Sunday, April 10, 2022

Artist John Notten: Flipping the Canoe and Unpacking the Weekend

Amazing contemporary art installations by John Notten are on display at Todmorden Mills Toronto History Museum and gallery starting in early Spring 2022.  The City's heritage site in the Don Valley hosts many events and exhibitions in the former industrial settlement, including John's current fusion of sculpture and painting that bring some of Canada's cottage country icons to life. 
John Notten stands by one of his large scale installations

From John's website says that he "is a Toronto-based contemporary artist and educator. His work is shown primarily in the public realm, with large-scale ambitious projects presented throughout Toronto and across Ontario. His art practice focuses on the reconfiguration and decontextualization of common, mundane objects that are reimagined in unconventional ways. The immersive, interactive installations Notten creates offer a radical shift in the meanings of the materials used. Addressing issues of displacement, consumerism and power, he creates participatory installations that immerse the viewer in alternative environments through the re-crafting and repurposing of multiple, prefabricated objects."

John has two exhibitions that launched in early Spring​ 2022 - 'Flipping the Canoe', which will continue its successful run until October 31st, and 'Unpacking the Weekend' in the Papermill Gallery which will close on April 10.

'Flipping the Canoe' takes the simple personal watercraft, which was instrumental in the settling of early Canada, removes the canoes ability to float, replacing its simple function by adding non-waterproof joints and reshaping the form into imaginary figures like giant spiders or sea monsters.

This interactive installation creates an animated and walking Muskoka chair
Concept art

'Unpacking the Weekend' is a multi-disciplinary exhibition that features several interactive pieces along with a number of sculptures that change objects from typical holiday life into new and sometimes scary narratives - like the massively tall, spider looking Muskoka chair installation. See a few more of the works from Unpacking exhibition after the jump.

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