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The Garden of Hell on Earth - Eldon Garnet

Galleries Torch

Lauriergracht 94
1016 RN Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 6260284

Open Wed - Sat / 12-18 hrs
+ by appointment

Exhibition 27 May — 1 Jul

Opening 27 May, 17-19 hrs


Garden of Hell on Earth, Eldon Garnet. Courtesy of TORCH

The Garden of Hell on Earth, a solo-exhibition by Canadian artist Eldon Garnet will open at TORCH gallery in Amsterdam on the 27th May. With a series of large-scale photographs depicting a post-apocalyptic narrative of struggle and lasting hope of biblical proportions he sets the tone for the final chapters of his long and fruitful career as an artist. These labor-intensive and highly ambitious pieces form a new lexicon for recovery as a fundamental human trait. After all the processes deemed as progress come to a grinding halt, when the modern age has had its grand finale and there is nothing left but soot and stone, then humans will inevitably start rebuilding their world.

Garnet takes his cues from art historical themes like the expulsion from paradise and the Garden of Eden. He uses these tropes to create a set of lyrical iconic pieces reflecting on primal dialectic relationships that have influenced humanity throughout its existence. These unnervingly ambiguous images balance destruction and creation, growth and decay and violence and care into very focused, emotional compositions. In an imagined wasteland people look for shelter, warmth and nourishment. They fight, flee, suffer and become exhausted. But this chapter of Eldon's work isn't a woeful lamentation. Rather, it shows a pilot light of hope valiantly flickering on. Damaged bodies covered in ash and charcoal scramble to grab a burning torch, rescue a living plant or catch a heavenly drop from a honeycomb.

Eldon Garnet excels in a very personal, philosophical kind of staged photography. As a sculptor, writer and lecturer he uses images as signs, as representations of large sets of theoretical, historical and emotional connotations. By working with a clear set of ideas as a starting point and the technical proficiency to tell convincing photographic stories he is able to reinvigorate age old themes. His work can take on the form of a stainless steel text or a photographic image but will always convey a sly commentary on the human condition in a very recognizable voice. 

About the artist:

Eldon Garnet is a photo-based artist, public sculptor, and writer based in Toronto, ON. He has exhibited his photographic and sculptural work extensively in North America and Europe. A participant at the Venice Biennale in 1985. Garnet’s work, NO, 1997 was included in the exhibition Hitchcock and Art: Fatal Coincidences at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal (2000) and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2001). In 1997, the National Gallery of Canada hosted his mid-career survey entitled: The Fallen Body. Garnet has had major surveys of his photographs, at the Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotografie (2002) and Dust at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto (2002). His novel Lost Between the Edges is published by Semiotext(e), New York. For fifteen years he was the editor of IMPULSE, an international magazine of art, fashion and ideas. He is the artist of numerous public sculptures including The Memorial to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada.


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