Toby Pikelin - The Ties That Bind
The Ties that Bind is an immersive blacked out gallery experience of meticulously detailed miniature dioramas and stop motion animations by Toronto based artist, Toby Pikelin.
Every aspect of Toby’s dioramas is hand made often from materials found on the street, in nature, and scraps of fabric from personal items. An important part of her process is resourcefulness and making use of garbage.
Opening Reception: March 22nd - 7pm-10:30pm
Exhibition runs from March 21st - Onwards
(in our installation space)
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12-5pm
Please step carefully in the darkened environment.
Toby’s work explores the invisible connections and forces between people that are strengthened by memorable experiences and enhanced by psychedelics. The scenes and characters have a quality of magical realism and stem from experiences and friendships during the artist’s sixteen years of seasonal work planting trees in British Columbia. Set in tree planting camps, her work is not at all about the job itself but
rather explores the unique setting tree planting provides for fostering particularly accelerated and powerful social connections.
The artist transports you to a dark surreal world that remains playful and colourful. The dioramas and animations are simultaneously comforting yet uncomfortable, calm yet chaotic, paralleling the sensations of the psychedelic experience itself. Toby is interested the heightened effects of mind-altering substances in groups that are isolated and bonded and how it results in moments of adults engaging in creative play.
In the process of building her first diorama, a good friend she had planted with for 6 years died the day she completed a miniature of him. This compounded the impact of his death, and the work took on new meaning as a dedication to him and morphed, in great part, into a journey of dealing with the grief and the fear that his death generated.
Toby hopes to bring awareness to the benefits and therapeutic effects of the psychedelic experience, especially to help treat addiction and trauma.