Anxiety is one of those things everyone feels, but no one wants to talk about.
Bonnie Marin, Death Becomes Her, 2012, paper collage (Ernest Mayer)
Which makes it perfect subject matter for the latest solo exhibit from Winnipeg collage artist Bonnie Marin. In What are you afraid of?
Marin digs into contemporary fears, anxieties and the quiet tensions that exist in contemporary life...all with a bit of a smirk.
"I wanted to explore anxiety and tension because I see so much of it in
the world around me. I wanted to try and understand what causes it and
how we learn to cope with it," Marin says.
When asked what is most likely to make her tense up, Marin reveals an unusual trigger. "I get most anxious about anxiety. Being in a situation where I am not
in control and not knowing what is going to happen or what might happen."
Knowing this, it's easy to see that theme of being haunted by something out of your control popping up in her work. Marin says she favours using collage to tell these stories because of the immediacy of the medium. "I
can place images together and tell a story in very little time. It's
like creating a mini movie without having to do all the work."
Bonnie Marin, Shhh, 2012, paper collage (Ernest Mayer)
Since it's probably unfair to ask an artist what her favourite piece in an exhibit is - akin to asking a parent to choose a favourite child - we asked Marin to tell us which piece she sees as the most challenging. She picked Shhh
, an image of a woman falling from a building while Death waits below, holding a finger to his lips.
"The woman is falling to her death and we don't know why. Did she jump? Was she pushed? We
know she is going to die because Death has made himself visible in the
foreground. When Death says "shhh." he is telling us that death is
quiet and you never know when it will happen to you," she says.
You can just feel the anxiety and tension melting away, can't you?
What are you afraid of? opens January 31 and runs till March 1 at School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba.