Thursday, March 15, 2007

Erin Candela

Erin Candela's first solo exhibition, entitled “We, Needles Under Snow” opened in Montreal on December 6th, 2006. Erin’s work explores Canadian Identity and Mythology, through a combination of drawings and etchings. Candela approaches her work through story, history and narratives relating to the development of identity.

"Canadians, being part of a fairly new country, and being made up of a number of different cultural sources, have difficulty and are resistant to the application of a generalized cultural identity. We sit in the shadow of one of the loudest and most dominant countries in the world, and we react against it's overwhelming nationalism. This makes it that much more important that Canadians; that is Quebecers, recent immigrants, prairie peoples, Metis, Maritimers, and the rest, become conscious and recognize their own place in the world, their own history, and what it is that makes them part and parcel of this complicated and beautiful piece of land that we call Canada. This is not to say that we need to subsume our particular histories, nationhood or cultural backgrounds. That we guard and keep these differences is what makes us different and complex as a country. However, as Canadians, we also need to become more informed and aware of what connects the peoples of this geographical area. We are different, but we all choose to live and be here together."

Much of what is seen in Erin Candela's drawings is typical of what has been considered particularly "Canadian" themes: natural landscape, wild animals, portraits of isolation and estrangement, and the discussion around "multiculturalism". Her drawings are more than simple depictions of the established history, however. Over the past year, Candela has researched and talked with people about their own impressions of what being "Canadian" means, and her drawings reflect the beginings of a personal take on the essentials of a Canadian mythology. How do we situate the pioneers and explorers of our past stories with the political and social problems of our present?

For more information, contact Erin Candela at or (514) 842-0540. [Press release reprinted with the permission of the artist.]