Pale Fire

IODAME: Robin Arseneault and Maura Doyle

April 7–June 3, 2023

Exhibition Map

The phenomenon of being turned to stone appears in mythologies around the world. These stories offer explanations for aberrant geological formations and interpretations of cosmological phenomena. They also illustrate moral codes and the consequences of their transgression.

In Greek mythology, Iodame was turned to stone for trespassing. Her name is a diminutive form of Io, who was transformed into a heifer, then cursed to wander the earth. Io is also associated with the moon, which roams the night sky. In the eighteenth century, Jupiter’s third largest Galilean moon was named after her. The lunar Io is primarily composed of silicate rock around a molten iron sulphide core, which produces over four hundred active volcanoes. The association between Io and the hot moon may draw from the ritual fire that was lit following Iodame’s ossification.

Robin Arseneault’s work has sat at the uncomfortable intersection of failure, abjection and humour. With a wide and changing use of materials like paper, clay, wood, brass, bronze, and found images and objects, she produces drawing, photo-based imagery and sculpture. She extends her materials past their boundaries, accentuating what is visceral and tactile within them. The images and sculptures that emerge often explore the uncanny, the tragic or the comic. Arseneault lives and works in Calgary and is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design (BFA, 1998) and the Edinburgh College of Art (MFA, 2005). Robin Arseneault’s work is presented in collaboration with Norberg Hall, Calgary.

Maura Doyle’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses sculpture, pottery, printed matter, writing and drawing. For the last fifteen years, she has focused on the material of clay, the form of the pot and the slow process of hand-building. As a single mother, it suited her work-from-home schedule. For reasons both pragmatic and generative, Doyle's work became more introspective and autobiographical. Her recent work documents her relationship to her internal and external worlds through stream-of-consciousness journaling, drawing and pottery. She uses these methods to access unconscious recesses that, like the interior of a pot, may not be seen or known. Maura Doyle lives and works in Ottawa / Anishinaabe Algonquin territory, and is a graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver (BFA, 1999) and the University of Guelph (MFA, 2008). She is represented by Central Art Garage, Ottawa.