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Melissa Doherty and Sarah Maloney
Nature in Culture

Art Gallery of Peterborough

March 22 – June 2
Opening Reception: Friday March 22, 7 – 9 pm

Kitchener-based Melissa Doherty and Halifax-based Sarah Maloney are mid-career artists who both take up the fine craft of making exquisite objects from imagery found in nature to explore the construction of gender, power and desire. Working in sculpture, textiles and painting these artists use both image and material as metaphors for reflection, isolation, comfort, desire and the construction of culture fields.

Doherty is interested in how our contemporary culture manipulates the (real and imagined) landscape as if it were a toy, omnipotently affecting arrangement of both sentiment and view. Layering paint to the extent that individual brush marks disappear, the artist creates lush sensual surfaces, with a terrific sense of depth. Her super real aerial and close-up paintings depict single trees, as well as the urban forest, from a scopic yet intimate and introspective point of view. Doherty's method of depicting contemporary topography permits viewers new readings of landscape metaphors shifting the grand landscape tradition from the sublime toward notions of the embodiment.

Maloney's sculpture series, Reflection, is informed by three types of (bronze) lady slipper orchids, which sprout from hand crafted mirrored dressing tables, chairs and recliners. Transformed as subject and object into bronze sculpture, the common name lady slipper, (a rough translation of the Greek genus cypripedium, which means foot of the Cypriot one, who is Aphrodite/Venus) is presented as part of an intimate piece of bedroom furniture, one which permits gallery-goers a 360 degree view of the feminine stand-in. Since spectators can only see the flower sculpture fully in the round through the reflective properties of the artist's dressing table mirrors, the gaze becomes a central theme of this work.

In this way Maloney's interest in the representations of flower and plant forms within western culture through designating certain activities in the realm of the feminine, finds an intersection with Doherty's interrogation of the landscape genre.

Curator: Carla Garnet

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: Doherty graduated with an Honours B.A. (Fine Arts) from the University of Waterloo. She is included in the Magenta publication Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting, a survey of contemporary Canadian painters. Her work is represented in numerous collections, including Sir Elton John, Royal Bank of Canada, BMO, and the University of Toronto. Melissa Doherty is represented by Edward Day Gallery, Toronto. Currently teaching at NSCAD-U, Maloney holds a MFA from the University of Windsor and a BFA at the NSCAD-U. She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Including Fray at the Textile Museum Toronto; Corpus, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery; and Atlantic Crossing, Dresden Germany. A recipient of numerous grants and awards, Maloney's work is held in numerous public collections.

Image Left: Melissa Doherty Young Maple no. 3, 2012 Oil on canvas, 66" x 66", 2012; (photo: Walter Willems)

Image Right: Sarah Maloney, Reflection: Yellow Ladyslipper, (detail) 2009-10, Birch, bronze, mirror, 162 x 36 x 31 cm (Photo: Morrow Scot-Brown)


Unpack the Art

with Nature in Culture artists
Melissa Doherty and Sarah Maloney
in conversation with AGP Curator Carla Garnet

Join the Art Gallery of Peterborough for a meet-the-artists and art appreciation

morning coffee as they Unpack the Art on Saturday March 23rd, 11am to 12 Noon.

AGP curator, Garnet will open up a discussion on the intersection between Doherty's paintings that operate as an alternative to the traditional depiction of landscape and Maloney's Reflection Suite and Wallflowers sculptures, works that use flowers to speak to ideas of how femininity is constructed.

Enjoy refreshments and discussion. Admission to the event is by donation. All are welcome.

Call 705 743 9179 and visit for more information.



Carla Garnet
Curator, Art Gallery of Peterborough
(705) 743-9179 ext. 2023


Art Gallery of Peterborough

250 Crescent Street
Peterborough ON K9J 2G1
Phone (705) 743-9179

Winter hours: (September to June)

Tuesday through Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
Weekends 11 am to 5 pm
9 am to 5 pm during MARCH BREAK, March 11 to 15, 2013





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