The Opening Reception for "Disturb and Elevate", the debut solo exhibition by artist Dalia Elcharbini, took place at Toronto's cool C9 Gallery on Thursday evening and I had the pleasure of being there. My friend and fellow art enthusiast Julie came along.
"Dalia Elcharbini is a contemporary Palestinian-Canadian artist who has been exhibiting in Canada and the US for the past six years. She describes her style as Surrealist Realism; an attempt to capture life-like subjects but not necessarily human. Despite her medium of choice, her body of work is recognized for one fixed element which is her consistent use of gold leaf throughout all her work." [from the artist's website, here.]
↑ Dalia Elcharbini ↑
I think you'll agree that Dalia's creations are unique and quite stunning. Around the room, viewers could be seen getting quite close to the multi-dimensional pieces, examining them from all angles. Each one had some gold-gilding, some placed flat to the surface and some adding depth by having been applied to raised dots and details.
The gold complemented graphite pencil drawings, that were so incredibly photo-realistic that I had to go back and reread the descriptive write-up in order to truly believe that the drawings were done completely by hand.
While there was much beauty to the subject matter, all was not light and pretty, as there is a definite sharp-edge to the message the artist is delivering with the pieces that make up "Disturb and Elevate". There were scars, stray hairs, veins, bared teeth and writhing figures to be found amoungst the calmness. To use Dalia's words, "this show is disturbingly powerful yet thrillingly elevating."
↑ Here I am with the gallery's kind, stylish and knowledgeable curator, Fifi ↑
↑ Julie ↑
The C9 Gallery is a modern new space tucked within a row of restored historic houses (written about in this post). I've now seen several exhibitions there since it opened last spring, and have come to trust that the art they choose will be original, thought provoking and lovely to look at. Art collectors will be pleased to know that much of what they show is available to purchase.
Dalia Elcharbini's "Disturb and Elevate" will hang at C9, located at 7 Sultan Street in Yorkville, south of Bloor , in Toronto's Culture Corridor, until May 18, 2019.
↑ A fun snap taken by Julie -- we do have a good time together! ↑
Thank you for reading. I hope you see the show. xo loulou