Michelle Bellemare | Chris Ironside

Art Gallery of Peterborough

On view October 5, 2019–January 5, 2020
Opening Reception: Saturday October 5, 2 pm


left: Michelle Bellemare, Almost Perfect (detail), synthetic grass mound, living weeds including bull thistle, dandelion, plantain, fence, grow lights, hydroponic system, 87” x 65” x variable height. right: Michelle Bellemare, Retreat, polymer clay, metal prongs, power switch, 6.75 x 7 x 2.5”.

Michelle Bellemare
Enough, is enough, is enough

Artist Talk: Sunday November 10, 2 pm

The works in Enough, is enough, is enough explore emotional and physical vulnerability in relation to the demands of contemporary life. The embodiment of the common but often unacknowledged experience of precarity, whether it be economic, social, or physical, is at the centre of this project. This survey exhibition includes new and recent sculpture. Each work suggests the physical and psychic weight of the body, immobilized by pain, anxiety, or conflicting desires. Together, they herald a refusal.

Through modifying familiar materials, Michelle Bellemare’s sculptural practice attempts to lend form and voice to the psychological residues of contemporary experience. Her approach is relational, experiential, and phenomenological.

Bellemare is a graduate of OCADU and has exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Bellemare’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Koffler Gallery in Toronto, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, and Centre Clark in Montreal. In 2015 When push comes to shove, a solo survey exhibition curated by Ivan Jurakic, was exhibited at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery. Most recently her work was included in Muscled Rose, a group show curated by Rui Mateus Amaral, at Scrap Metal Gallery in Toronto.


Chris Ironside, Boo Boo, 2019, graphite, glitter and archival glue on paper, 48” x 36”.

Chris Ironside
Living for the Fame

Artist Talk: Saturday November 2, 2 pm

Living for the Fame is an ongoing drawing- and text-based installation that explores the currency of gay images. Sourcing images from Instagram, Tumblr, Grindr, SCRUFF, and other social media platforms, Ironside studies images of self to consider identity, desire, and ironies of social media. These photos which took so long to stage and select are typically consumed casually in endless feeds and disposed of easily with a left swipe. Ironside represents them as stunning and delicate framed drawings in the formal space of the gallery. In pink glitter, Ironside inserts decontextualized lyrics. “I fake it so real, I am beyond fake” from Doll Parts by Hole acts as an anchor in the installation, a piece of an anthem for the post-internet age.

Chris Ironside received his MFA from York University and BA from the University of Guelph. His drawings and photographs have been exhibited throughout North America. His work has been featured in the Globe and Mail, C Magazine and Headmaster Magazine, and exhibited at Angell Gallery, Daniel Faria Gallery, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Gladstone Hotel (Toronto), Four Eleven Gallery (Provincetown) and with ClampArt at the Art on Paper Fair (New York). He has formerly taught in the School of Fine Art and Music at The University of Guelph and currently teaches in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University.

Also on view:

Hall of Fame: Works from the Permanent Collection
Curated by Chris Ironside

“When I was asked to curate works from the Permanent Collection in response to my exhibition Living for the Fame, the first piece I selected was Andy Warhol’s Marilyn. Not only were Warhol and Marilyn Monroe living for the fame, they were the fame. Hall of Fame is the ‘thing’ the men depicted in my work are striving for; a stretching out of fifteen minutes into a lifetime and beyond. In today’s digital arena the selfies that have been uploaded to the various social media sites I have culled them from are, more likely than not, swiped left and then forgotten. Perhaps through the act of drawing those men, they will live on, like Ernest Fosbery’s portraits of George Barker Hall and John Hall or David Hockney’s Gregory, and find their way into someone else’s hall of fame.”


Art Gallery of Peterborough
250 Crescent Street | Peterborough, Ontario | K9J 2G1
705.743.9179 | gallery@agp.on.ca | http://agp.on.ca
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 – 5 | Free admission
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Media contact:
Fynn Leitch, Curator
705.743.9179 ex. 2023