The visual world Mélanie Rocan creates with her paintings is a swirl of objects and emotions. Her art traverses many eras, from Surrealism to Expressionism, but she owes perhaps her greatest impulse to the Symbolist outgrowth of Romanticism. Rocan’s imagery floats in the realm of the subconscious, with her dream-like, dream-dwelling subjects melding with environments both natural and cultural. The sense of nostalgia evoked by her painted images—Ferris wheels, gingham tablecloths, tire swings, floral wallpaper—speaks to memory and timelessness.
Swinging/Balancer is normally installed in the lobby of the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre at UTSC, but it will be travelling this year to galleries in Saskatoon and Winnipeg as an integral work in the Doris McCarthy Gallery’s touring exhibition “Souvenir involontaire.”
Ann MacDonald is the director and curator of the Doris McCarthy Gallery and a lecturer in the department of arts, culture and media at UTSC.