17 November 1987 - 12 December 1987
Opening Reception 17 November 1987 8pm
A sculptural installation by Caroline Simmons entitled Dear Catharine will open at Mercer Union on Tuesday November 17, and continue through December 12. In describing her installation, the artist writes:
The work speaks of changes which have taken place over many years on an area of land on the Niagara Peninsula bordering Lake Erie. This land near Port Colborne is gradually feeling the impact of industrial development; bush is being cleared for a road now, and there are plans for suburban housing. Catharine Merritt was married to an engineer of the Welland Canal; in the mid-1800s, she wrote of her travels in the area. The title, Dear Catharine, responds to her.
– Caroline Simmons
Dear Catharine integrates elements relating to this land site, such as an enlarged page from the land title registry tracing a line of ownership from the arrival of Europeans to the continent, and found fragments, some of which have been altered or used as working materials. The artist describes this land as a storing place of life, mystery and chemical change- a preserver of living history”. By exploring a particular place which is close and familiar to her, Caroline Simmons raises issues of the privatization of the land, and the repercussions of urban expansion and development felt by one small community.
Caroline Simmons was born in Port Colborne and is presently living in Toronto. She has exhibited her work in Halifax; Vancouver; Toronto; London, Ontario; New York City; and Paris, France. Group exhibitions which have featured the artist’s work include Monumenta, YYZ ( 1982); The Parisian Laundry, Women in Focus, Vancouver (1982); New City of Sculpture, Mercer Union/YYZ ( 1984); and YYZ World Tour, Embassy Cultural House, London, Ontario ( 1986). Currently Caroline Simmons is participating in the Public Access sponsored video project The Lunatic of One Idea at Mississauga Square One.