we create a living sculpture working with soil and water. Bring your own soil from a memorable place or work with the materials provided. All ages are welcome

Life in Soil
Saturday, May 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston
Drop-In

Learn about the life in soil as we create a living sculpture working with soil and water. Bring your own soil from a memorable place or work with the materials provided. All ages are welcome

Mere Phantoms Interactive Shadow Workshop
Saturday, June 1, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston
Register Here

Mere Phantoms’ interactive shadow workshops are designed to engage audiences of all ages – including adults, young people, children and families. In this hands-on workshop, a selection of paper-cutting techniques will be demonstrated followed by guided instruction in designing and creating your own paper cutouts. Participants will then have the opportunity to use Mere Phantoms’ hand-held light wands to explore how their pieces translate in light and shadow.

Mere Phantoms, Shadows Without Borders, 2018, photo by Leila Shifteh and Harun Yasin Tuna. Courtesy of Artists.

Cambridge Art Galleries
ideaexchange.org/cambridge-art-galleries
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Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston
435 King Street East
Cambridge, ON N3H 3N1

Hours of Operation
Monday to Thursday 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm*
*Closed Sundays May 19 thru Sep 1

Cambridge Art Galleries, Queen’s Square
1 North Square
Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6

Hours of Operation
Monday to Thursday 9:30 am – 8:30 pm
Friday and Saturday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm*
*Closed Sundays May 19 thru Sep 1

Admission is free. All are welcome.

Cambridge Art Galleries is situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral peoples. We recognize that this land is part of the Haldimand Tract, extending 10km on either side of the Grand River.

Cambridge Art Galleries presents contemporary art from two galleries in the City of Cambridge: Queen’s Square and Preston. We serve our regional and broader communities through the delivery of contemporary art programs that foster critical cultural dialogue. Our artistic activities engage, embrace, and empower people of all ages and abilities from diverse backgrounds.

Accessibility:
Cambridge Art Galleries, Idea Exchange is fully accessible. For more information, visit: ideaexchange.org/about/accessibility

Our Supporters:
Cambridge Art Galleries gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the City of Cambridge, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Government of Ontario.

Media Contact:
Karly Boileau
Assistant Curator
Cambridge Art Galleries
kboileau@ideaexchange.org
519.621.0460 x160