Toronto artist Anneke van Bommel’s artefacts of Canadian kitsch – a collection of original sculptures in silver, cherry and walnut – arrive at Lafreniere and Pai Gallery tomorrow. It’s with tongue in cheek that van Bommel incorporates such Canadian iconography as beavers and Mounties into her jewellery, plaques, and objets d’art, playing on how popular culture, nostalgia, and patriotism are intertwined.
Much of van Bommel’s work features delicately hand-cut silhouettes of layered imagery, like beer-drinking hosers wreathed by tiny maple leaves and pinecones, or wildflowers adorned with blossoming Canadian Broadcasting Corporation logos. Adopting this alphabet of Canadian symbols, van Bommel composes odes to the Canadian past in the visual language of the country’s national memory.
Some of the works feature a modular design – they come mounted in a shadow box for display – but individual items within them, like a tiny harp seal or miniature tin can, can be removed and worn as jewellery.
With Glowing Hearts opens May 12 and runs until June 2 at Lafreniere and Pai Gallery (13 Murray St.)