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Sylvia Ziemann: Accidental Utopia

Sun, Aug 1, 2021 to Thu, Sep 23, 2021 @ Shellbrook Wapati Library

Community: Shellbrook & District Arts Council

Education Packages: AccidentalUtopiaEdGuide.pdf
Sylvia Ziemann, Ziemann’s Rabbits, 9"x9", oil on board, 2017.

Curated by Lauren Fournier and toured thorugh OSAC's Arts on the Move program.

Sylvia Ziemann: Accidental Utopia is a monographic exhibition of new paintings by Treaty 4/Regina-based artist Sylvia Ziemann. In the world of Accidental Utopia, Ziemann paints a menagerie of fantastical characters- figures that are playful combinations of human, animal, insect, and plant- welcoming us into an imaginative realm. In this world, everything and everyone has its place. The artist affirms a philosophy of simplicity that is restorative, particularly in a contemporary context of pervasive social media and the often troubling news on tv. Ziemann has long explored the tension between dystopia and utopia in her art, and with Accidental Utopia she paints the unexpected moments of utopia that emerge when folks come together in the wake of a disaster. Physical, emotional, and intellectual labour are at the heart of Accidental Utopia, where creatures come together across difference to build community. In Ziemann’s Rabbits, for example, an orange rabbit and a white rabbit each hold an end of a lumberjack saw: wearing professorial-looking eye glasses, the rabbits embody both the working-class labourer and the bookish intellectual, revealing the two to not only be compatible but, in this world, coexistent. Working with oil and acrylic on wood, canvas, and board, Ziemann has made twenty-three paintings, bringing visions of community, collective world-making, and inner reflection to rural and urban communities around the province.


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