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Susan Dobson: Open House

Photographic images from Susan Dobson

Thursday March 30th 7:30 p.m.
Runs in the Minarovich Gallery from March 30 – April 29

Please join us at the Elora Centre for the Arts on Thursday March 30th as we celebrate the opening of the Minarovich Gallery’s new show ‘Open House’ – a collection of photographic images from Susan Dobson. The artist will be on hand for an informal discussion about her work.

Interior decoration has become a massive industry, as we strive to create unique and pleasing places to call home. Susan Dobson notes that, as houses look increasingly the same on the outside, many people go to great lengths to personalize the inside. But how can we do this, when the things in each home are bought at the same big box stores?

Open House is a series of large-scale colour photographs of suburban home interiors. The images are riveting, inviting you to search for clues about who would live in each space. There is a tension between a bland ‘same-ness’, and an almost operatic sense of individual obsession. One room, for example, is arranged from floor to ceiling with Barbie Dolls, most still in their boxes. Another shows a room for weight-lifting where a hole, punched into the drywall, adds to the energy of the space. Each piece draws you further into this rich meditation on who we are, how we live, and what we buy.

“In making this work, I was curious as to whether it is possible for individuals to acquire and to display consumer goods in order to delineate space and to establish an identity that is significantly unique. I was particularly interested in ornamentation and decoration, and thus I approached each interior as if on an archaeological dig, working on the assumption that every detail is rich material evidence. The interiors offer a voyeuristic look at a culture that is defined by its concomitant culture of consumerism, where individuality is expressed through choices made in shopping malls, and where purchases can represent value systems, the dissolution of tradition, and a collapse between elite art and popular culture.”


Susan Dobson holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Still Photography from Ryerson University, and an MA from the University of Guelph. She is assistant professor in the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph.

Susan’s photographic work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. In 2005, her work appeared in solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Calgary and Toronto Free Gallery in Canada, as well as at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and at the National Arts Center in Mexico City. She has received two Gold National Magazine awards for her images of urban and natural landscapes as well as numerous awards from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

OPEN HOUSE by Susan Dobson
Photographic Images
March 30 – April 29
Elora Centre for the Arts
Minarovich Gallery
75 Melville St.
No Cost