Barbara Cole | SURFACING

Presence from Surfacing by Barbara Cole

Barbara Cole | SURFACING
September 12-28, 2019
350 Dundas Street W., Toronto
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12, 5-7pm. Artist talk with Anna Maria Tremonti at 6pm.

SURFACING, the latest series by Toronto-based artist Barbara Cole, represents triumph, survival and self-actualization. Set against a vast and tumultuous ocean-scape, this series depicts shimmering figures rising triumphantly towards the surface. This series is fueled by Cole's personal history, and the ethereal figures shown are a celebration of power of will and strength to overcome.

Cole expertly captures the beauty and dynamism of the human form moving through water, a reference to overcoming the obstacles which bring us ultimately toward resilience, and a place of true empowerment. SURFACING is the embodiment of what it means to rise and conquer. 

While this series has a personal undertone for Cole, the female subjects are not purely self-referential; they also refer to the many women who prevail through the daily turmoil of assault, depression, other mental health issues, as well as the stigma that often accompany them.

With this series, Cole aims not only to open a dialogue on mental health but also to let those suffering in silence know that there are effective resources available to them. Cole has partnered with organizations Bell Let’s Talk and the Campaign to Change Direction in an effort to further their initiatives in spreading awareness and destigmatizing mental health issues, and to advocate for important and useful links and resources. 

These pictorial metaphors echo my own struggles as well as the realization of my personal and artistic aspirations. These are women who are taking back power and leading the way.

SURFACING will be on view at 350 Dundas St W from September 12-28, 2019. Join us to celebrate the opening on Thursday, September 12th from 5-7pm, and hear Barbara Cole in conversation with renowned journalist Anna Maria Tremonti at 6pm as they discuss the importance of mental well-being. 


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