Suparna Ghosh: Theatre Unlimited at the Arts & Letters Club

Next Gen © Suparna Ghosh / courtesy the artist

Suparna Ghosh: Theatre Unlimited

May 25 – June 22, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday May 26, 2024, 10am-5pm, during Doors Open Toronto
Open House: Friday, May 31, 2024, 4-7pm
The Arts & Letters Club, Toronto

The Arts & Letters Club presents Theatre Unlimited, a collection of drawings and paintings by Suparna Ghosh, opening to the public during Doors Open Toronto. Suparna is celebrating a milestone in 2024—fifty years in Canada—and these works represent her creative journey from the ancient land of India to womanhood and motherhood in Canada, a new world created upon an old one. The exhibition features seven ink drawings and seven acrylic paintings that mirror each other in content, context, ambiance, and theme. Familiar objects are juxtaposed with dreams and images of tomorrow: unreal, absurd, and fractured glimpses of horses, men and women, cityscapes, steeple-like buildings, and steps leading into the unknown.

The collection has its origins in an earlier time, when the artist’s studio was a tiny corner in a small room, and her workspace a piece of plywood hoisted on four legs. Working in the depth of night with two small children asleep nearby, Suparna began working with a sketchbook, a pen, and the inimitable India ink. Elusive moments and one-dimensional thoughts came to life; vibrant fantastical stories found a visual landscape on paper. Wisps and flows, layers and lines, and blocks of black and white became solid forms and structures. One drawing grew to a series, and when jurors at the Arts & Letters Club selected some for national competition, Suparna became inspired to recreate and reinterpret them as larger paintings on canvas. The result, Theatre Unlimited, is years in the making. Punctuated with a dramatic batik, this exhibition demonstrates the artist’s facility with a variety of styles and media. Suparna’s work may speak in a different language to each viewer—she invites your mind’s eye to enter the world she creates and to conjure your own story.

Infinity © Suparna Ghosh / courtesy the artist

Showing the drawings and the mirrored canvases together at the Arts & Letters Club is the culmination of a long-held desire. This is where the Group of Seven held their first show. This is also the venue where, in 1914, an Arts & Letters Club founder, Roy Matthews Mitchell, an ardent theosophist, produced a famous play, The Post Office, by Suparna’s favorite Bengali writer, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It so happens, she played the main role of the child, Amal, in the same play at All India Radio in another life. The drama continues in her exhibition of paintings and drawings, Theatre Unlimited. Suparna is dedicating Theatre Unlimited to Ruth Colombo, a poet and a long-time member of the Arts & Letters Club, who was an unforgettable character on Life’s stage.

About the Artist

Suparna Ghosh is a painter and writer based in Toronto, Canada. Her words and visuals are frequently integrated to create narratives and mysteries in several media. Suparna has exhibited her works in galleries in Toronto, New York, San Francisco, London, Seoul, Mumbai, and New Delhi, and her works have been featured in numerous juried shows. Her drawings were finalists in three national competitions held by the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto, and her paintings were chosen for the Canadian Art of Imagination show featuring international artists. Suparna’s late teacher Abani Sen, a well-known artist in India, instilled in her the fine art of blending skill and creativity, and fittingly, one of his paintings is in the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum. Visit suparnaghosh.com for more of her writing, painting, and poetry.

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Accessibility:
The Arts & Letters Club of Toronto is partially accessible, with wheelchair accessibility from its entrance on Elm Street. For more information, visit artsandlettersclub.ca/building.