17 septembre — 1 octobre 2020
galerie atelier b, 162 St-Amable, Montréal
In a basement with limestone walls whose surfaces chip and crumble and where new dust makes an appearance each day, Sophia Borowska and Teresa Dorey present sculptures that pose visceral questions and address the body’s memory. Water sometimes infiltrates the basement during heavy rainfall, and I am looking for a better word than porous to describe this space but I am falling short.
Borowska and Dorey met in their early twenties in what was their formative art school years. One was studying ceramics and the other, fiber arts. They shared a similar approach to their respective craft — an appreciation for embodied knowledge, apprehending materials through touch, a nourishment stemming from —and connection with— ancient histories as well as the artists and makers that preceded them, some form of string in time, and of time. These histories form the basis of some associations that their practices and gestures uphold with everyday life, functionality and small-scale rituals.
The artists share a propensity for that which exists outside of language. Their materials here comprise an enumeration of items like a rough buffet — clay, pigment, vitreous surfaces, yarn and other string-like implements, repurposed lacy curtains from which all the florals have been cut out, metal, brick, minuscule lead beads, hosiery and dry-dipped cement.
Subtle vibrations and subliminal feelings live beneath a material experience that parallels an interiority, the corporeal, the haptic and the perceptive body. Their domain is that of the feminine-coded, and this is a position they take on with pride, dedication and agency.
In Cheville, Borowska and Dorey present works that were created during periods of intense change and processing. Is Cheville, a procession? Some difficult feelings and felt echoes throughout one’s personhood. A compulsion to touch.
Can compelling be an action?
The artists’ respective and collective works underscore the soothing but also grueling experience of addressing and processing trauma with the hands, through material practices. Cycles of control, comfort-seeking, addiction, processing, self-harm and healing.
The ankle is an intricate structure hidden from view, tucked away beneath the skin, with and within muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue. A composition of small bones fitted to one another that articulate themselves exquisitely to support our bodies, weight and movements. In the able-body, the ankle carries us. The ankle has a significant role in the balance of our uprightness; it is also, of all the major joints, the one that is the most commonly injured. A strong assemblage of fragile parts that we know and/or hope to possess an august resilience.
— Celia Perrin Sidarous, September 2020