Featured Artist: Sharon Switzer

April 2010

Circuit Gallery is pleased to feature new limited edition works by Toronto-based media artist Sharon Switzer.

Sharon Switzer, Still #1 from Experience Hope, 2009

Sharon Switzer, Still #1 from Experience Hope, 2009

Continuing to experiment and push at the boundaries between media, Sharon Switzer’s series of new “digital video drawings” is an exploration, in the artist’s words, of “the possibilities of ‘creation’ within a digital compositing program. They are not traditional drawing, video, or animation—but something unique born from within this medium.”

Sharon Switzer, Still #1 from Dreaming of Butterflies, 2010

Sharon Switzer, Still #1 from Dreaming of Butterflies, 2010

In these works Switzer isolates moments from her animated digital video series—I Should Be Dreaming of Butterflies—and recreates them at a much higher-resolution. The resulting images posses a remarkable quality. Crisp, delicate, almost luminous lines create small events in an otherwise devoid space. Visually their precision is strangely comforting—perfect, clean, demarcated. Yet in the text based pieces, as is the case in so much of Switzer’s work, this aspect is held in an effective tension with the work’s disconcerting and often darkly humorous message(s).

As the artist explains: “I am thinking about what it means to search for happiness—balancing an undercurrent of worry with a sense of hope.”

The original video series, I Should Be Dreaming of Butterflies, is represented by Corkin Gallery in Toronto.

Sharon Switzer, Still #1 from Happy Strangers, 2010

Sharon Switzer, Still #1 from Happy Strangers, 2010

As an artist Sharon Switzer has exhibited her media art in Canada and the U.S. since the early 1990’s. Her work toured throughout Canada in 2007 as part of the exhibition 18 Illuminations: Contemporary Art and Light, that originated by the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery. Her solo exhibitions include shows at the McMaster Museum of Art, The Koffler Gallery, Artcite, The University of Rochester, AKA Gallery and Corkin Gallery, Toronto, where she is represented.

As a curator, Sharon Switzer founded Art for Commuters in 2007 in response to an opportunity to showcase the work of artists and filmmakers to over 1.3 million people on the network of TTC subway platform screens. Switzer is the Director of the Toronto Urban Film Festival, curator of a month-long photo exhibition as part of Contact, and a program for Nuit Blanche—all annual projects on the TTC screens.

Switzer holds an MFA from the University of Western Ontario and in 2005-2006 participated in the Canadian Film Centre’s Habitat Interactive Art and Entertainment Program. As an instructor she has lectured extensively at the University of Western Ontario, Brock University and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Sharon Switzer, Still #2 from the series Desert, 2008

Sharon Switzer, Still #2 from the series Desert, 2008

See more photographic work from this series by Sharon Switzer available through Circuit Gallery.

Sharon Switzer’s “I Should be Dreaming of Butterflies”

Watch the six animated digital video drawings (below) by Circuit Gallery artist Sharon Switzer from her exhibition I Should Be Be Dreaming of Butterflies at Corkin Gallery, Toronto, November 19 – December 22, 2009.

I Should Be Dreaming Of Butterflies, 2009 from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

Lost, 2009 from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

Experience Hope, 2009 from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

Happy Strangers, 2009 from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

It’s Best Not To Think About It, 2009 from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

Ghosts Not God, 2009 from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

The original video series I Should Be Dreaming of Butterflies is represented by Corkin Gallery in Toronto.