Excerpt from the catalogue:
I first encountered Vanessa Paschkarnis’ work when she came to study at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in the early nineties when I was teaching in the sculpture department. Her methodology was highly refined and she was focused in purpose. She worked tirelessly at large scale plaster casts, graphite drawings and ambitious stone carvings. The work had and continues to read, for me, to be simultaneously optimistic yet subtly doleful. Paschakarnis’ most recent exhibition was effectively accommodated at the Alison Smith Gallery… a street level store front building in the older mixed zone district of Toronto’s west end. Domestic size marble carvings sit atop appropriately crafted innocuous bases. Parallel white walls that run the full length of the gallery display several large and small-scale drawings, punctuated by evocative intaglio prints. Overhead stainless steel aircraft cable suspends contorted cast bronze enclosures and their “shadows”. The rubric under which this collection of art work functions is offered as: Domesticated Beasts. The title suggests the notion of servitude together with the attendant uneasiness that it carries.
We are all souls
Tied to the bodies
Of dying animals
“Sailing to Byzantium” WB Yeats