Kyle Scheurmann | Split My Full Moon Heart

Kyle Scheurmann | Split My Full Moon Heart
April 4 -25, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 5-7 PM | ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Bau-Xi Toronto is proud to present Split My Full Moon Heart, the newest solo exhibition by accomplished painter and climate-activist Kyle Scheurmann. The artist has created seventeen captivating pieces that stem from his experiences spent in nature and under the light of the Full Moon.

The artist states:

"I paint in my head the fastest when walking at night under a Full Moon.
When I think of the forest, it is most often at night while lit up with a Full Moon.

After several years of staying at communal camps, I’ve learned that the most magic nights are when we all turn off our flashlights and let the Full Moon drape the forest with colour. The light is made for us.

Even when walking trails I know well, I’m more prepared to find new paintings when under a Full Moon.

This has become a very useful visual tool in my actual paintings. I’m sure you've noticed this in several paintings - not just when painting people under a Full Moon, but by treating other things in the painting as a Full Moon too - such as a flashlight, or fire. 
The final days of large paintings are most often an effort to ‘paint the light’. Or to 'be the light.’ Or to ‘make the light.'

Or to ’be the Moon.’

Anything can happen under a Full Moon.


From Brisbane to Belfast, I’ve watched infinitely-large bodies of water transform under the Full Moon. Millions of litres sloshed around by a glowing orb in the sky.

So if the moon can have that kind of effect on the water in the oceans, what’s it doing to the water in my body?

When writing about my paintings from camp, Chickweed noted: “I think about drinking from one stream for 6 months until realizing that if my body is mostly water, then now my body is mostly Axe Creek."

60% of me (at that moment) was Axe Creek too.

The idea that “we are our surroundings” or “we are the forest” or “we are the water” has been in my work for a while. Figures in transitional spaces, about to plunge into a river or wade into the brush. Figures collecting or harvesting offerings from the forest in order to eat, drink or heal. These are painted metaphors for the split between where we end and where nature begins. 

Chickweed’s realization about Axe Creek has helped clarify a lot of this transitional imagery for me. It’s plain language to a complex feeling.

As much as we are water, we are the ocean too. 
The moon pulls on us too. Even if just a little. It’s enough to feel a difference.

My heart is bigger when under a Full Moon. 

For better or worse, I become more empathetic, more at the mercy of my surroundings. I feel more, and I have more energy to give to those feelings. 
I become a swelling ocean.


By the time I came home later that summer, we had visited several unbelievable “water in transition” places; 
Waterfalls that flowed into other waterfalls.
Rivers that flowed into lakes.
Rain that turned into dew as we hiked into the clouds.
A river flowing through a cave (and then out of the cave and into a waterfall!).

I collected so many drawings and photos from those places. My new paintings grow out of those experiences.

But the clarity with which I am finishing this exhibition comes from witnessing a different kind of transition happening in the forest. 

…And it split my heart in two.


June 5, 2023:

This past weekend, for the first time, I stood in an active cutblock that used to be an ancient forest I had protected with my own body. Just last summer while I was at Sassin Camp, it was lush with old-growth cedar taller than you could ever imagine…


With hindsight, I know for certain that standing in that clearcut didn’t ‘break’ my heart like I thought it did in the moment. Because ‘break' implies lots of little pieces. It suggests some kind of end or finality.

Instead, that moment Split my heart. 

Doused in the smell of gasoline and sawdust, a transition was happening in how I think about my responsibilities to my work and the environment. As my heart split wider with each minute in the clearcut, I thought about the dualities I had already been occupying in life and painting; Intentionally riding several lines between journalist and advocate, commercial artist and protest painter, Forest Protector and fundraiser. 

I was in two pieces:

I was full of rage and coursing with anger. 
I was focused and calm.

I was an activist, thinking about driving straight to the last active blockade and getting back to work with direct action. 
I was a conservationist, measuring stumps and taking careful documentation, thinking about legislation and who I needed to call first when I got back to cell service.

I was living in my truck on the side of a Vancouver Island logging road, taking notes like a journalist. 
I was living on the walls of fancy homes in Toronto, showing my research in cobalt and cadmium.

I was worried about myself, thinking about my own comfort and future. 
I was worried about humanity, terrified for us as a whole…

In that hot and decomposing clearcut, I was the water in transition. 
Dozens of litres sloshed around by a glowing orb in the sky.

The moon wasn’t at its fullest until later that night - but by 5pm, it was already giving me a good pull.

It split my heart.

Split My Full Moon Heart."

Since 2019, Scheurmann has kept studios in remote, wooded locations to document the incremental approach of climate change while simultaneously working on conservation and activism efforts.


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