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Past Exhibition

  • Brendan  Fernandes

    Brendan Fernandes

  • Lisa Hirmer

    Lisa Hirmer

  • Barbara Hobot

    Barbara Hobot


Brendan Fernandes
Lisa Hirmer
Barbara Hobot

March 22 - May 12, 2019

Between 2004 and 2017 The Durham Art Gallery presented the artwork of 97 graduating students that they had created at Ontario art universities or colleges. We often wondered what the future would bring once they stepped into the realm of the professional, contemporary art world. That future is now.

RE-VIEW / RE-MIX brings back Brendan Fernandes, Lisa Hirmer and Barbara Hobot who were some of the promising artistic talents the Gallery featured over ten years ago.

Since his graduation from the University of Western Ontario in 2006, the artistic career of Brendan Fernandes has accelerated at the speed of light. He has exhibited around the globe, has been awarded 27 prestigious residences, is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and is now based in Chicago and New York. As a multidisciplinary artist, Fernandes works at the intersection of dance and visual art. MOVE IN PLACE is a digital mash-up of two worlds: classic French ballet (Fernandes is a former dancer) and African masquerade artifacts. Both reference dance forms within their respective cultures, and remind us of the relationship of those cultures. In this way he highlights his investment in the complexities of cultural displacement, labour and identity, themes that arise from his unique cultural background as a Queer, Kenyan-Indian Canadian.

After we exhibited work by Barbara Hobot in 2008 she went on to earn an Masters degree and is now represented by Olga Korper Gallery in Toronto. Her multi-disciplinary art practice incorporates sculpture, drawing and collage. Hobot slices up sheets of wood-like veneers that she has created, transforming these two-dimensional surfaces into three-dimensional, wall-mounted works. Her materials are punctured and folded, creating a confusion about what is inside and what is outside, and about where is the front and back. This ambiguity reveals a mesh-like multitude of shifting, poetic perspectives, pointing towards an unknowability that is woven into much of human experience and perception. Things in Hobot's work are not what they first seem to be, and an elegant illusion underlies everything.
After her graduation with a Masters in Architecture in 2009, Lisa Hirmer created work under the pseudonym DodoLab (initially a collaboration with Andrew Hunter) up until 2017. Her work then, and more recently, addresses the shifting relationships between the natural world, social systems, the built environment and cities in transition. Her projects invite collaboration by the viewer and direct our attention to small, focused details of our relationship to all that is around us. LAWNS OF A SPECULATIVE FUTURE depicts a sprawling green suburbia juxtaposed with an offering of alternative plant seeds that viewers can take and use to transform that outdated utopian vision. Similarly, FOREST SCORES are pads of paper with poetic instructions that we are encouraged to tear off and use. Each page directs us to do a specific meditative activity in an arboreal setting.

With the Gallery's thirteen years of graduating student group shows, we felt like we were taking the pulse of the most urgently emerging concerns, issues, techniques and strategies that would be transforming the field of art in the coming years. These three artists delivered exactly what we were hoping for. They demonstrate a powerful and nuanced exploration of complex and important aspects of human experience and our relationships with each other and with the world.
- Ilse Gassinger, guest curator