art galleries banner

Amy Swartz: Pest

Share
January 12 - February 24, 2013
Amy Swartz. Pest (detail) 2011. Image courtesy of the artist
Amy Swartz. Pest (detail) 2011. Image courtesy of the artist

Idea Exchange
Preston
435 King Street East, Cambridge, ON
Google Maps

Comprised of thousands of insects, butterflies, and bees, Pest is an exhibition of a series of carefully crafted display boxes that, at first glance, appear as specimens from a natural museum collection. Swartz's scenes, however, belong to a world of their own. They are humorously created through unique combinations of characters and found toy materials anthropomorphizing the tiny creatures within fictional scenarios. While addressing the larger issues of environment, natural death, and consumer culture, these delicate displays lure the viewer into a sense of wonder through narratives that borrow largely from popular culture and traditions of fantasy story books.

All of the insects used in Swartz's art died of natural causes and some have been donated to the artist. Pest is supported by funding from The Toronto Arts Council and The Ontario Arts Council.

Profile
Amy Swartz
Amy Swartz is a Toronto-based visual artist. She creates highly detailed and meticulously crafted collections that combine both natural and artificial materials in sculpture, installation and drawing...

Amy Swartz is a Toronto-based visual artist. She creates highly detailed and meticulously crafted collections that combine both natural and artificial materials in sculpture, installation and drawing. Her work explores the idea of obsession – not only in the practice of art, but also in humanity's perceived control over nature, life, and death. As R.M. Vaughan wrote, "Swartz makes even the tiniest deaths meaningful (and, yes, morbidly funny)." 



  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
  • Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross
    Amy Swartz. Pest (installation), 2013. Photo: Peter Ross

Related Programming


Funders

City of Cambridge Canada Council for the Arts Ontario Arts Council