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Pleated Fingers Parted

Fri. June 21st 2019 - Fri. July 12th 2019 *Please Note* Gallery viewing by appointment is welcome and encouraged. We are run and kept open entirely by the effort of volunteer labor. If you know exactly when you are going to come by the exhibition space and want to ensure we will be open, please send us an email or facebook message before visiting the gallery so we can confirm that we will have someone there to meet you.
Pleated Fingers Parted is a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Vancouver-based artist M.E. Sparks.

This new body of work emerges from a desire to disassemble familiarized narratives within painting history and focuses on historical representations of the female body, femininity and youth. Sparks explores the complex tensions of working from and within dominant patriarchal perspectives by questioning systems of erasure, preservation and perpetuation. The paintings reconfigure bodily forms and spaces, seeking to offer another side of the story.

For this exhibition, Sparks investigates the material autonomy of paint and canvas to emphasize the malleability, flaccidity and contradictory flatness of the painted image. Through layers, slits, folds and bends, the figurative shapes are deconstructed, or perhaps released, as if lying in wait for new postures.

M.E. Sparks is an artist living in Vancouver, BC on unceded Coast Salish territories. Primarily working with large-scale painting and shaped cut-outs, her work culls from Western art history, found objects and childhood narrative. Recent paintings explore ideas of obfuscation and tenebrosity, the untranslatable and false binaries of abstraction and representation. Sparks holds an MFA from Emily Carr University and BFA from NSCAD University. Recent group shows include some body anybody, South Main Gallery, Vancouver, (2019), Inside Out, SiteFactory, Vancouver (2018), Mother Tongue, Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver (2018), near channels, Support, London ON (2018), and A Terrible Signal, Access Gallery, Vancouver (2017). Sparks was a finalist in the 2016 and 2017 RBC Painting Competitions. She has participated in residencies in Canada, Germany and Finland, and will be attending the Vermont Studio Centre in 2019. She currently teaches as Sessional Faculty at Emily Carr University.

Sparks would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council for their support towards this project.


the fifty fifty arts collective is comprised of individuals living and working on unceded and occupied First Nations Territories, specifically the lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, as well as the W̱SÁNEĆ, Sc'ianew and T'Souke First Nations.

The programming space itself is situated on Songhees and Esquimalt Territory but engages with individuals and communities across Turtle Island.

As a collective we endeavour to deepen our own understandings of how we are implicated in the history and in the present ongoing project of settler colonialism. As members of the fifty fifty arts collective we continually responsibilize ourselves to the complex kind of space that is the fifty fifty which hosts and facilitates the dissemination of the ideas and work of others.

Accessibility Information:
The entrance to the fifty fifty arts collective is wheelchair accessible, however the door is not automatic and we have no washrooms on site. A more comprehensive statement regarding our accessibility is in progress, specific questions or requests regarding accessibility can be sent to [email protected]