See the Forest

Tor Lukasik-Foss
June 18, 2009 to July 25, 2009

See the Forest is an exhibition by Hamilton artist and musician Tor Lukasik-Foss that combines these dual roles into an installation of four miniature stages. These "stages" are built from reclaimed and re-used lumber that the artist finds washed up on the shores of Lake Ontario. The organic shape of each stage is created by the unusual life of the lumber; beginning as a tree, becoming wood, then an object (a deck, shelf, sign), and then finally finishing with their travels in the lake. The artist repurposes these found pieces of wood, turning them once again into tree-like forms. These forms wrap around an empty space creating a platform that beckons visitors to perform. This body of work presents a physical and emotional experience for viewers; the structures are at once appealing and daunting. Lukasik-Foss states his interest lies in the "project's potential to unpack and celebrate the stereotype of the introverted, socially incapacitated artist, and to open up an opportunity for both performer and audience to reconsider the transcendent purposes of a public recital" (Artist statement, 2007).   

Lukasik-Foss uses materials rich with history and manipulates them into intriguing, playful yet intense sculptures. See the Forest clearly addresses the artist's individual experiences and struggles, as he suffers from stage fright and the conflicting desires to perform and yet remain anonymous. By imbuing these simple objects with the ability to evoke such disparate emotions as fear, joy, anxiety, and freedom, he succeeds in turning something personal into something quite open to interpretation and thus personal to all.