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Oxygen Art Centre

Z’otz* Collective’s “Paradoxes of a Soft Spoken Tree” exhibition opens at Oxygen Art Centre

Artists: Z’otz* Collective
Exhibition Title: Paradoxes of a Soft Spoken Tree
Exhibition Dates: 29 August – 26 September 2020
Location: Oxygen Art Centre
Oxygen Art Centre presents the exhibition, Paradoxes of a Soft Spoken Tree by Toronto-based artist collective, Z’otz* Collective. The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday, August 29, 2020 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
Z’otz* Collective is composed of Nahúm Flores (Honduras), Erik Jerezano (Mexico), and Ilyana Martínez (Mexico|Canada). The artists re-join after months working remotely during the pandemic for their remote residency from August 22 – 28, 2020, where they will transmit updates through Oxygen’s online channels.
The exhibition, Paradoxes of a Soft Spoken Tree is a culmination of their remote residency, featuring a collection of drawings on paper and a vinyl mural installation. To create their works, the artists use a system of rotation: they work on different pieces at the same time and then exchange them. Intuition and chance drive the process, as they respond to each other’s forms and marks.
The direct approach of drawing, their primary means of expression, enables them to create quirky subjects and hybrid creatures. They use humour and play to examine the immigrant experiences of displacement, transition and transformation.
Paradoxes of a Soft Spoken Tree opens on Saturday, August 29, 2020 and runs until Saturday, September 26, 2020. Oxygen Art Centre will be open to the public Wednesdays to Saturdays from 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
For the next while, the in-gallery experience will be a bit different when you come to visit. To plan your trip please find our COVID-19 prevention protocols below and on our website:
☞ Hand Sanitizer will be available to all visitors at the front door. We encourage all visitors to use the provided hand sanitizer prior to entering the centre.
☞ Health Declaration: Visitors will be asked to sign-in at the front door.
☞ Practice Social Distancing: Ensure 2 metres (at least 6’6”) away from any other individual.
☞ Face mask or face covering are required when inside Oxygen Art Centre.
☞ Maximum occupancy: 6 people indoors. Please be mindful of other visitors before entering the gallery. Gallery hosts will be on hand to help manage visitor numbers.
☞ Front door will remain open during hours of operation (weather permitting).
☞ Please stay home if feeling ill or you share a residence with someone who is ill or experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms
We are committed to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community and thank you in advance for your continued support. If you would like to plan ahead for your visit, make an appointment to view the exhibition, or learn more about our cleaning and prevention protocols, please click here and/or contact us.
Artist Bios:
Z’otz* Collective / Statement
Nahúm Flores, Erik Jerezano, Ilyana Martínez
Z’otz* Collective is a group of three artists with Latin American roots: Nahúm Flores (Honduras), Erik Jerezano (Mexico), and Ilyana Martínez (Mexico/Canada). Formed in Toronto in 2004, Z’otz* members meet weekly to collaborate on works that incorporate drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, and site–specific installations. The direct approach of drawing, their primary means of expression, allows them to create quirky, humourous images that touch on the themes of migration, displacement, transition and transformation. The work connects to the storytelling traditions of their background, with mythological beings and symbols that transition between the individual and collective dynamic. Z’otz is the Mayan word for “bat”.
* Z’otz is the Mayan word for “bat”.
Erik Jerezano was born in Mexico City in 1973. He is a self-taught artist who has exhibited in galleries and artist-run centres across Canada and Mexico. He has been awarded grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and his work was purchased for the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts. He was involved in community arts projects in Mexico City, where he collaborated on outdoor murals. The indescribable softness of the (often) ironic reflexivity of Jerezano’s work binds together the two places where he has been shaped the most culturally: Mexico City and Toronto.
Nahúm Flores was born in Danlí, Honduras and immigrated to Canada at age 17, after living in Mexico and the US. He holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University. He has been awarded grants from the Pollock–Krasner Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. His paintings and drawing installations have been widely exhibited in Canada and Central America. He was one of six artists to win the Biennale of Visual Art of Honduras in 2006. This year his work was shown in a solo exhibition entitled “The Inheritors”, at the Museum of National Identity in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Growing up in Honduras, Flores was exposed to a mixture of Catholic and Indigenous beliefs reflected in daily life. His mixed media work is a fusion of drawing and matter that is intuitively processed. This mode of working gives voice to his subconscious, resulting in expressive figures and amorphous forms. Although scenes depicted are often bleak, they also reflect his sense of humour.
Ilyana Martínez was born in Toronto and grew up in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and majored in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art & Design. She has been involved in design endeavours with prominent museums such the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Drumheller), and the National Museum of Art (Mexico City). Ilyana is a recipient of numerous awards for her drawings and paintings, among these, from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. Her work conjures up places of line, gesture and colour, where contrasting worlds of the urban and the natural coexist and sustain one another to create alternate possibilities. The drawings are layered environmental maps: of the built, of the uncovered, and of the imagined.
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Image Credit: Z’otz* Collective, Paradoxes of a Soft Spoken Tree, vinyl mural mock-up (detail), 2020