TIFF Picture Palace

TIFF Picture Palace

This installation was conceived as the front piece to TIFF’s Picture Palace Exhibition and was open to the public from March 2 – May 20, 2019 at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox.

Curated by TIFF’s Co-Director Cameron Baily, the MO for this installation was to create an experiential, Instagram friendly, 3-D ‘Movie Poster’ that thematically conveyed the excitement of the big city, as well as the magic of moviemaking.

I conceived the design as a forced perspective cityscape as a reverential nod to both Cinematic Design tricks and before that…Palladio’s Teatro Olympico in Vicenza, Italy. With CNC-cut building facades standing approximately 13ft high at the front of the installation and diminishing to approximately 5ft high at the back end of the 18ft long, wheelchair grade ramp, the ‘Black and White Movie’ setting, reminiscent of those seen in musicals of the 1930’s, is back-lit by a juicy sunrise sky.

Thank you to all that came out and took in our ‘Picture Palace.


TIFF Picture Palace Selfie Culture — Now Toronto

TIFF Picture Palace Toronto — Toronto Guardian

Marking Time Installatio

Marking Time

The leaping off point for this installation/exhibition held at Toronto’s Loop Gallery in October 2018, is the large-scale oil painting, Archipelago, which I did on Fogo Island while attending a residency there in 2011.  This was the painting’s professional Toronto debut and stands as an homage and portrait of an island forged 420 million years ago by ice, fire and sea, the markings of which manifest at every turn, as geological scars and patterns, rock forms, tidal pools and time-worn textures, in expansive and minute scales equally.

New graphite drawings respond to and compliment Archipelago, exploring a range of demarcations, ravages and ruptures, all traces and evidence of our planet’s evolution. Three timeworn boulders resolutely marked the space between Archipelago and the graphite drawings, and offer haptic resting spots from which to take in the work. A new video and soundscape of water lapping over a large, smooth granite rock-face presented as a constant reminder of the ongoing geological process.

My intention with Marking Time is that each of these individual work possess their own agency, at the same time as the assembled installation invites an engaging spatial experience, and offers an oblique yet compelling narrative.

“…Both Wihak and Brotman captured moments within the natural cycle of destruction and creation and managed to use their artistic vision and conceptual views to radically alter or expunge meaning from otherwise overlooked phenomena that help to form the textured fabric of our world.”

Nathan Flint (Source)

Ouroboros Poster


Ouroboros, September 22 – October 14, 2018, was a group show of site-responsive installations situated in Toronto’s stunning Byzantine Revival St. Anne’s Anglican Church, the home of Group of Seven murals and with a long, history of dynamic creative partnerships. I shared this exhibition with 4 other wonderful artists, and on Sept. 29 we hosted an evening of song from the Darbazi Choir and Turkwaz.

“Known as the oldest allegorical symbol in alchemy, the Ouroboros represented the concept of eternity and endless return. The symbol of a snake eating its own tail in a closed circle has been found in varied contexts and geographies. The artists in the exhibition Ouroboros at St. Anne’s Anglican Church, pose an inquiry into the cyclical themes of connectedness and continuity within each artwork.

Toronto artists Ellen Bleiwas, Emily DiCarlo, Gunilla Josephson, Adrienne Trent and Marian Wihak share a network of overlapping relationships. The arc of time, space and history, and the connective impacts and resonances activated are shared drivers of their practices. Each one shares a world view that includes the evanescent, the ephemeral, and the past with the subsequent talismans, relics, and vestiges of these histories used as markers and reminders of a larger realm of connectedness.” — Jennifer Rudder

Thank you to everyone that came out to see the exhibition, attended the Darbazi Choir concert, and took in the final Artists’ Talk.

…While contemporary art galleries isolate their works in a vacuum of white, churches are infused with an overwhelming noise of competing contexts. It’s a testament to the artists involved and the care in curation that this exhibition survives that combination and perhaps even transcends it.”

Terence Dick (Source)

Excavation(…closer to where we began)

Excavation(…closer to where we began) was remounted during the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, January 15-21, 2018 and it was a thrill to be part of this vibrant, art and design event,  following the installation’s original commission for Word on the Street/Sculpting New Reads in Sept. 2017.

Pekota Design hosted the work for our joint presentation Elevation Excavation

Elevation Excavation — TO Design Offsite during TODO 18.

Best of Design Week: Day 5 — DesignLines Magazine

Loves 2018 — DesignLines Magazine

The TODO opening on Jan. 16 was a warm and wonderful event on a cold winter’s night and included a reading by special guest, Lisa Richter, from her new book of poetry “Closer to Where We Began”, beautiful and compelling writing which prompted the initial inspiration for my installation.

Also, an affirming surprise was when the work was awarded a ‘Love Tag’ by DesignLines Magazine as one of the 100 Best things they’d seen during Toronto Design Week.

SEPT 13, 2017

I am thrilled to have been invited to devise an installation for Sculpting New Reads as part of the Word on the Street Festival, one of Toronto’s longest running and most vibrant public arts events. If you are in Toronto on Sept 24th come down to Harbourfront to visit Excavation (…closer to where we began) my new installation which responds to Lisa Richter’s sumptuous new book of poetry “Closer to Where We Began”.

Ms. Richter’s writing speaks to me because of the investigative resonances and large-arc narratives that connect to themes and intents within my own practice. Her work “…navigates the tension between memory and imagination, between the personal and the political, and the primacy of sensual, sensory, lived experience…. ” and …” explores overlapping/intersecting identities that shape and inform us….bringing us closer to our authentic selves”.

My installation is inspired by the intimate, visceral, fleeting and indelible histories of which Ms. Richter writes so beautifully. By charting evocative rather than specific narratives, my aim is to engage the participant/viewer in a sensory experience that is both imagistic and haptic, tapping into intuitive knowledge at the same time as prompting memories and textures of specific moments in time. While responding to the specifics of the Harbourfront Toronto venue and allowing for a large number of attendees expected at this popular festival, my installation will be ‘experiential’ and immersive engaging the participants in a sense of journey and reflection that for myself, signifies the compelling importance of “Closer to Where We Began”.

Scuplting New Reads