An installation in Gallery II, April 13 – May 20, 2022

Susan Tooke at Sivarulrasa Gallery

Artist Talk on Zoom: Wednesday April 27, 7pm-8pm.

From April 13 to May 20, Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present SUSAN TOOKE: STATE OF THE WORLD, an installation of paintings and sound by Nova Scotia-based artist Susan Tooke that explores contemporary issues relating to the environment and world affairs. The artist has associated each of the three large paintings, “Revelations”, “Into Oblivion”, and “Battle for Earth”, with an abstracted field recording. The installation can be experienced in-person during our regular Gallery hours, Tuesdays to Saturdays 11am-5pm, and Sundays 11am-4pm. For in-gallery viewers, the sound recording can be accessed by scanning on your smartphone a QR code placed adjacent to each of the three paintings.

Based in Port Royal, Nova Scotia, Susan Tooke’s recent work focuses on woodlands and wilderness areas on Canada’s East Coast. Painting is the foundation of her studio practice, which also includes multi-media work in sound, video, and animation. She has received several awards, including the Established Artist Recognition Award in 2015 from the Province of Nova Scotia. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Canada and the United States.

Artist Statement by Susan Tooke

The pressure of a world heating up both physically and politically influenced the creation of the works for “State of the World”. The imagery in these paintings is derived from my work with groundscapes—the earth under our feet—and symbols of lifeforms not recognizable as any known beings, and therefore representing all.

The earth’s surface is our physical connection to the planet, but also to the layering of time as today becomes a layer covering yesterday, and tomorrow covers today. All is in motion through time and space with everything in a state of flux. A line from poet Anna Akhmatova—the souls of all my dears have flown to the stars—influenced the work “Revelations”. “Into Oblivion” shows lives floating, reaching for each other, as time moves on. Humanity is in conflict with the planet—hence “Battle for Earth”.

Part of my artistic practice has been exploring sound. I have been collecting field recordings, then digitally altering them until I am satisfied that they reflect the nature of the environment in abstraction while referencing my emotional and sensory reaction to the original. Sound sources range from city centres to those captured bushwhacking through wilderness. The altered audio compositions are paired with paintings to encourage further contemplation of the imagery and vice versa. However, the soundscapes and the paintings can be experienced separately without the addition of the other.

I have seen so much change in my lifetime, I question whether humanity will survive, whether it deserves to, and what the world will be like in the future.

Artist Talk & Virtual Vernissage: Wednesday April 27, 7:00pm-8:00pm. Artist Susan Tooke will join us live via Zoom from her studio in Port Royal, Nova Scotia, to talk about her installation. You can join us from the comfort of your home – email us at [email protected] to register for this Zoom event.

Contact the Gallery: Call 613-256-8033 or email [email protected] for queries about the works below. For availability, pricing information, and a video clip, visit our Virtual Gallery under “New Arrivals: Gallery II“.


Revelations, Susan Tooke

Into Oblivion, Susan Tooke

Battle for Earth, Susan Tooke

Susan Tooke at Sivarulrasa Gallery