Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell’s work engages in printmaking, installation, and sewing to explore the concept of the home as a refuge, an environment, and a ‘mise-en-scène’. Hand printed textiles, papers, and furniture encourage the illusion of the domestic but within the context of the gallery. The infinitely flexible potential of these disciplines are taken advantage of to transform the gallery just like wrapping paper can enhance a plain box. Through the artistic process of retrieving and recycling images and trivial everyday objects from the home (for example: a chair, a table, a lamp, wallpaper patterns, etc) and reorganizing them in a gallery context, Cynthia arranges links between daily life and public spaces. Concepts related to the private sphere are explored by taking inspirations from protective and nurturing human environments and inversely decorated show rooms or storefront window displays. The systemization of comfortable and intimate settings triggers feelings of familiarity and hospitality, thus, inviting the spectators to penetrate the installation and, in turn, reconsider the traditional public viewing. These theatrical installations generate a feeling of homeliness yet remain elusive because of the context in which they are presented. Cynthia’s work proposes a breach between representation and signification and questions notions such as hierarchy, the history of ornamentation, sampling, taste and beauty, as well as gender issues.
Cynthia Dinan-Mitchell is a Quebec artist who has shown nationally at Latitude 53, Engramme Gallery, and Artus Gallery, and internationally at The Liverpool Biennale, Iowa Biennial Exhibition of Contempory Prints, and Frans-Engramme in Belgium.