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Karine Giboulo: Housewarming

Montreal artist Karine Giboulo makes fascinating miniature dioramas in clay. Currently at the Gardiner Museum, she has created a fantastically creative reimagining of her home.

From the museum website:
Housewarming is Giboulo’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, and the waves of confinement and isolation that followed. It is a sculpted documentary of individual and collective experiences grounded in current events. With the pandemic as a constant presence, the colourful dioramas furnishing each room prompt reflection about the challenges we face as a society. Their stories amplify themes pertaining to connectedness and isolation, aging and care, labour and consumerism, the climate crisis, food insecurity, and housing instability. This intimate journey also unveils a personal narrative of self-acceptance and identity and transports us to the world of childhood, a critical period in the development of consciousness about the world.

There are some 500 miniature figures in the exhibition, so little people figure prominently, as they did in the Monkman exhibition I wrote about earlier. I would also call this exhibition social realism as the artist presents opportunities to see oneself in the scenerios she depicts.

This is a very ambitious exhibition with dioramas cleverly built into the various rooms of the home. There are many opportunities here to tell her stories. I think some are more successful than others, but the whole exhibition is thoughtful and beautifully put together.


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