Saturday, December 27, 2014

New shows for a New Year!

Elizabeth Babyn: Hieroglyphs  
P. Roch Smith: equilibration

January 3 – January 25, 2015
Reception: Saturday, January 3, 2-5PM
Q+A with the artists: Sunday, January 25, 2PM

loop Gallery is pleased to present Hieroglyphs,  an exhibition by member artist Elizabeth Babyn, and equilibration, an exhibition by member artist P. Roch Smith.  

In the past several years, Elizabeth Babyn has been exploring the inter-relationship between sacred geometry and the Fibonacci number sequences; where each number within the sequence equals the sum of the two numbers before it. The golden mean can also be obtained from this infinite sequence, resulting in proportions that are constantly being repeated throughout sacred geometry and, surprisingly, nature. This inherent connection to the universe and to humankind is what drives Babyn’s work.

Evoking ancient hieroglyphs, Babyn has chosen the language of mathematics to meditatively and laboriously handwrite a portion of the Fibonacci number sequences onto multiple large scale sheets of Tyvek.  As a symbolic gesture, a plinth heaped with Fibonacci equations on strips of paper will be on offer to audience members; since these mathematical elements have the potential to carry with them the purest revelation of universal truth. 
Babyn views the process of surrounding and enveloping gallery visitors within these eloquent fundamental mathematical foundations as a metaphor for our connection to each other and to nature.

Babyn and her husband moved from Caledon, Ontario to Saskatoon three and a half years ago. She is currently doing her MFA at the University of Saskatchewan and teaches art at USCAD. Babyn received her BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD and has exhibited in Italy and Canada. Her work can be found in collections in Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. She has been a member of loop Gallery since 2003.
Image:  'Hieroglyph 1' detail,  5' x 9', Tyvek and sharpies,  2014

In equilibration, P. Roch Smith explores scale, restructuring expectations and notions of play.  He transforms plastic soldiers, skateboarders, Lego blocks, model bombs, tanks, planes and ships by casting them in bronze – a material traditionally used for monuments or grand sculptures.  Smith challenges the medium’s historical prestige, casting at a scale that renders the bronze anti-heroic.  

Smith's constructions speak to work and play.  The small bronze figures support house forms or lift large objects - others move “body- sized” burdens up inclines and ramps – still others are used as wall mounts and brackets.  To equilibrate is to bring into or keep in equilibrium, and there is a precarious balance achieved within Smith’s work.  At first blush, the Sisyphean nature of the images conveys a sense of futility; with time, the sculptures reveal an honest representation of the integrity of work and the importance of being intentional in one’s efforts.

Toys have always fascinated Smith – how they function, and how their meanings can be read.  For such simple objects, toys inhabit a complex space – a space that might not be exclusive to issues of socialization, aggression, domesticity, violence, gender and cooperation.  

P. Roch Smith is a sculptor and installation artist currently living and working in Toronto.  Born and raised in Victoria, he holds degrees from the University of Waterloo (BES), Emily Carr University (BFA) and York University (MFA).  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Exhibits by Loop Gallery Artists : Libby Hague & Sandra Smirle


loop Gallery presents

December 6-28, 2014 Opening Reception: December 6, 2014, 2-5PM
Guided Tour: December 20th, 2014, 2-3PM
Libby Hague Alone together
In Alone together, people, animals and things are connected along a rhizome baseboard or floorboard, through sympathy and other intangibles. From the misery of an elephant in the Shanghai zoo to a child too big for the baby swing - and more abstract points in between, Alone together attempts to move beyond autobiography into the big wide world.

Hague studied fine art at Concordia. In 2014, she had an interdisciplinary residency in Scotland at Hospitalfield Arts, and installed Shift, a woodcut and helium installation at the University of the Arts, Tokyo with Rochelle Rubinstein. Her recent Toronto shows were Family Dynamics, Verso, 2014, Synchromesh, loop 2013, Be Brave! We are in this together, YYZ, 2012 and Sympathetic Connections at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2011.

The artist wishes to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their generous help.

December 6-28, 2014 Opening Reception: December 6, 2014, 2-5PM
Guided Tour: December 20th, 2014, 2-3PM
Sandra Smirle String Theory: Potential Probabilities
This past summer, Smirle had the opportunity to participate in a residency aboard a 120’ tall ship sailing the waters of an Arctic archipelago just 10 degrees from the North Pole. Traveling to such a remote location as Longyearbyen in Svalbard, the site of renowned historical explorations, offered a unique opportunity to work in a stark and seldom-seen landscape. Drawing on research material from her residency, Smirle’s multidisciplinary work offers the viewer a unique, panoramic view of a partly real, partly imaginary Arctic land-and seascape of converging and diverging images

Smirle’s work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally, and is contained in private and corporate collections in Canada, Australia and Europe. She is currently completing her MFA at Concordia University in Montréal.

The artist wishes to thank the Arctic Circle Org., the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for their generous support.
loop Thanks: AUDAXlaw

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Videos by Sandra Gregson and Barbara Sternberg at CineCycle: Ver(sing)

Still from video                                            'Still from Land'                                 by Sandra Gregson 2014

Vers, moving toward something, around a certain time.
Versing to express in verse.
Conversing to talk informally with another or others; exchange views, opinions by talking.

videos by Sandra Gregson and Barbara Sternberg
Saturday November 15 at 7:30 p.m. at

laneway at 129 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
free admission 

Friday, November 7, 2014

                              a visit with Charles Hackwork


Does your space influence your work?

Yes. The space does influenced my work. Before my son was born 12 years ago, my studio was in a 2nd floor bedroom. I had a wall that was 8 feet high and 12 feet long. The paintings I produced in that room tended to be 8 feet tall and 8 or 9 feet long. Once my son was born and I moved my studio down to the basement, my work became much looser. For several years I worked with pouring paint onto the canvas to create semi-abstract pieces based on maps. The unfinished floor had drains which allowed me a lot of freedom. The current body of work consists of large scale drawings. I pin the paper directly to the walls. My ceiling is 6'-4" high so the largest drawings are about 6'-2" in height. I work standing up and draw directly onto the paper so I don't have any supports or guides to anchor my arm. This allows for broad gestural movements. 


Do you rely on new technologies in your practice?

No. My work is very much old school. I am currently using willow charcoal on paper. It is quite basic. For me drawing is a direct channel to my subconscious. I've been working on a lot of paintings lately but I never feel happy with the result and end up cutting them up into little pieces. But with drawing, there is no hesitation. I simply put charcoal to paper and images magically appear.


What’s your favorite work you’ve ever created and why?

I've been making and showing work for about 30 years so that is a difficult one to answer. For me the latest work is always the best. Having said that, there is a large painting from 1999 called From Mud to Miracle which I am quite proud of. It is a dream like narrative and was influenced by the Scottish painter Steven Campbell and the British artist Stanley Spencer.


How has your practice changed over time?
 I started painting seriously in the early to mid 1980's. My earliest influences were Francis Bacon and David Hockney. So my earliest works were large scale paintings that explored the figure-ground dichotomy. They were very colourful and loose. Around this time the European Iceberg hit Canada and we all became familiar with the Transvangarde (Clemente, Cucchi and Chia). As well German artists such as Joseph Beuys and Anslem Kiefer really influenced me. My work became very organic. The colours became dark and earthy. Cocoon like shapes hovered in blackness. Large organic pods held figures in various states of metamorphosis.
Then in the early 1990's I began to explore installation. Large oil stick drawings on the wall, sculpture and found objects littered the gallery space. I created a series of 3 installations called The Theatre of Reconstruction, Parts 1, 2 and 3, with themes of healing and transformation. In the mid-90's I stopped showing my work and studied transformational psychotherapy and expressive arts. I continued to make work but didn't show again until 1998. When I returned to series painting, my focus shifted to dreamlike narratives. I worked that way for about 3 or 4 years. During that time I did a lot of research into narrative painting from the Renaissance to contemporary work. After a while I felt glutted, I couldn't look at complex narratives any more. I began to explore abstract imagery. Two artist really influenced and inspired me at that time; Graham Peacock and Landon MacKenzie. This lead into about 10 years of abstract work based loosely on maps and mapping.
About 3 years ago, I decided to renovate my studio. During the few months I was working in the studio I couldn't paint so I started doing small drawings. These small drawings led to the larger narrative drawings that I have been focused on for the past 3 years.
Tell us about your process for creating a new body of work?

I spend a lot of time looking at art that inspires me. For this body of work, I looked at Bosch, Brueghal (especially the etchings), alchemy and mystical art, etc. I also gather photos and books with images that intrigue me. And then, I put paper on the wall and I start. I usually have an idea for the first figure and start with the eyes, then the nose and mouth, everything else grows from there. I work spontaneously, with no preparatory drawings. Employing a stream of consciousness approach, the drawing shifts and morphs very much the way a dream takes shape. Deep subconscious energies emerge into form and in their process of manifesting, their meaning and purpose becomes known. As the drawing develops I start to make decisions based on composition. I trust in the process and allow for strange juxtapositions to occur. 

Thanks Charles for the studio visit!
To explore Charles's archive dating back to 1985 visit:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A small but mighty Q&A

On Sunday, October 26, a small but mighty group of inquisitive artists and art lovers gathered with Sung Ja Kim-Chisholm and Charles Hackbarth to discuss their art. Thanks to Barb Rehus for organizing the event and taking the photos.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Take a video tour of the Sung Ja Kim-Chishom and Charles Hackbarth show at loop gallery.

On Sunday, October 12th, I took a ramble around the gallery with my camera. Here's a spontaneous, unrehearsed, unscripted ramble about my drawings and the work of Sung Ja. Hope you enjoy it and if you're interested in hearing more, we are  having a Q&A session on Sunday, October 26th at 2 pm.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Charles Hackbarth

Sung Ja Kim-Chisholm

October 11th - November 2nd, 2014
Reception: Saturday, October 11th 2-5PM
Q & A: Sunday, October 26th 2PM

loop Gallery is pleased to present Into THE FIRE, an exhibition by member artist Charles Hackbarth, and Layering, an exhibition by member artist Sung Ja Kim-Chisholm.

Into THE FIRE is an exhibit of new large-scale charcoal drawings by loop member Charles Hackbarth. For Hackbarth, drawing is a direct channel to the subconscious. Working in a spontaneous, stream-of-consciousness manner, Hackbarth creates disjointed, dreamlike tableaux. As in a dream, the landscape shifts, background merges with foreground, figures transform, unexpected juxtapositions emerge. Populated by human, animal and hybrid beings, the drawings lure viewers into the psycho-spiritual dramedy without a programme. Like dreams, these drawings are simultaneously personal and universal, profound and silly, cosmic and pedestrian. For Hackbarth, each drawing is a battle between the forces of chaos and control.

Hackbarth is a Toronto-based artist, writer and musician. When he’s not making art he is developing his private practice as a Transformational Counsellor and Life Coach. Hackbarth has been creating art and showing in galleries since 1985; his work is included in a number of private collections.

For more information about Charles Hackbarth or to see more work visit his website at 

The works in Kim-Chisholm’s latest exhibit explore human relationships, healing, and connectivity. The artist envisions human lives as composed of strata of memories, emotions, challenges, and wounds – the accumulation of which represents our present selves. In Layering, each work evokes the layered development of personal character and imagines how this process impacts our relationships with others. These works visually communicate how individual human development allows us to support others as they face their own challenges and endeavour to heal their wounds.

Kim-Chisholm is a Toronto-based artist and educator, as well as a longstanding member of loop gallery. She has participated in group and solo exhibitions in both South Korea and Canada and has been retained for numerous private commissions. She is a graduate of Chu-Gye University for the Arts in Korea, and the Ontario College of Art & Design. Her work can be found in numerous private collections.

Please join the artists to celebrate the exhibition opening on October 11, from 2-5 PM.

Learn more about Hackbarth and Kim-Chisholm’s work during a Q&A moderated by artist, Larry Eisenstein on Sunday, October 26th at 2PM.

Images: Charles Hackbarth, Into THE FIRE, Charcoal, ink, pastel and acrylic on paper, 30 x 44 in, 2014; Sung Ja Kim-Chisholm, Layering (detail), 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Exhibitions by Loop Artists John Abrams: Seeing Seberg and Candida Girling: A City Slice of Sky: An Urban Invention

loop Gallery presents
John Abrams
Seeing Seberg

September 13 – October 5, 2014                
Reception:  Saturday, September 13, 2- 5PM
John Abrams has been painting images plucked from cinema for more than decade, returning to Jean Luc Godard’s oeuvre on more than one occasion to the point where one might see his practice as obsessive. The painter’s 2014 Loop Gallery exhibit Seeing Seberg, is no exception, it features a grid of 20, 16 inch high x 12 inch wide black and white paintings culled from Godard’s 1960 film, Breathless. Each monochromatic oil pictures the patrician blonde, Jean Seberg playing the role of Patricia. A few free-standing polychrome sculptures, derivative of Constantin Brâncuși, Alexander Calder and Max Ernst and a video, which screens Godard’s source film spliced with Abrams’ noir et blanche work accompany this allegorical show.

Abrams holds an MFA from York University and is an associate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. A founding and current member of loop Gallery in Toronto, where he shows on a regular basis, the artist is represented by Boltax Gallery in New York and Evans Contemporary in Peterborough. His work is represented in many important permanent collections including the National Gallery of Canada and Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Art Gallery of Windsor, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, McDonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery, Oshawa, University of Toronto Art Centre [UTAC], Doris McCarthy Art Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art [MOCCA], Toronto, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Memorial University, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NFL, the O’Hare Airport, Chicago, as well as numerous corporate and private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.

The Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound and RiverBrink Art Museum, in Queenston, ON, are currently featuring his work in their 2014 exhibits.

For more detail, please visit the artist’s website:

loop Gallery presents:
Candida Girling

A City Slice of Sky: An Urban Intervention

September 13 – October 5, 2014
Reception: Saturday, September 13, 2014, 2-5PM

loop Gallery is pleased to present A City Slice of Sky: An Urban Intervention, a new exhibition by Candida Girling with Aaron Davis.

This interactive, sculptural installation, created by Candida Girling and Aaron Davis, is an attempt to re-claim public space and to facilitate green incursions into the concrete and steel of the city. It suggests that we have an inherent need for nature but instead find ourselves in a contemporary urban environment characterized by the triumph of consumer culture, with its attendant pollution, alienation and diminished green space. The installation juxtaposes elements from the natural and urban worlds with the aim of providing a momentary respite from the mania of city life.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Girling studied literature, art and industrial design in Denmark, Scotland and Toronto, where she now lives and works. Girling has been teaching at OCADU as well as Suny University of New York, where she received her MFA in Art and Emerging Practice. Girling is a founding member of loop Gallery. Her work can be found in collections in Canada, the U.S. and in Europe.

Aaron Davis is an eclectic composer and pianist whose work spans film- scoring, songwriting, arranging for orchestra, and concert performance. He was a founding member of the Holly Cole Trio, and is the musical director for Measha Brueggergosman. He has been collaborating on interactive art projects with Candida Girling since 2011.

Girling gratefully acknowledges the Techne Institute of Technology Award 2014, from SUNY University of New York at Buffalo.

Please join the artist to celebrate the exhibition opening on Saturday, September 13th from 2-5 PM.

Image: Plant growing in totemic, modular steel structure, taken from Sculptural Living Wall Installation. Canvas, steel and Ivy, 2014.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Loop Gallery in collaboration with Ste Anne's Church is pleased to present : Dwell

Yael Brotman | J. Lynn Campbell | Elizabeth D'Agostino  Sandra Gregson | David Holt | Jenn Law
Rochelle Rubinstein | Kim Stanford | Adrienne Trent
September 7th – 28th, 2014                
Reception:  Sunday, September 7th, 12-4PM
 loop Gallery, in partnership with St. Anne's Church, is pleased to announce Dwell, a special exhibition of works by nine artists at St. Anne's Church.

Dwell is programmed as part of the month-long festival which celebrates St. Anne, the mother of Mary, and grandmother of Jesus. She is the patroness of grandmothers, cabinet makers, and lost objects (to name only a few); and her emblem is a door, a symbol of the places we inhabit. As a community member within the parish’s geographic boundaries, loop has been invited to explore the themes of space, place, and neighbourhood in a series of works installed throughout the church.  

The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 7 following the Church’s 10:30AM service. The reception will be held from 12 noon to 4PM. The exhibition will be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 12 noon to 5PM and Sundays from 1PM to 4PM.

As part of St. Anne's Neighbourhood Festival, there will be a Meet and Greet with the exhibiting artists on Saturday September 20 at 12:15PM. To learn more about other events programmed as part of the Festival, visit:

St. Anne's Church is located at 270 Gladstone Avenue, M6J 3L6. Gladstone is one street east of Dufferin and the church is just north of Dundas on Gladstone.

loop Gallery has been one of Toronto’s most vibrant artist co-ops since its founding nearly 15 years ago. The gallery is proud to participate in local festivals, present special projects, and to exhibit the work of member artists.

loop Thanks:  AUDAXlaw