Current Exhibition & Events

A computer generated scene showing a man in a suit with a distorted face standing in front of a body of water, with suspended verterbre in the background

Marvelous Monsters

Tommy Bourque
June 25 - July 16, 2021

Marvelous Monsters presents speculative worlds and speculative figures. This immersive exhibition of installation works by Tommy Bourque evokes physically and psychologically visceral feelings of tension through dynamic, antithetical and aesthetical relationships. Constructed scenarios present subtle and extreme opposites. Sculptural objects and bodies are complemented or animated by digital technology to explore aspects of the (post)human and provoke emotional responses in viewers to contrasting effects, inspiring ambivalence or confusion.

To what extent can we relate to experiences that purposefully elicit adverse and emotional continuums of sensations? Bourque’s scenes are investigations for considering the viewer’s reactions when faced with familiar—yet deconstructed—vessels in which they, too, reside. Visitors are presented with a dilemma of contrasting signifiers and must consciously negotiate the works while discerning their relationships with their own bodies. The fragmented body is the foundational core of Bourque’s practice, and the synecdoche is central, even (or especially) when it is overtly abstracted: (re)enforced by teeth, hair, heads, spines, and/or limbs. Viewers encountering these scenes may succumb to their individual physical reflexes, natural bodily reactions, and unconscious drives.

André Breton asserts in the Manifesto of Surrealism (1927), “[T]he marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful.” In this regard, Bourque views his sculptural creations as both monstrous and marvelous, as wonderfully frightening. Each piece exemplifies the same overall goal of his practice: Bourque wants his work to mirror what it is like to be alive. He wants viewers to connect and engage with his work to confront their understanding of their own embodiment and of their own lived experiences as bodies and in bodies. 

The Artlab is pleased to be able to open to appointments for the last day of Tommy Bourque's exhibition, effective Friday, July 16th, 2021. To schedule your next visit, please do so online using the link below. If you have questions or are seeking additional information regarding your next visit to the gallery, feel free to reach out to the Gallery Manager at rskinne6@uwo.ca

Book Your Appointment buttonFor ongoing coverage of COVID-19 protocol and operations at Western University, visit https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/

 

 View a digital tour of the exhibition above, and a floor map of the exhibition here.

 Installation of a table laid with beautiful and grotesque objects with a projection of a room, windows, and parts of a disembodied face in the background

"The Garden of Decadent Delights," 2020-21, digital/mixed media sculpture installation.

 Installation of a table laid with beautiful and grotesque objects with a projection of a room, windows, and parts of a disembodied face in the background

"The Garden of Decadent Delights" in foreground, "Self Portrait (Son of Tom)" video animation in background.

 Installation of a table laid with beautiful and grotesque objects with a projection of a room, windows, and parts of a disembodied face in the background

"The Garden of Decadent Delights," 2020-21, digital/mixed media sculpture installation.

 Installation view of the exhibition with numerous and immersive floor and wall projections

From Left: "The Garden," 2021, digital sculpture installation and floor projection; "Self Portrait (Son of Tom)," 2021, video animation; "The Garden of Decadent Delights," 2020-21, digital/mixed media sculpture installation.

 Installation view of the exhibition with numerous and immersive floor and wall projections

Installation view of Marvelous Monsters.

 Floor projection of blue grass and swirling daisies onto a tree stump with long, vertebrae appendages

"The Garden," 2021, digital sculpture installation and floor projection.

 Floor projection of blue grass and swirling daisies onto a tree stump with long, vertebrae appendages

"The Garden," 2021, digital sculpture installation and floor projection.

 Installation view of the exhibition with numerous and immersive floor and wall projections

Installation view of Marvelous Monsters.

 Installation view of the exhibition with numerous and immersive floor and wall projections

From left: "Appearance of the Simplest Truth," 2020-21, mixed media progressive sculptural installation; "The Garden," 2021, digital sculpture installation and floor projection.

 A projection of a city scape overlays an extensive wall installation

"Appearance of the Simplest Truth," 2020-21, mixed media progressive sculptural installation.

 A projection of a city scape overlays an extensive wall installation

"Appearance of the Simplest Truth," 2020-21, mixed media progressive sculptural installation.

 A projection of a city scape overlays an extensive wall installation

"Appearance of the Simplest Truth," 2020-21, mixed media progressive sculptural installation.

 A projection of a city scape overlays an extensive wall installation

"Appearance of the Simplest Truth," 2020-21, mixed media progressive sculptural installation.

 A projection of an underwater space with hanging sculptural forms of vertebrae creatures

"The Marvelous Merfolk, 2021, digital projection/sculptural installation.

 A projection of an underwater space with hanging sculptural forms of vertebrae creatures

"The Marvelous Merfolk, 2021, digital projection/sculptural installation.

 Installation of a table laid with beautiful and grotesque objects with a projection of a room, windows, and parts of a disembodied face in the background

From left: "Bubblicious," 2021, mixed media sculpture; "The Garden," 2021, digital sculpture installation and floor projection.

 A wall sculpture of a head suspended in pink goo lit from below with a flashlight on the left, and on the right is a tree sculpture of bones with a floor projection of swirling daisies

Bubblicious, 2021, Mixed media sculpture: bubble gum, epoxy resin, synthetic hair, rope, plastic cutlery, aluminum can tab, synthetic pearls, clay, Styrofoam, acrylic paint, paper.
 

---Following Ontario's provincewide lockdown (beginning on April 3), the Artlab will be closed to in-person appointments at this time. For ongoing coverage of COVID-19 protocol and operations at Western University, visit https://www.uwo.ca/coronavirus/