Circus at Gallery Project
current exhibit, Circus.
Traditional circuses used cruel methods to train their animal performers. The mistreatment of elephants is the focus of two works by the respected English illustrator Sue Coe. She Packed Her Trunk and Said Goodbye to the Circus--a darkly witty woodcut depicting an elephant waving "So long!" to a whip-cracking trainer--inverts our longstanding vision of escape by running away to the circus. It also raises the question of who's tame and who's savage, a dichotomy sharply rendered in Toronto artist Jamiyla Lowe's silkscreen Skipping Bear. With a muzzled bear squeezed between two sneering performers turning a jump rope, it's a startling, powerful clash of worlds and characters, like seeing a beloved Maurice Sendak character escorted through the streets of Gotham City.